American Airlines Flight 191 crashes
Photo: Frank Hanes/Chicago Tribune

May 25, 1979

A witness on the ground at O’Hare captured a nightmarish photo of the DC-10 turned sideways in the sky after losing an engine during takeoff. Seconds later, the jet plunged into a field in Des Plaines, killing all 271 people on board and two on the ground. There had been dozens of fatal crashes before that day and many more after, but none have been deadlier, outside of 9/11, or closer to home, and none made such an indelible imprint on Chicagoans’ memory.