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Sixteen days after the New York Stock Exchange began to collapse on October 26, 1929, throngs of spectators and national dignitaries gathered in Champaign for the much anticipated Illinois vs. Army football game.  

 

Later that evening, the young and wealthy socialite Henry Harris hosted an opulent party at his home at 809 West  Church Street.  Just before 11:00 PM, while Sam Zell and his College Hall Orchestra were entertaining nearly 100 guests, four assailants entered the mansion and relieved the guests of over $30,000 in cash, furs, and jewelry.  The night ended with one assailant killed, one officer injured, and three bandits on the run.  

 

Today that heist would equal nearly $500,000.   The brazen heist went down in Champaign County history and marked the local end to the roaring 20s. 

Step back to those opulent times and witness the end of the roaring twenties and the start of the great depression at the "Harris Mansion Heist"

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