1798President John Adams signs the Sedition Act into law, criminalizing false statements deemed critical of the federal government. The law expired on in 1801, shortly after Adams lost his reelection effort to Thomas Jefferson.1874Less than three years after the Great Chicago Fire, a fire destroys 47 acres of south of Chicago’s downtown in what is now the South Loop, destroying 812 wooden buildings and killing 20 people. The 1874 fire resulted in the fire insurance industry demanding code reforms from Chicago City Council.