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The winds of Chicago are no match as they push their way bravely and resolutely through the Fair in their relentless pursuit of evil, in all it's many forms.

nuns.jpg

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This is just a thought.  I wish there was a way to get a closer look.  The coif and wimple (below the veil) just might be what was worn by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Sometimes known as the BVM nuns, they are a teaching order founded in the mid-19th Century.  These nuns were the teachers at Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago on December 1, 1958 when one of the worst school fires in US history occurred.  Ninety-two elementary children and three nuns died in that disaster that still haunts the city of Chicago.  In any event, Catholic religious habits did not begin to change until the 1960s.  I just wonder if those women might be BVM nuns at the Chicago fair.  The habit might be a match.  OLA school had been staffed by BVM nuns for decades prior to the fire so maybe....  I had a very good friend who was in grade four and miraculously survived that fire.

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Thank you, Bill.  It's still difficult to tell but the BVM coif, wimple and veil were very distinctive through the 20th Century until the changes that resulted from Vatican II in the mid-1960s.  And the rest of the habit was heavy and black. I think it might be possible these are, indeed, BVM nuns.   It's all just a guess.  The BVMs are a midwestern teaching order and they operated four or five Chicago schools and that could result in 75 to 100 nuns of that order in Chicago in those days.  It is just a hunch.

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Looking at some examples on Google images, I'd say the flat-topped head covering cinches it as BVM order. 

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Thanks for indulging me, Bill.  The story of the OLA fire is haunting.  My friend who survived the fire spent the rest of her life dealing with the emotional and physical damages.  But she went on to do great things as an educator in Chicago.  Her story is endlessly inspirational.  Everything I've read indicates that fire inflicted terrible  emotional wounds on the BVM  order.  To this day, the City of Chicago has never erected a memorial to all of those lost souls.  There are the cemetery memorials and one in what became the new OLA school, but no public memorial to 92 children and 3 nuns.

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