Chicago in the 1970s: The EPA Photographs of John H. White

The Peanut Man, Savior’s Day, the Bud Billiken Parade, the Kadats of America, and more images of Chicago’s South and West sides from one of the city’s legendary photojournalists.

John H. White photography


Via Coudal, the Atlantic has a nice selection of photos from DOCUMERICA, an early 1970s documentary photography program launched by the Environmental Protection Agency that aimed to do for the environment what the FSA/OWI did for the Depression and World War II; the National Archives has a good selection on their Flickr site.

One of the photographers recruited for the project, but not in either of the above galleries, was longtime Sun-Times photographer John H. White, whose years of documenting the city—he won a Pulitzer in 1982—puts him in the ranks of the city’s best journalists. White mostly documented the south and west sides of the city, bringing an economic-justice perspective to the environmentally focused project. Here’s a selection of his work for DOCUMERICA, with a couple pictures by Danny Lyon and Paul Sequeira (who took one of the most famous photographs in Chicago history) that were too good not to include.

Tangentially related and highly recommended: “How Howard Got His History Back,” about how a DJ reunited White’s Sun-Times colleague Howard Simmons with a trove of extraordinary photographs from throughout Simmons’s career.

Chicago in the 1970s: The EPA Photographs of John H. White, Page 4 | Chicago magazine | The 312 November 2011



3 years ago
Posted by mkmChicago

These photo's make my heart ache for the Chicago of my youth. I was at some of the functions depicted here, and am full of nostalgia at seeing so many long gone landmarks of my childhood.

3 years ago
Posted by Chicagoan

What a lovely set of photos from Chicago's "forgotten" history. Thank you so much for sharing!

1 year ago
Posted by mike76chicago

I enjoyed seeing all of the snapshots of Chicago during the 70's!Those were Good-Times!

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