White City/Park City Bowl and Roller Rink


From January to March 1946, African Americans picketed White City Bowl and Roller Rink to force the owners to admit black patrons. White City, which was so-named because it was the last remaining facility left after the White City Amusement Park burned down in the late 1920s, had long excluded black customers. The owners claimed the facility was a private club with the right to exclusive membership. They failed to prove that they required dues or membership cards from its white patrons, and on March 16, 1946, the rink owners finally caved to a coalition of black organizations that included the Committee for Racial Equality (CORE), the Chicago Council Against Racial and Religious Discrimination, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Alliance of Postal Employees, the United Auto Workers-CIO, the Chicago Urban League, the Dining Car Employees Union, the United Steel Workers-CIO, and the Socialist Workers Party. In 1947, the rink was turned over to new management, reopened as Park City Bowl, and opened its doors to customers of all races.

Labor Trail




345 E 63rd St

Labor Trail

The Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies (CCWCS) is proud to present the Interactive Labor Trail, made possible by a generous grant from the Illinois Humanities Council. This on-line history resource builds on “The Labor Trail: Chicago's History of Working-Class Life and Struggle,” a map of 140 significant locations in the history of labor, migration, and working-class culture in Chicago and Illinois. The Labor Trail is the product of a joint effort to showcase the many generations of dramatic struggles and working-class life in the Chicago area's rich and turbulent past. The Trail's neighborhood tours invite you to get acquainted with the events, places, and people -- often unsung -- who have made the city what it is today. In addition, the statewide map is just a starting point for further exploration of Illinois' labor heritage. This Interactive Labor Trail expands the number of locations and provides a greater depth of information, while giving map users the chance to add their knowledge of locations and events in the Chicago area’s working-class history.

We invite all individuals, groups, and institutions interested in the labor and working-class history of Chicago, Cook County, the Calumet Region, and Illinois to contribute to the map. Users can add new sites, edit or build upon existing entries with additional text, photographs, primary sources, audio and video files, as well as links to related websites.

Easy-to-use instructions for adding to the on-line version of the map are available at www.labortrail.org.

More information on the Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies is available at: www.workingclassstudies.org

The Labor Trail: Chicago's History of Working-Class Life and Struggle

Project Director:
Leon Fink, University of Illinois at Chicago

Project Advisors:
Tobias Higbie, Newberry Library
Lisa Oppenheim, Chicago Metro History Education Center
Liesl Miller Orenic, Dominican University

Administrative Director:
Jeffrey Helgeson, University of Illinois at Chicago

Project Assistants:
Aaron Max Berkowitz, University of Illinois at Chicago; John H. Flores, University of Illinois at Chicago; Erik Gellman, Northwestern University; Dan Harper, University of Illinois at Chicago; Emily LaBarbera-Twarog, University of Illinois at Chicago

Web Design:
William Atwood and Melissa Palmer