Studs Terkel at the 1975 Bughouse Square Debates
Here at Memoryhouse, we are of the opinion that some of the most exciting personal narratives come not from the upper echelons of society, but from the fringes. During the first half of the 20th century, Washington Square Park was a hub for eccentrics, thinkers, writers, tramps, and radicals to gather, hop atop a soapbox, and espouse their opinions. The park was colloquially referred to as Bughouse Square; the word Bughouse was, at the time, slang for, well, the crazy bin.
Every summer, the fabulous Newberry Library, revives this once frenetic cultural hub. This year will feature the usual smörgåsbord of speakers and performers, both timely and absurd.
The Bughouse Debates will take place at Washington Square Park (901 N. Clark Street, across from the Newberry) on Saturday, July 28th at 1 p.m. While you’re there, be sure to check out the 28th Annual Newberry Book Fair.