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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
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Chicago & Northeast Illinois District Council of Carpenters
12 E Erie St
Chicago, IL 60611, US
Tom Suhrbur on the History of the Carpenters' Union

Founded in Chicago on August 8, 1881, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America became a charter member of the AFL and was the forerunner of the present-day Carpenters' Union that represents over 36,000 members in northeast Illinois. The intersection of Erie and State, informally known as "Carpenters Place," has been home to the headquarters since 1925. The original three-story building was razed and is now being replaced with the Union's new home that also includes luxury apartment units and retail shopping.
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Bread Riot
N La Salle St
Chicago, IL 60610, US
In the winter of 1872-73, during a period of high unemployment, workers who gathered to protest for poor relief and food were forced into a tunnel and beaten by police.
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Site of the "Eastland Disaster"
On July 24, 1915, employees of Western Electric and their families boarded the S.S. Eastland for a company outing. The ship tragically rolled on its side while still moored to the dock and 844 passengers died.
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Chicago Tribune Tower
435 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611, US
Long anti-union, the Chicago Tribune crushed a 1985 strike by members of the Pressmen's Union, the Chicago Typographical Union, the Chicago Mailers' Union, and the Chicago Paperhandlers' Union, who rallied at the Tribune Tower.
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Lake and Franklin Wholesaler's building
227 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60606, US
One of the two oldest buildings remaining in the Loop. It once housed tanners, a steam heating company, manufacturers and various wholesalers. Provides a view of what life was like in the period immediately after the Great Fire of 1871.
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Printers' Row
Printer's Row (500 through 800 blocks of S. Dearborn, S. Federal and S. Plymouth Streets) was once home to Chicago-based printers and publishers. Now a landmark, the area has been redeveloped for residential and commercial uses.
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Tattersall's Hall
1600 S Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60616, US
Major labor hall, where on November 22, 1903, 15,000 workers and sympathizers assembled to protest against the Chicago City Railway Company and demand municipal ownership. They marched on State Street, 6,000 coming from the north, 3,000 coming from the south. During the strike of the entire nine-mile streetcar network, local and national newspapers reported widespread community support. For example, stockyard workers released flocks of sheep to block streetcar traffic, and, in another instance, eigth-grade students walked out of the Hendricks School at 43rd and Shields when their teacher arrived on a scab-operated streetcar.
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Kalo Shop
32 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60602, US
An example of one of Chicago's many shops that were part of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. Silversmith Clara Barck Welles opened Kalo in September 1900. Originally in Park Ride, Welles moved the shop to the Loop in 1914; closed in 1970. The image shows Mrs. George Welles, Miss L. Engle, and Mrs. George Soden, suffragettes on July 30, 1914. They are at the Kalo Shop, where they melted down silver objects that had been contributed in the Self Denial drive to raise money for suffrage.
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Chicago Art Silver Shop (Art Metal Studios)
61 E Monroe St
Chicago, IL 60603, US
An example of one of Chicago's many shops that were part of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. Edmund Boker & Ernest Gould opened in 1912.
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Chicago Women's Club
72 E 11th St
Chicago, IL 60605, US
African-American women's community group that hosted many events of the Chicago Urban League, a leading civil rights organization.
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Fallen Firefighter and Paramedic Memorial Park
Just outside McCormick Place, this newly dedicated park was built in honor of the 573 Chicago firemen and paramedics who died in the line of duty. One tree was planted for each of the dead.
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First Baptist Congregational Church
60 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60607, US
The Union Park Congregation Church -- a social activist congregation originally founded in 1851 by abolitionists -- built this church between 1869 and 1871. In 1910, the Union Park church merged with the city's first Congregational Church, and this building was renamed, the First Congregational Church. Since 1970, the church has been home to a black Baptist Congregational Church. The accompanying photographs show the church as it looks today, and the interior of the church as it was in 1910.
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R.C. Wieboldt's Construction Company Headquarters
1412 W Washington St/W Washington Blvd
Chicago, IL 60607, US
R.C. Wieboldt's Construction Company built all of the stores of the Wieboldt's department store chain. These stores were the targets of a Baggage, Parcel, Theatrical, and Armored Car Drivers' and Helpers' Union (AFL) strike in 1939; an early example of union busting through subcontracting.
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Plumbers' Union Hall
1340 W Washington St/W Washington Blvd
Chicago, IL 60607, US
Prominent site of meetings between the Labor Movement and politicians.
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United Electrical Workers
UE Hall
37 S Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60607, US
Founded in 1936, the UE is a militant union that left the CIO in 1949 during the Red Scare. Look for two murals. Inside is a 1970s two-story mural with scenes of labor struggles including UE history. Outside is a 1997 mural celebrating solidarity with Mexican workers.
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Painters' District Council No. 14, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
1456 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60607, US
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Haymarket Statue in Police Training Academy
1300 W Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60607, US
This 1907 photograph (Chicago History Museum, ICHi - 28783) shows Chicago police officers commemorating the twenty-second anniversary of the Haymarket Incident. The "veterans of Haymarket" are standing around a statue originally erected in 1889 with funds from the Union League Club to memorialize the officers who died on, or soon after, the May 4, 1886, incident. On May 4, 1927, a streetcar jumped its tracks (perhaps intentionally) and crashed into the monument. This original statue survived until it was blown up in October 1969, reportedly by activists from the Weather Underground. The city replaced the statue, but it was destroyed again one year later. For two years, Chicago police officers guarded the statue twenty-four hours a day, but finally the city placed it inside the courtyard of the police-training academy.
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Chicago Federation of Labor Headquarters
W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60612, US
This is the site of the new CFL headquarters, and is currently under construction.
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UFCW Local 546
1649 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60612, US
Originally UFCW 100. Heir to the Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee. Contained the Beef Boners Clinic, where thousands of workers recieved medical care over the years.
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Milk Wagon Drivers Union, Local 753
220 S Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60607, US
The union acquired the property in 1922 with 50,000 members; home of Baggage, Parcel, Theatrical and Armored Car Drivers' and Helpers' Union.
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Teamster City
300 S Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60607, US
This complex is home to numerous Chicago Teamster Locals, including Local 705, the nation's largest. See the 1997 UPS strike mural by Mike Alewitz titled, "Teamster Power" on the north side of the building.
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UNITE! Hall
333 S Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60607, US
The original home of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, "Amalgamated Center," built in 1928, served as a cultural, social and educational center for workers with a library, bowling alley, gymnasium and dental clinic.
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Chicago Commons Buidling
955 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60622, US
Founded in 1894, Graham Taylor's Chicago Commons settlement house moved into this building in 1901. The Chicago Commons provided a place for social and political gatherings, as well as one of the first kindergartens in the U.S. and other educational and vocational classes for Chicago's many European immigrants. As Taylor -- shown in the accompanying photograph in 1917 -- said, "It was the very gateway to the Northwest Side" for Irish, Italian, and later Eastern European immigrants. The Commons "free-floor" meetings also held an important place in Chicago's free speech tradition. On November 11, 1906 -- the ninth anniversary of the execution of her husband, Albert Parsons, for his part in the Haymarket Incident -- Lucy Parsons stepped to the floor to describe her path to anarchism. For Taylor, this was "the supreme test to the freedom of the floor," but Parsons was allowed to speak, and, in an understated address, she described how she "became convinced that nothing short of the end of the existing capitalistic order would bring either justice or peace."
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Haymarket Affair
170 N Desplaines St
Chicago, IL 60661, US
This tour of the 1886 Haymarket Affair is based on historian William J. Adelman's book, "Haymarket Revisited," (Illinois History Society, 1976), and the guided tours Adelman has been leading for years.

Michael P. Conzen and Christopher P. Thale created this wonderful map in the Encylopedia of Chicago History showing the Labor Unrest in Chicago, April 25-May 4, 1886, leading up to the Haymarket Incident.

Click on the following links to find out more:

*Haymarket Square, Cranes Alley, and Zepfs Hall
*Former Cook County Courthouse, Jail, and Gallows Alley
*Police Statue
*Desplaines Street Police Station
*Waldheim Cemetery with Martyrs Row and the Grave of the Haymarket Eight
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Union Health Center
1634 W Polk St
Chicago, IL 60612, US
Built in 1965 by the Service Employees International Union, this health center provides union members affordable medical care.
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Jane Addams Homes
W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607, US
One of the first federally funded public housing projects, built between 1935 and 1937, and now being demolished. Originally, the site housed the Irish-Catholic Sacred Heart Convent. It was sold in the early 1900s to the Jewish immigrant community who built a Hebrew Cultural Center. The accompanying photograph from the late 1930s shows children playing on sculptures created by WPA artists. (Chicago History Museum, ICHi-23379)
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Jane Addams' Hull House
800 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60607, US
Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr founded this center of Progressive Era reform that provided housing, meals, education, and work to the local immigrant community. Also a center of movements against child labor and government corruption, and for women's rights.
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West Side Auditorium
S Racine Ave
Chicago, IL 60607, US
Former site of the West Side Auditorium. Site of funeral procesion for labor leader Joe Hill on November 25, 1915. Despite international appeals in his defense, Hill was executed for a murder committed while he was organizing workers in Salt Lake City, Utah. Members of the Industrial Workers of the World brought Hill's body to Chicago and spread his ashes on the graves of the Haymarket Martyrs.
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St. Francis of Assisi Church (1853)
813 W Roosevelt Rd
Chicago, IL 60608, US
First German Catholic parish on the West Side. Membership changed with surrounding neighborhood to become predominantly Italian in the 1910s, and later a center of the Mexican community.
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West Side Turner Hall
W Roosevelt Rd
Chicago, IL 60607, US
Former site of Turner Hall. On January 4, 1874, workers formed the Workingman's Party of Illinois here. On July 21, 1877, it was the site of a torchlight meeting that marked Chicago's entry into the Great Upheaval, a nationwide uprising of railroad workers.
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O'Leary Cottage
W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607, US
Former site of the O'Leary Cottage, origin of the 1871 Chicago fire.
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Marina City Towers
300 N State St
Chicago, IL 60610, US
a. The Marina City Towers were built in the 1960s with initial funding from the pension fund of the Building Service Employees Union. Originally intended to provide low cost housing for union members, the building ultimately was converted into expensive condominiums. The accompanying photograph shows the Towers under construction in 1961. Note the WCFL banner; the Towers housed the radio voice of the Chicago Federation of Labor. (Chicago History Museum, HB-27349-A)
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Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments
54 E 47th St
Chicago, IL 60653, US
Constructed in 1929, with funding from Julius Rosenwald, a major Chicago philanthropist and co-owner of Sears Roebuck and Co. Despite the Depression of the 1930s, the Garden Apartments became one of the cornerstones of the thriving 47th Street commercial and residential district. In the buildings 421 units, Chicago's black middle class -- including sociologist Horace Cayton, musician Quincy Jones, and boxer Joe Louis, among others -- found good housing within the "Black Belt." Residents had access to a playground and courtyard, as well as storefront retail space that housed a Sears, Walgreen's, A & P Grocery, and a Pullman Porters credit union.
For more information, see: http://www.nationaltrust.org/11most/2003/michiganblvd.html
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Cafe de Champion
41 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60616, US
On July 12, 1912, black boxer Jack Johnson opened the Cafe de Champion. In 1910, Johnson became the first black heavyweight champion of the world, and a hero to the black masses, when he beat James J. Jeffries, one of a string of "great white hopes." Johnson famously refused to conform to conventional racial stereotypes, which demanded that a famous black man like Johnson act submissively in public, and avoid even the appearance of a relationship with a white woman. On the contrary, Johnson spoke his mind in public and married three times to white women. His second marriage to Lucille Cameron caused an uproar, and the federal government ultimately charged Johnson with a violation of the Mann Act, a 1910 law that banned transportation of white women across state lines for "immoral purposes." Facing prosecution, Johnson and Cameron fled to France, and the Cafe de Champion ultimately closed.
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Pekin Theater
2700 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616, US
In 1905, Robert T. Motts opened the Pekin Theater, as an extension of his beer garden (opened 1900). Mott funded the theater with gambling earnings. The theater was the first in Chicago to feature black performers, and open interracial audiences. The Theater became a key part of "The Stroll" a stretch of State Street between Twenty-sixth and Thirty-ninth Streets, where "the masses and classes" of black Chicago found restaurants, theaters, music clubs, and retail shops.
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UPWA District #1 Hall with the Mural, "The Worker," and Oral Histories
4859 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60615, US
In 1974, renowned muralist William Walker completed "The Worker," a depiction of the work and labor struggles of Chicago's packinghouse workers. The mural is located on the exterior south wall of the Charles Hayes Family Investment Center, a Chicago Park District Building, which was once the union hall for District #1 of the United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA). The union building was a key site for organizing and community meetings. To name just one of many examples, in December 1949, the union hosted the Conference to End Mob Violence, which sought to end violence against black Chicagoans who had moved into previously all-white neighborhoods. The Conference included black and white activists from labor unions, the Chicago Urban League, and other local organizations. It was labeled as a "Communist-inspired movement." In this video, legendary UPWA activist Reverend Addie Wyatt describes her experiences in the Union, including the benefits she received from membership in the UPWA -- including a maternity leave in 1942 -- as well as her work as the vice president of her union local. Also, see this transcript of historian Betty Balanoff's 1977 Interview with Rev. Wyatt in which Wyatt discusses her childhood, her introduction to the union movement, and many experiences in the labor civil rights movement. Finally, in this video, Professor Timuel Black, Chicago historian, educator, and labor activist, describes the founding of the Negro American Labor Council, the UPWA's role in organizing the 1963 March on Washington, and the implications of a declining union movement. Black was president of the Chicago Chapter of the NALC, as well as chair of the Chicago organizing committee for the March on Washington.
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Cook County Hospital
1400 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60607, US
In March 1913, Cook County laid the cornerstone of the County Hospital, a key medical resource for Chicago's poor. This two-block long Beaux Arts style building was home to the nation's first blood bank, and provided low-cost medical care to uninsured patients. The hospital's mission is, "To provide a Comprehensive Program of Quality Health Care with Respect and Dignity, to the residents of Cook County, regardless of their ability to pay."
For further information, see http://www.landmarks.org/preservation_news_cook.htm
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Sokol Havlicek Tyrs
2619 S Lawndale Ave
Chicago, IL 60623, US
Along with Sokol Chicago at 2345 S. Kedzie, Sokol Havlicek Tyrs was an important community center for Chicago's Bohemian (Czech) community. Founded in the 1860s in Prague by Miroslav Tyrs, the Sokol movement was grounded in the ancient Greek emphasis on the harmony of body and mind, "kalokagathia."
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V and V Supremo
2100 S Throop St
Chicago, IL 60608, US
Video of Sarita Gupta Describing Jobs with Justice and the V & V Supremo Strike

In the spring of 2001, the 150 workers at V & V Supremo Cheese Company, went out on strike. Two-thirds of the workers were in production and fought for recognition, while the one-third were distribution workers who had union representation but no contract. As Sarita Gupta explains, the workers -- most of whom were Mexican immigrants, many undocumented -- were organizing through a core union, but needed to fight the widespread presumption that low-paid immigrant workers could not be organized. Teamsters Local 703 worked with Jobs With Justice, St. Pius Church, U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez, and many other community and faith-based groups. Together, they won public support through articles in the Latino press, and through at least forty-five actions at local stores where they pressured consumers and storeowners to refuse to purchase V & V products. The union also used non-traditional organizing tactics such as the card-check, an alternative to the National Labor Relations Board bargaining process that allows workers to secure union recognition if a majority of employees in the bargaining unit sign union cards within a given time frame. In January 2002, the V & V workers gained recognition for their Teamsters Local 703 union. Still, the owners of V & V Supremo refused to bargain with the union.
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Carousel Linen Rentals
454 Sheridan Rd
Highwood, IL 60040, US
Video of Katie Jordan Describing the Carousel Strike
In the fall of 2001, the workers at the Carousel Linen Company, went out on strike to demand union representation. For years, the thirty-seven women and three men (all of whom were Mexican-Americans) had suffered sweatshop conditions at minimum wages with few if any pay raises. The workers finally walked when they discovered that an injured co-worker was left unaided on the shop floor for 1 ½ hours. As activist Katie Jordan reports in the accompany audio, the workers declared, "It's better to die on your feet than to live a lifetime on your knees." The Carousel workers won widespread support from labor, community, church, and student groups across the metropolitan region, such as the Student Labor Action Project, the workers at V & V Supremo Cheese Company who were also on strike at the time, the Day Laborers Project, Jobs With Justice, the Chicago Teachers Union, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2858, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1, the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees (HERE) Local 1, and the AFL-CIO. Together these groups pressured politicians to support the Carousel workers, and they held a rally at the Chicago Wedding Expo to publicize the struggle with Carousel. In addition, the Illinois General Assembly formally affirmed their right to union representation. Copy of HR0884 On June 18, 2002, after thirty-eight-week struggle, the Carousel workers won their first contract with UNITE. The three-year contract included an 85 cents per hour raise (above the $6.15 per hout minimum), family health care, a pension, and a grievance process. For their bold struggle, labor activist Katie Jordan has named the road in front of Carousel Linens, "Brave Workers Lane."
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Associated Negro Press/Supreme Life Insurance Co. (1921)
3507 S Dr Martin L King Jr Dr
Chicago, IL 60653, US
Frank L. Gillespie's Liberty Life Insurance Company, one of the first black-owned insurance companies, moved into this builing in 1921. Eight years later, Liberty Life merged with two other companies to become Supreme Life Insurance. Many of its executives used their positions in the company to become community advocates and civil rights activists. In addition, Claude A. Barnett, who was on the board of Supreme Life Insurance, kept the offices of his Associated Negro Press in this building. Barnett's ANP was the largest wire service for the national network of African-American newspapers. Between 1919 and 1964, the ANP provided a packet of political and cultural news that was often not otherwise covered in white-owned newspapers.
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A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum
10406 S Maryland Ave
Chicago, IL 60628, US
Founded in 1995 by Lyn Hughes, the museum is located in the Historic Pullman District. Named for the Pullman porters and the leader of their groundbreaking union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP). The museum's mission is to promote "the study, preservation, interpretation, and enjoyment of African-American history and culture. The permanent collection displays exhibits which are pertinent to the study of the Pullman Historic District, the Great Migration, American Labor History, A. Philip Randolph, the Pullman Porters, and the American Civil Rights Movement." The accompanying photograph shows a group of fourteen Pullman Porters posed in front of the Pullman clocktower, which still stands just to the south of today's A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum (Chicago History Museum, ICHi-22611). See also the entry for the BSCP Chicago Division Headquarters at 4321 South Michigan Avenue .
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Former Site of Poro College
4401 S King Dr/s Dr Martin L King Jr Dr
Chicago, IL 60653, US
Poro College trained African American women to work as sales agents for a highly successful black-owned line of beauty products. Founded in 1917 in St. Louis by Annie T. P. Malone, Poro expanded quickly and moved to Chicago in 1930. Malone, like fellow beauty product tycoon Madame C. J. Walker, provided jobs and social mobility for black women at a time when nearly all working black women held low-paying, back-breaking domestic service jobs. The Irvin C. Mollison Public School now stands on the site. The accompanying photograph shows the Poro product line in the 1920s. (Chicago History Museum, ICHi - 24667).
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Chicago Federation of Musicians, Local 208
5320 S Drexel Ave
Chicago, IL 60615, US
In 1901, white musicians in Chicago created the Chicago Federation of Musicians, Local 10. The city's black musicians formed their own Local 208. The two locals remained segregated until 1966. Local 208 was one of the most powerful black musicians' union locals in the country, ensuring that a large membership of famous and not-so-famous musicians in Chicago would have access to jobs at standard wage scales. The accompanying photograph shows black musicians paying dues at the Local 208 offices. (Chicago History Museum, ICHi - 21106)
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Giles Armory
3517 S Giles Ave
Chicago, IL 60653, US
Constructed in 1915, this building was home to the "Fighting Eighth," an all-black army regiment. The Eighth Infantry, 370th U.S. National Guard, Illinois, was mustered in 1898, and served under African American officers during both the Spanish-American War and World War I. Prior to the construction of this building, the regiment was housed in a barn at Thirty-seventh Street and Michigan Avenue. The Fighting Eighth became a key point of pride in black Chicago, and important evidence that black Chicagoans had paid the price for equal citizenship. This was the first armory in the United States built for a black military regiment. The armory also served as an important gathering place for black organizations. For example, in February 1936, the National Negro Congress – including laborers, clergy, artists, and seeking an end to the Depression and racial discrimination – convened here, attracting over 8,000 visitors. The NNC helped forge a new working-class oriented leadership and black labor militancy to liberate African Americans. The accompanying photograph shows the approximately 3,000 members of the regiment gathered in front of the armory before they shipped to France in 1915.
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Sunset Cafe
315 E 35th St
Chicago, IL 60616, US
The Sunset Cafe was an important Chicago jazz club, hosting legendary musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Earl "Fatha" Hines during the 1920s. In 1937, the club was renamed the Grand Terrace Cafe. Later, it became the 2nd Ward Democratic Headquarters for Bill Dawson's notorious Democratic submachine. The accompanying photograph shows the club in its incarnation as the Plantation Cafe, which Al Capone allegedly opened in 1924 as a speakeasy (an illegal nightclub that served alcohol during Prohibition). (Chicago History Museum, ICHi - 14428)
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Bubbly Creek
1300 W 35th St
Chicago, IL 60609, US
The 35th Street bridge over the South Branch of the Chicago River crosses over what was once known as "Bubbly Creek." Refuse from the worlds' largest packinghouses nearby drained into the river. "Bubbly Creek" was a notorious example of the severe environmental pollution that has commonly affected working-class neighborhoods in the shadow of large industrial sites. The accompanying photograph shows a man "skimming" an unknown substance from the river in 1905. (Chicago History Museum, ICHi -23820)
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Pullman Clock Tower and Administration Building
Built in 1880 to house the executive offices of the Pullman Palace Car Company, these buildings are currently under renovation. The accompanying photograph shows an everyday scene in 1914 with Pullman workers walking to or from work. The clock tower is in the background. (Chicago History Museum - ICHi - 23043)
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Lake Meadows
3300 S Cottage Grove Ave
Chicago, IL 60616, US
Lake Meadows is a twelve-building housing development built on "slum clearance" land near South Parkway (now King Drive) between 31st and 35th Streets. The Illinois Institute of Technology and Michael Reese Hospital organized the South Side Planning Board, which planned the community and secured funding from New York Life Insurance Company. The ground breaking was held in 1952, and the units were built between 1953 and 1968. Initially, Lake Meadows stood as an example of an interracial, middle-class community, although eventually it became a largely black community. The accompanying photograph from 1950 shows an alley in the neighborhood not long before it was cleared for the Lake Meadows apartments. (Chicago History Museum, ICHi - 00825) Lake Meadows is a remarkable example of private urban renewal. But it is just one example of clearance projects that displaced mixed-income black communities in post-World War II Chicago, and increased competition in already overcrowded housing markets in community areas on the South and West Sides.
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Stateway Gardens
Stateway Gardens is currently being torn down and redeveloped as mixed-income, low-rise housing. Completed in 1958, this thirty-three-acre public housing development with eight high-rise buildings and 1,644 apartments was one of the largest of the Chicago Housing Authority's (CHA) projects. The accompanying photograph shows existing housing being cleared for Stateway Gardens' construction. (Chicago History Museum, ICHi - 00792) Stateway Gardens was part of the State Street corridor of high-rise public housing that also included the Robert Taylor Homes. Built within a segregated black neighborhood, the State Street projects became notorious examples of public housing that suffered from high crime rates, high unemployment, and a severe lack of public services. Despite these trials, some residents of Stateway Gardens and other CHA projects also created tight-knit communities and strong, democratic residents' councils. Residents of CHA housing continue to publish a nationally renowned print and on-line newsletter, the Residents' Journal (http://www.wethepeoplemedia.org/Index.html). The Journal provides residents' perspectives on the contemporary redevelopment of Chicago's public housing and other political issues.
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Battle of the Viaduct
The "Great Upheaval" of 1877, which began in Baltimore, Maryland, and Martinsburg, West Virginia, as a railroad strike against wage cuts during a severe economic depression, quickly spread west and to other industries. On July 23, workers at the yards of Michigan Central Railroad (Randolph and Michigan Ave) walked off the job, beginning a virtual general strike. Streetcars, ships, and factories were quiet on July 24. Tensions peaked in Chicago on July 25 and 26, when German Furniture Workers clashed with police at Turner Hall near Halsted and Roosevelt Road (see accompanying illustration). Through the rest of that afternoon and night, workers from the surrounding area battled police officers, federal troops, and state militia. Workers and police officers squared off at the 16th Street Viaduct. The less-than-sympathetic New York Times described the scene: By 10:30 in the morning, the New York Times reported, "there were not less than 10,000 men present. The undecided peacefulness of the horde had vanished. Their numbers seemed to inspire them with the valor of savages. They were bent on violence and hesitated at nothing. The north approach of the Halsted Street Viaduct" -- the point from which the accompanying picture was taken -- "and the structure itself was blocked with a mass of rioters." The Times described charges and counter-charges with rocks flying from the workers' side and police swinging clubs and firing rifles. By the end of the next day, at least 30 workers were dead and 100 wounded; no police officers or soldiers died, but at least 13 were seriously wounded. Employers responded to the strikes, which President Hayes called "an insurrection," by working with local police forces to maintain "law and order." The 1877 Upheaval marked a key turning point in American history. As historian Richard Schneirov has argued, after 1877 "the labor question replaced the slave question, class conflict threatened to overshadow sectional conflict, and urban-industrial issues rivaled rural-agrarian issues. Americans had to rethink their very identity." See Richard Schneirov, Labor and Urban Politics: Class Conflict and the Origins of Modern Liberalism in Chicago, 1864-97 (University of Illinois Press, 1998), pp. 69-70.
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Memorial Day Massacre
11700 S Burley Ave
Chicago, IL 60617, US
Video of Leon Despres Describing the Memorial Day Massacre

Site of the Memorial Day Massacre in 1937 when workers at Republic Steel joined 85,000 workers at other steel plants in a mass strike organized by the CIO’s Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC). To stop the picketing, approximately 200 Chicago police officers set up a barrier across 117th Street. In a matter of minutes the police fired over 200 shots, four marchers were fatally shot, six other were mortally wounded, and thirty others suffered gunshot wounds. The gunshot wounds of the dead were all back or side wounds. The accompanying photograph shows the melee in progress with police officers and others wielding clubs against demonstrators. Leon Despres Describes the Republic Steel Massacre
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McVickers Theater
25 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60602, US
In 1857, James McVicker opened a theater to bring "legitimate" theater and opera to Chicago. Later, the theater would also present minstrel shows, which historians have described as a key part of northern urban working-class culture during the nineteenth century. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed the original building, McVicker rebuilt the theater -- shown in the attached photo (Chicago History Museum, DN - 0000483) -- at the same site. In 1922, this version of McVicker's was demolished and replaced by an even grander theater. By the middle of the twentieth century, McVickers was a movie theater. The final incarnation was demolished in the 1980s.
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Foote Bros. Gear and Machine Company
5225 S Western Blvd/s Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60609, US
In the 1920s, Foote Bros. was located at 213 N. Curtis Street, but by World War II the factory had moved to the burgeoning industrial corridor in the Brighton Park community area at 5225 South Western Boulevard. This photo of Captain Foss, United States Marine Core Reserves, visiting the Foote Bros. plant evokes the industrial expansion in Chicago during World War II. Although Chicago's industries had a relatively late start in war production, by 1942 scores of plants converted from production for the consumer market to war production. Foote Bros. produced gears for Pratt and Whitney engines used in military planes and in blimps that flew over U.S. Naval convoys, alerting them to approaching submarines and other enemy craft. The skilled work at Foote Bros. was largely the domain of white workers. Also shown here were some of the women who famously entered industrial work at greater rates than ever before the war. In the 1940s, workers at Foote Bros belonged to the radical United Electrical Workers (UE) union. Between 1945 and 1949, the workers split over membership in UE; the Chicago Tribune reported on "revolt against Communist leadership" in the union. In May 1950, after UE's leadership refused to sign anti-Communist affidavits and the CIO expelled the union, Foote Bros. employees voted 444 to 165 to end their affiliation with UE, joining the CIO's International Union of Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers.
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Pioneer Court
435 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611, US
Rallying site for an August 23, 2002, march of 4,000 hotel workers along Michigan Avenue. The workers marched as part of their fight for a new contract with Chicago's hotels. On August 1, 2002, a five-year citywide hotel contract covering 7,000 workers expired. As of that time, Chicago's hotels severely underpaid and overworked their employees. For example, a housekeeper in Chicago earned $8.83 per hour and cleaned sixteen rooms per day, while a comparable worker in New York City earned $18.15 per hour and worked thirty-five hours per week. The hotel workers, sixty percent of whom were members of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) Local 1 (now UNITE HERE Local 1), pressured hotel owners to bargain for a new contract. Many other unions, churches, and community organizations joined in to support the hotel workers. In July 2002, for example, Teamsters Local 705, proved space for a massive food drive to prepare for a potential strike to which over 100 churches and other organizations contributed. On August 12, 2002, 4,000 members of UNITE HERE gathered at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, and 98% of the workers voted in favor of a strike if necessary. With this show of solidarity and militancy, UNITE HERE ultimately won a citywide contract in 2002, which, accoring to the union's website, covered "nearly all union hotels downtown. Workers won major wage and benefit increases. Housekeepers who had been making $8.83 an hour now earn $11.05." The final raise to $12.10 an hour went into effect on May 1, 2006.
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BO Packing
Former Swift Company packing plant, one of the few remaining in the Stock Yards. The accompanying photos show BO Packinghouse as it looks today, as well as the Swift Company Office Building in the Union Stocyards on June 8, 1918, and the stockyards cattle pens as they looked in the 1940s.
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Belgian Hall
2625 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60647, US
Note cornerstone reading, "All Belgians are Equal;" meeting place of the Chicago Flat Janitors Union, forerunner to the Service Employees International Union.
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Miner's Homecoming
Completed in 1904 and erected in Humboldt Park in 1911, sculptor Charles J. Mulligan's statue of a young girl meeting a returning miner stands as a memorial to the 259 victims of the 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster in northern Illinois. "The Miner's Homecoming," also known as "The Miner and his Child" or "Image of Home," is located at the entrance to Humboldt Park at the West Division Street and North California Avenue in the West Town community area of Chicago, Illinois.
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Original Sears Tower
900 S Homan Ave
Chicago, IL 60624, US
The tower was at the center of the Sears, Roebuck & Co., compound that was the largest employer in North Lawndale and Garfield Park from 1906 to the 1960s. At its peak, Sears headquarters and distribution center (shown in the accompanying photograph) in North Lawndale employed more than 35,000 people. When large numbers of African Americans settled in North Lawndale between the late 1940s and 1960s, Sears continued to employ a nearly all-white workforce. White workers commuted into the plant, while black workers in the area struggled to find jobs. Beginning in 1954, Sears was the largest supporter of the Greater Lawndale Conservation Commission [GLCC], a group of local residents and business leaders that sought to maintain the middle-class character of the neighborhood and to stem the tide of large-scale black migration. The leaders of the Association of Block Councils of Greater Lawndale such as Gloria Pughsley, Dorothy Sutton Branch, and L. C. Branch, grew frustrated with the limits Sears officials placed on the GLCC programs, and broke away from the GLCC to form the Lawndale People's Planning Action Committee (LPPAC). As LPPAC member Rose Marie Love put it, the LPPAC "wanted to do something the conservative portion of GLCC did not want to get involved in," to build housing and develop jobs for low-income residents. In 1974, Sears moved its offices back to the Loop, and in 1987, closed down the distribution facility. In the 1990s, on 54 acres of land formerly used by Sears Roebuck as parking lots, a mix of public and private funds created the Homan Square development, which offers rental and owner-occupied housing, a community center, and office space.
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Vorwaerts Turner Hall
2431 W Roosevelt Rd
Chicago, IL 60608, US
Athletic club, community center, and labor meeting place for working-class Germans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
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Farm Equipment Workers Organizing Committee
1100 S Oakley Blvd/s Oakley Ave
Chicago, IL 60612, US
Representing 25,000 workers in the Midwest, the FEWOC was at the center of the CIO's attempts to organize workers at plants such as International Harvester. Now houses the Cook County Hospital Annex.
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Illinois & Michigan Canal
Begun in 1836 and completed in 1848, the I & M Canal was an important early public works project. It brought many Irish immigrant workers, who christened the area Bridgeport in the 1840s.
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Depression-Era Protest, May 6, 1932
N 24th Ave
Melrose Park, IL 60160, US
On May 6, 1932, at a Communist organized mass meeting against abysmal Depression conditions, police fired into a crowd of more than 1,000 people who gathered in an empty lot after the permit to hold an indoor meeting was denied. Eight demonstrators were shot in the legs, and 51 others (49 men and two women) were later indicted by the Grand Jury for this "riot."
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Waldheim Cemetery
863 Des Plaines Ave
Forest Park, IL 60130, US
Originally founded by German Masonic lodges in 1873, Waldheim contains "Dissenters' Row," 24 graves of noted radicals and labor heroes such as Lucy Parsons, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Emma Goldman, and William Z. Foster. The centerpiece is the monument at the graves of the Haymarket Eight convicted for their part in the 1886 Haymarket Riot, four of whom were hanged on "Black Friday," November 11, 1887.
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Western Electric Co., Hawthorne Works
When Western Electric moved from its plant at 500 South Clinton Street to the new Hawthorne Works in 1904, it joined International Harvester as a key employer for residents on the West Side. Until it closed in 1983, the Hawthorne Works employed approximately 20,000 workers. This was the site where George Elton Mayo's 1927-32 experiments first described an important phenomenon for management control, now known as the "Hawthorne Effect." Namely, Mayo asserted that improvements in production occurred not in response to actual improvements in working conditions but because employees' perceived that management was interested in those improvements.
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Santa Fe Corwith Rail Yards
Established in 1887, this was one of the busiest railroad yards in the nation well into the 20th century, the area made Brighton Park a major industrial neighborhood. The Crane Manufacturing Company (1915), 41st and Kedzie, took advantage of this access to rail transportation and became the largest employer in the area.
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United Steelworkers of America Local 2047
4145 S Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60632, US
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Washburne Trade School
The Washburne Trade School both created opportunities for Chicago's workers, and helped to maintain the racial exclusivity of the city's craft unions. Opened in 1919 under a federal mandate to train trades workers, the Washburne Trade and Continuation School moved from the intersection of West 14th Street and Union Street to 31st Street and Kedzie in 1958. See: Washburne School "The Harvard of trade schools," provided general skills training and housed apprenticeship training programs jointly sponsored by unions, contractors, and the Chicago Board of Education. Like the Chicago Schools in general, Washburne has a controversial history. From the 1920s to the 1960s, Washburne was virtually all-white; African American youth attended Dunbar Vocational Center, which did not even have high school level programs until 1952. As late as 1960, only twenty-six of the school's 2,700 apprentices were black. During the larger movement in the 1960s to desegregate Chicago's schools, civil rights organizations pressured the Board of Education to integrate apprenticeship programs, and the percentage of African Americans, Latinos, and women in Washburne's programs increased through the 1970s and 1980s. At the same time, however, the number of apprenticeship programs decreased as unions pulled out of Washburne to open suburban training facilities. These unions included plumbers, ironworkers, cement masons and glaziers, and, in 1986, carpenters, pipe fitters and electricians. Painters and drywall finishers left in the mid-1990s. In 1965, 17 unions maintained programs at Washburne, but by 1978 there were only 8 unions at the school and 2 by the mid-1990s when the city merged Washburne with the City College system. Its major program now is the Culinary Institute.
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Ebenezer Lutheran Church
1650 W Foster Ave/us-41
Chicago, IL 60640, US
Religious and cultural center for Swedish immigrant community of Andersonville (north Uptown) built 1904-1912
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Swedish American Museum Center
5211 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640, US
Exhibits, including the Children's Museum of Immigration, detail the history of Swedish immigration to Andersonville, which began in the 1850s. Andersonville grew after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, when Swedish immigrants who could not afford to build the now mandatory brick or stone houses relocated to the Uptown settlement.
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Rooming House
This building provided rooms for Swedish male workers: Residents ate at Simon's Tavern, 5210 N. Clark.
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Edgewater Beach Hotel
5349 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60640, US
Originally a lakefront resort, the hotel housed the CIO-sponsored Chicago Consumer Cooperative, which opened in 1947 to a crowd of 1,200.
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American Indian Center
1630 W Wilson Ave
Chicago, IL 60640, US
Established in 1953 in response to federal relocation policies which pushed Native Americans to cities, this is the oldest and longest running urban Indian Center in the country and serves members of over 50 tribes.
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Aragon Ballroom
1106 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60640, US
Built in 1926, the ornate "Moorish" ballroom was an Uptown destination through the 1940s.
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People's Church of Chicago
941 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60640, US
Housed in the former Pantheon Theatre, the Christian Unitarian church founded by liberal Reverend Dr. Preston Bradley with a membership of over 4,000 in the 1940s, served as a center for social action through the 1960s.
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Segregated Block
In 1940, white community leaders began a segregation campaign to legally restrict African-American renters or owners to "that block which is entirely inhabited by Negroes." Block residents included Rollands Lambert, the first black priest ordained by the Archdiocese of Chicago.
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Jobs Or Income Now (JOIN) Office
4533 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60640, US
Between 1964 and 1968 Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) worked with poor Uptown residents, particularly Appalachian migrants to build community organizations.
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Graceland Cemetery
4001 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60613, US
Includes gravesites of Gov. John Peter Altgeld who pardoned those arrested at Haymarket, Allan Pinkerton, founder of the union-busting detective firm, George Pullman, owner of the Pullman Palace Car Co. and town of Pullman (see accompanying photograph), and Chicago Mayor Carter Henry Harrison Sr., ally of 19th century labor movement and immigrant communities.
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Gutmann Tannery
W Webster Ave
Chicago, IL 60614, US
Until 2009, this was one of two such establishments left in Chicago. From the Webster Street Bridge near the former site of the Gutmann Tannery, view remnants of Chicago's extensive riverfront industry.
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A. Finkl & Sons
2011 N Southport Ave
Chicago, IL 60614, US
World leader in forging die steels.
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Milwaukee Two-Flats
1414 N Greenview Ave
Chicago, IL 60622, US
Note false fronts created by striving owner-occupiers to distinguish residences from each other.
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Kosciuszco Public Bath
1444 N Greenview Ave
Chicago, IL 60622, US
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Tenement Housing
Immigrant tenement housing. For more examples, see 1402 Noble (1895) and 1410 Noble (1883).
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Pulaski Park Fieldhouse
In 1912, the West Park Commission created Pulaski Park as part of a citywide effort to provide open spaces for recreation in crowded immigrant neighborhoods. Like other parks of the time, Pulaski Park provided public baths and affordable hot meals. In 1914, the Park Commission added a field house and pool, which is shown in the accompanying photograph.
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St. Stanislaus Kostka Church
The mother church of all Polish Catholic congregations in Chicago," St. Stanislaus Kostka was first organized in 1867. This church was built between 1876 and 1881, and seats 1,500 people. By the beginning of the twentieth century, approximately 40,000 people worshipped at St. Stanislaus, while nearly 4,500 children attended the attached school. In the 1950s, the surrounding population saved the church from demolition for what became the Kennedy Expressway. The Expressway passes directly behind the church. The accompanying photographs show a group of boys playing in front of the church while a balloon vendor passes by, and a crowd watching firefighters trying to extinguish a 1906 blaze at the school. (See: Pacyga and Skerrett, Chicago: City of Neighborhoods, pp. 167 and 178.) TRUE Religious Institutions 9999 1351 W Evergreen Ave, Chicago, IL, 60622, US 1351 W Evergreen Ave 60622 Cook Chicago IL US 41.906177 -87.662022 /photos/2/53/23347_l.jpg 1024 738 Chicago History Museum, DN-0004456 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003OnQ
130978 Polish Women's Alliance TRUE Community 9999 1309 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL, 60622, US 1309 N Ashland Ave 60622 Cook Chicago IL US 41.905474 -87.66756 /photos/1/90/17878_l.jpg 575 767 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003OnR
130980 Polish Bank and Newspaper Building A large white stone building on the northeast corner of the intersection, initially housed a Polish bank and later the Polish newspaper Dziennik Zwiazkowy. TRUE Community 9999 1201 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL, 60622, US 1201 N Milwaukee Ave 60622 Cook Chicago IL US 41.903435 -87.666596 /photos/1/90/17883_l.jpg 1023 609 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003OnT
130981 Polish National Alliance Former home of the Polish National Alliance, giant fraternal order and secular-nationalist rival to the Polish Roman Catholic Union, held its first national convention in Chicago in 1880. TRUE Community 9999 1520 W Division St, Chicago, IL, 60622, US 1520 W Division St 60622 Cook Chicago IL US 41.903383 -87.665839 /photos/1/90/17882_l.jpg 1024 768 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003OnU
130983 Holy Trinity Church Built in 1893 in high-Renaissance style, this church competed with St. Stanislaus. Holy Trinity was generally more Polish-nationalistic. TRUE Religious Institutions 9999 1120 N Noble St, Chicago, IL, 60622, US 1120 N Noble St 60622 Cook Chicago IL US 41.901951 -87.662556 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003OnW
130984 Northwestern University Settlement House Designed by architect Irving K. Pond and initially directed by sociologist Charles Zeublin, the Northwestern University Settlement House was founded in 1891 -- two years after Hull House opened. Northwestern Settlement House served the mainly Polish immigrant population. The accompanying photographs show Anna Kralovec, a nurse, and Dr. R. M. Hutchinson with women and babies gathered around a table in the House in 1919, and the House as it stands today. TRUE Community 9999 1400 W Augusta Blvd, Chicago, IL, 60622, US 1400 W Augusta Blvd 60622 Cook Chicago IL US 41.899788 -87.662643 /photos/2/53/23348_l.jpg 964 768 Chicago History Museum, DN-0070951 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003OnX
130987 Polish Roman Catholic Union National Headquarters Formed in 1873, this fraternal organization also houses the Polish Museum of America, including archives and exhibits. TRUE Community 9999 1000 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL, 60622, US 1000 N Milwaukee Ave 60622 Cook Chicago IL US 41.899886 -87.661092 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003On[
131001 Statue of Carter Harrison Carter Harrison (1825-1893) served twice as the Democratic Mayor of Chicago (1879-1887 & Apr. to Oct. 1893). He built a political coalition along lines of ethnic and class issues and remained relatively friendly to the working class even during the Haymarket clash. Harrison was assassinated by a frustrated office seeker just before the closing of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. TRUE Community 9999 41.882966 -87.665813 /photos/1/90/17888_l.jpg 575 767 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003Oni
131113 Montgomery Ward's Headquarters Hub of the mail order catalog that made Chicago a distribution center for affordable consumer goods. On April 26, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sent federal troops to take possession of Ward's offices in response to the company's failure to adhere to National War Labor Board's orders to recognize a CIO union. The accompanying historical photograph shows the Ward's building in 1940 in the background behind the newly built Cabrini Homes. TRUE Industry 9999 618 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL, 60610, US 618 W Chicago Ave 60610 Cook Chicago IL US 41.89646 -87.643445 /photos/1/90/17904_l.jpg 989 767 Chicago Historical Museum, G1989.0891.N178-2 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003P0Y
131114 Schoenhofen Brewery Designed by Richard E. Schmidt and Hugh Garden, architects influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, the buildings were built by laborers for the Schoenhofen Brewing Company, founded in 1861 by Peter Schoenhofen and Matheus Gottfried. The administration building was built in 1886 and the Powerhouse in 1902. TRUE Industry 9999 41.857815 -87.639592 /photos/1/90/17908_l.jpg 1024 768 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003P0Z
131115 Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum Once a field house in Harrison Park, the museum opened in 1987 and now holds a collection of over 2,500 works, many of which explore political and labor themes. Prints and drawings include the works of Diego Rivera, Graciela Iturbide, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jose Clemente Orozco, and Rufino Tamayo. TRUE Arts and Culture 9999 1852 W 19th St, Chicago, IL, 60608, US 1852 W 19th St 60608 Cook Chicago IL US 41.85588 -87.672318 /photos/1/90/17910_l.jpg 1024 768 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003P0[
131116 Rudy Lozano Branch, Chicago Public Library Built in 1989, this public library branch was named for Rudy Lozano, an organizer for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and a community activist, who was assassinated in 1983. A testament to Mexican art and literature, it houses the largest Spanish-language collection in the CPL system and is covered in a decorative tile similar in style to the pre-Columbian buildings of Oaxaca, Mexico. TRUE Community 9999 1805 S Loomis St, Chicago, IL, 60608, US 1805 S Loomis St 60608 Cook Chicago IL US 41.857795 -87.661295 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003P0\
131117 Thalia Hall Built in 1882, this Bohemian (Czech) community center included a theater and the offices of several community organizations. After the First World War, several groups from Thalia Hall pressured President Woodrow Wilson for the creation of an independent Czechoslovakian nation. TRUE Community 9999 1215 W 18th St, Chicago, IL, 60608, US 1215 W 18th St 60608 Cook Chicago IL US 41.85794 -87.657015 /photos/1/90/17911_l.jpg 575 767 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003P0]
131119 Casa Aztlan Founded in 1905 as the Howell Neighborhood House, this community center has since been rejuvenated by the Mexican community and is now covered with murals. Between 1970 and 1973, Ray Patlan covered Casa Aztlan with his mural, "Hay Cultura en Nuestra Comunidad" (There is Culture in Our Community), which includes an ode to the Aztecs and pays homage to a number of political and labor struggles through depictions of famous Latino figures such as Emilio Zapata, Che Guevara, and Frida Kahlo. TRUE Community 9999 1831 S Racine Ave, Chicago, IL, 60608, US 1831 S Racine Ave 60608 Cook Chicago IL US 41.857495 -87.656404 /photos/1/90/17912_l.jpg 1024 768 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003P0_
131120 Benito Juarez High School Built in 1977 and named for the revered Mexican statesman, this school displays several colorful murals, including one honoring agrarian labor struggles and Mexican labor organizer Cesar Chavez (1927-93). TRUE Community 9999 2150 S Laflin St, Chicago, IL, 60608, US 2150 S Laflin St 60608 Cook Chicago IL US 41.852984 -87.66362 /photos/1/90/17914_l.jpg 1024 768 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003P0`
131121 International Harvester McCormick Reaper Works This was the site of the McCormick Reaper Works (1873), and the International Harvester Plant (1902-1969). It is now home to an industrial and office park, developed by the Pyramidwest Development Corporation. The McCormick plant was at the center of the struggle for the eight-hour day that led to the Haymarket Massacre on May 4, 1886. In addition, in 1952, the recently merged Farm Equipment Workers and United Electrical Workers unions shut down the plant when International Harvester began to close the McCormick Works Twine Mill. The 1952 strike grew into a crucial battle in International Harvester's effort to oust the more radical FE-UE Union, and replace it with the more moderate United Auto Workers Union. The accompanying photographs show striking workers at the McCormick Works in 1952, and the factory as it looked in 1908. TRUE Industry 9999 41.844341 -87.683086 /photos/2/57/23639_l.jpg 967 768 FE-UE Striking Workers, 1952 -- Chicago History Museum - DN-O-8267 http://www.communitywalk.com/map/5258#0003P0a
131122 Davis Square Park "Built in 1904, the Davis Square community recreation center provided free public baths, free lunches, and classes for working-class community. Site of rallies for the Stockyard Labor Council, and, on December 8, 1921, of a riot between the police and striking packinghouse workers.

Back to the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Tour
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Polish Women's Alliance
1309 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622, US
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Polish Bank and Newspaper Building
1201 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622, US
A large white stone building on the northeast corner of the intersection, initially housed a Polish bank and later the Polish newspaper Dziennik Zwiazkowy.
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Polish National Alliance
1520 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622, US
Former home of the Polish National Alliance, giant fraternal order and secular-nationalist rival to the Polish Roman Catholic Union, held its first national convention in Chicago in 1880.
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Northwestern University Settlement House
1400 W Augusta Blvd
Chicago, IL 60622, US
Designed by architect Irving K. Pond and initially directed by sociologist Charles Zeublin, the Northwestern University Settlement House was founded in 1891 -- two years after Hull House opened. Northwestern Settlement House served the mainly Polish immigrant population. The accompanying photographs show Anna Kralovec, a nurse, and Dr. R. M. Hutchinson with women and babies gathered around a table in the House in 1919, and the House as it stands today.
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Polish Roman Catholic Union National Headquarters
1000 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622, US
Formed in 1873, this fraternal organization also houses the Polish Museum of America, including archives and exhibits.
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Statue of Carter Harrison
Carter Harrison (1825-1893) served twice as the Democratic Mayor of Chicago (1879-1887 & Apr. to Oct. 1893). He built a political coalition along lines of ethnic and class issues and remained relatively friendly to the working class even during the Haymarket clash. Harrison was assassinated by a frustrated office seeker just before the closing of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
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Montgomery Ward's Headquarters
618 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60610, US
Hub of the mail order catalog that made Chicago a distribution center for affordable consumer goods. On April 26, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sent federal troops to take possession of Ward’s offices in response to the company’s failure to adhere to National War Labor Board’s orders to recognize a CIO union. The accompanying historical photograph shows the Ward's building in 1940 in the background behind the newly built Cabrini Homes.
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Schoenhofen Brewery
Designed by Richard E. Schmidt and Hugh Garden, architects influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, the buildings were built by laborers for the Schoenhofen Brewing Company, founded in 1861 by Peter Schoenhofen and Matheus Gottfried. The administration building was built in 1886 and the Powerhouse in 1902.
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Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum
1852 W 19th St
Chicago, IL 60608, US
Once a field house in Harrison Park, the museum opened in 1987 and now holds a collection of over 2,500 works, many of which explore political and labor themes. Prints and drawings include the works of Diego Rivera, Graciela Iturbide, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jose Clemente Orozco, and Rufino Tamayo.
(view on the map)
Rudy Lozano Branch, Chicago Public Library
1805 S Loomis St
Chicago, IL 60608, US
Built in 1989, this public library branch was named for Rudy Lozano, an organizer for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and a community activist, who was assassinated in 1983. A testament to Mexican art and literature, it houses the largest Spanish-language collection in the CPL system and is covered in a decorative tile similar in style to the pre-Columbian buildings of Oaxaca, Mexico.
(view on the map)
Thalia Hall
1215 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608, US
Built in 1882, this Bohemian (Czech) community center included a theater and the offices of several community organizations. After the First World War, several groups from Thalia Hall pressured President Woodrow Wilson for the creation of an independent Czechoslovakian nation.
(view on the map)
Casa Aztlan
1831 S Racine Ave
Chicago, IL 60608, US
Founded in 1905 as the Howell Neighborhood House, this community center has since been rejuvenated by the Mexican community and is now covered with murals. Between 1970 and 1973, Ray Patlan covered Casa Aztlan with his mural, “Hay Cultura en Nuestra Comunidad” (There is Culture in Our Community), which includes an ode to the Aztecs and pays homage to a number of political and labor struggles through depictions of famous Latino figures such as Emilio Zapata, Che Guevara, and Frida Kahlo.
(view on the map)
Benito Juarez High School
2150 S Laflin St
Chicago, IL 60608, US
Built in 1977 and named for the revered Mexican statesman, this school displays several colorful murals, including one honoring agrarian labor struggles and Mexican labor organizer Cesar Chavez (1927-93).
(view on the map)
International Harvester McCormick Reaper Works
This was the site of the McCormick Reaper Works (1873), and the International Harvester Plant (1902-1969). It is now home to an industrial and office park, developed by the Pyramidwest Development Corporation. The McCormick plant was at the center of the struggle for the eight-hour day that led to the Haymarket Massacre on May 4, 1886. In addition, in 1952, the recently merged Farm Equipment Workers and United Electrical Workers unions shut down the plant when International Harvester began to close the McCormick Works Twine Mill. The 1952 strike grew into a crucial battle in International Harvester's effort to oust the more radical FE-UE Union, and replace it with the more moderate United Auto Workers Union. The accompanying photographs show striking workers at the McCormick Works in 1952, and the factory as it looked in 1908.
(view on the map)
Davis Square Park
Built in 1904, the Davis Square community recreation center provided free public baths, free lunches, and classes for working-class community. Site of rallies for the Stockyard Labor Council, and, on December 8, 1921, of a riot between the police and striking packinghouse workers.

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Union Stockyards Gate
W Exchange Ave
Chicago, IL 60609, US
Video of Les Orear Describing the History of Packinghouse Worker Unionism

Originally a wooden gate, this stone structure was designed by famous Chicago architects Daniel Burnham and George Root. It marked the entry into one of Chicago's most famous industrial sites. The accompanying image shows the area in 1916, just before World War I brought thousands of black workers from the South to Chicago, and a new round of labor organizing in the packinghouses.

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Chicago Commons Association's New City Child Care Center
Formerly the Guardian Angel Home for Women. Constructed in the 1910s, the Home was the city's first health clinic for women and also offered daycare services.

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St. Joseph's Catholic Church
W 48th St
Chicago, IL 60609, US
Founded in 1887, this was the first Polish parish in the Back of the Yards.

Back to the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Tour
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Columbia Hall
W 48th St
Chicago, IL 60609, US
Tavern and community center, meeting place for the Stockyards Labor Council (SLC), formed in 1917 as an interracial union of lesser skilled packinghouse workers.

Back to the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Tour
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Sikora's Hall
4758 S Marshfield Ave
Chicago, IL 60609, US
Housed the Packinghouse Workers' Organizing Committee (PWOC) offices, important site for labor meetings.

Back to the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Tour
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St. Rose of Lima Church
1456 W 48th St
Chicago, IL 60609, US
Founded in 1881, St. Rose of Lima was the first Irish parish in the Back of the Yards. It closed in 1990. The two photographs show St. Rose of Lima as it looked in 1911. In one picture we can see the church's "curfew tower," while the other shows Father Dennis Hayes and a group of schoolchildren outside the church.

Back to the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Tour
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St. Gabriel's Church
Founded in 1880, this Irish-Catholic parish in "Canaryville" was led by legendary priest, Maurice J. Dorney, "The King of the Yards." The photograph shows a crowd gathered for Fr. Dorney's funeral in 1914.
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Mural
The mural under the bridge at 49th Street and Marshfield Avenue points to markers of community identity. Note the image of nearby Cesar Chavez School.

Back to the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Tour
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St. Augustine Catholic Church
First German Catholic Church in Back of the Yards.

Back to the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Tour
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St. Martini Lutheran Church
1624 W 51st St
Chicago, IL 60609, US
First German Lutheran Church in the Back of the Yards.
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St. John of God Church
Founded in 1907, the church grounds include a monument for members of the parish who died in the nation's wars. St. John of God was led during the World War II era by famously pro-labor priest, Lewis Grudzinski.

Back to the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Tour
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Chicago Urban League Offices, 1918 - 1957
3032 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60616, US
A first point of contact in Chicago for many black southerners and, beginning in the 1920s, a liaison to realtors and employers. As blacks began to join unions in larger numbers during the 1930s, the League shifted its emphasis to support organized labor and also began to address civil rights concerns like inadequate housing, restrictive covenants, and job ceilings. League offices moved to 4500 S. Michigan Avenue in 1957. The League then built a new headquarters next door at 4510 South Michigan Avenue, which opened in 1984.
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Harold Washington's Home
Chicago's first African-American mayor (1983-1987), Harold Washington was a South-Sider and former meat packer. Washington's anti-machine platform and electoral victory dismantled many of the exploitive vestiges of Chicago's Democratic machine such as unequal and secretive distribution of the city's budget as well as brutal police tactics against civil rights, peace, and labor protestors.
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Chicago Defender Building
3435 S Indiana Ave
Chicago, IL 60616, US
Founded by Robert S. Abbott in 1905, the Chicago Defender became nationally known for its outspoken civil rights demands. During the "Great Migration," Pullman Porters spread the paper throughout the South, encouraging blacks to take advantage of the greater freedom and economic opportunities available in cities like Chicago. Built in 1899 as a Jewish synagogue, this building housed the Defender from 1920 to 1960. The Defender moved to the old Illinois Automobile Club building at 2400 S. Michigan in the 1960s. In 2006, the Defender moved into a new office on the 17th floor of the building at 200 South Michigan Avenue.
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Victory Monument
With the outbreak of World War I, the prominent African American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois advocated that blacks "close ranks" to show their allegiance to their nation. Although their loyalty did not bring an end to racial discrimination, Chicago's African-American Eighth Regiment of the Illinois National Guard served with distinction in France. Site of a significant anti-lynching rally attended by more than 5,000 protestors on August 2, 1946.
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Soldiers' Home
739 E 35th St
Chicago, IL 60616, US
Built in 1864, this building served as a hospital for those wounded in battle during the Civil War. Disabled Union Army veterans continued to live here thereafter.
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Wabash YMCA
3763 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60653, US
Founded in 1913, the Wabash Avenue YMCA grew out of community discontent with the YMCA in the Loop, which barred African Americans. With $25,000 each from Julius Rosenwald of Sears Roebuck and prominent banker N. W. Harris, Chicago's African American community needed to raise another $50,000 in matching funds. The capital campaign became an early and renowned exercise in community self-help. In three weeks over $65,000 were raised. Associated with the African-American professional class and non-union, respectable working class, the YMCA benefited from the welfare capitalism of the Pullman, Armour and Swift Companies. In 1915, Carter G. Woodson -- the first African American to earn a Ph.D. and the only black Ph.D. whose parents were slaves -- started the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History here. In the same year that D. W. Griffiths released "Birth of a Nation," and Woodson participated in the Exposition of Negro Progress marking the 50th Anniversary of Emancipation, Woodson, Monroe Nathan Work, and James E. Stamps met to form the ASNLH. Woodson moved back to Washington, D.C. to teach in the public schools there, and then went to Howard University, but what he started in Chicago became a national black intellectual institution. People like W. E. B. Du Bois, George Edmund Haynes, Sophonsiba Breckinridge, Benjamin Brawley, Jesse Moorland, Arthur Schomburg, Kelly Miller, and many more published in the Journal of Negro History, which Woodson edited from 1916 to 1950.
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South Side Community Art Center
3831 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60653, US
Originally built in 1893, black artists convinced local administrators of the Works Progress Administration's (WPA) Federal Arts Project to convert this building into a studio space and gallery in 1940. At its dedication the following year, Eleanor Roosevelt attended as the guest of honor. This space became a cultural home for black artists such as Margaret Goss Burroughs, Hughie Lee-Smith, Archibald Motley, Jr., Elizabeth Catlett, and Charles White and remains an important venue for up-and-coming artists today.
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Ida B. Wells Homes
Completed with federal funding in 1941, the Ida B. Wells Homes were the first public housing project for Chicago's African American residents. According to St. Clair Drake and Horace Cayton, the Wells homes represented a long-unrealized "dream of respectable lowers [lower-class] who wanted to make the mobility step to lower middle class. Its 2,000 families are the envy of the whole South Side." (Drake and Cayton, p. 660).
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The Forum
322 E 43rd St
Chicago, IL 60653, US
One of the most important spaces for radical labor and civil rights groups during the Depression years. On separate occasions, the International Labor Defense (ILD), NNC, Communist Party, and the South Side Labor Council met here.
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Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Headquarters
4321 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60653, US
Video of Historian Eric Arnesen on the History of the BSCP
Between the early 1920s and the mid-1930s, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters fought to establish a union for the Pullman Company's famed black Pullman Porters. After a ten-year fight, in 1935 the BSCP, led by A. Philip Randolph, won a representation election to become the official bargaining representative for the porters, and two years later the union won its first contract. In addition to its importance as a black-led union, the BSCP was also at the center of a broader labor civil rights movement during the 1930s and 1940s in black Chicago. The accompanying photograph shows the first national convention of the Women's Economic Council Auxiliary to the BSCP, September 24-27, 1938. See also, the A Philip Randolph Pullman Porters Museum
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Liberty Baptist Church
Founded in 1956, Liberty Baptist came to be known as the "Church With a Common Touch," and served as one of the headquarters for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Chicago Freedom Movement.
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Benjamin Franklin Store
444 E 47th St
Chicago, IL 60653, US
With boxer Joe Louis and dancer Bill (Bojangles) Robinson in attendance, the Jones Brothers' opened their discount store to a crowd of thousands in 1937. Widely known as policy kings, the Jones Brothers represented how legitimate and illegal business ventures blended together in Bronzeville where lucrative employment opportunities were limited.
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Cigar Store/Policy Wheel
530 E 47th St
Chicago, IL 60653, US
Policy - an illicit yet uncontested form of lottery in Bronzeville from the 1920s to the 1950s - played a huge role in the community's economy. This location served as a front for one of many stations where policy kings managed numbers runners and drew winning numbers from a policy wheel.
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Operation PUSH/Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Built in 1923, this building originally housed the Kehilath Anshe Ma'arive (K.A.M.), the oldest Jewish congregation in Chicago. In 1971, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founded Operation PUSH and purchased the building for its headquarters. While also housing the Rainbow Coalition (founded 1985), the building now serves as center of voter registration campaigns, labor mediation, and negotiation with major corporations to provide greater minority ownership and employment opportunities.
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Parkway Community House
Originally called the Good Shepherd Community Center, in 1941 the community center broke away from the Good Shepherd Church and changed its name to the Parkway Community House in 1941. Under the direction of prominent black sociologist Horace Cayton from 1941 to 1947, the Parkway Community House functioned as a vital community institution where working-class blacks mingled with prominent African American artists and academics. PCH staff operated a mother's clinic, nursery school, relief office, selective service office, the Henry George School of Social Service, and a servicemen's center.
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Washington Park
W.S. Cleveland brought Frederick Law Olmsted's design to life after the 1871 Chicago Fire. Perhaps the most important space for black working class activity in Chicago. Semiprofessional baseball teams played in the park during the 1920s. Beginning in the 1950s, the Park's Open Forum included protests of the jailing of black Communist Claude Lightfoot, the Mississippi lynching of Chicagoan Emmett Till, and fiery speeches by Paul Robeson. In 1971 the DuSable Museum of African American History moved into one of the park's administration buildings to complement these activities.
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Jesse Binga's Home
5922 S King Dr/s Dr Martin L King Jr Dr
Chicago, IL 60637, US
Owner of the Binga State Bank and other real estate, Jesse Binga had the financial resources to become the first black to move into this area of Washington Park. Fearing racial integration (exacerbated by the propaganda of property owners' associations about declining property values), whites bombed Binga's house multiple times in 1919 and 1920 to scare other blacks from moving into the neighborhood.
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Hansberry House
6140 S Rhodes Ave
Chicago, IL 60637, US
In 1937, Carl A. Hansberry defied the Woodlawn Property Owners' Association by purchasing this home in a one-square mile area of Washington Park. Known as the "white island," this area of Woodlawn was blanketed by restrictive covenants. Anna Lee, a white signatory of a covenant, sued Hansberry. While the Circuit Court and State Supreme Court of Illinois ruled in favor of Lee, the United States Supreme Court reversed the decision in the 1940 Hansberry v Lee case, making restrictive covenants no longer legally enforceable across the United States.
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Woodlawn A.M.E. Church
6456 S Evans Ave
Chicago, IL 60637, US
Founded in 1929, this church became an important space for black civil rights organizing. When A. Philip Randolph and other blacks organized the March on Washington Movement to protest racial discrimination during the Second World War, they often hosted mass meetings here to galvanize support. The Congress of Racial Equality, a civil rights group that integrated many Chicago eateries and other leisure institutions, also met here to plan its campaigns in the 1940s.
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Ukrainian Educational Society
E 107th St
Chicago, IL 60628, US
During the Depression, the building was the scene of organizing for union campaigns and unemployment marches.
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Hotel Florence
Hotel Florence, which George Pullman named for his favorite daughter, served as Pullman officials' headquarters during the strike. The Hotel also included the only bar in Pullman, but it was intended to serve prominent visitors to the community, not Pullman workers. As part of his attempt to create a morally upstanding workforce, George Pullman wanted his residents to avoid drink altogether. Workers needed to walk to the row of taverns to the west of the Illinois Central tracks, along Front Street, between 113th and 115th Streets, which became known as "Schlitz Row."
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Officers' Row
Company officials who earned approximately $5,000 per year lived in these homes on the south side of 11th Street for an average rent of $50.00 per month.
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Green Stone Church
Pullman demanded 6% profits, even from the only religious building in Pullman and even during the depression of 1893. Rev. E. C. Oggel praised George Pullman from the pulpit during the 1894 strike. Much of the disgusted congregation left the church, while Oggel left Pullman, never to return. It has been home to the Pullman United Methodist Church since 1907, when the government forced the company to sell its town property, and the former congregation of pro-labor Rev. William H. Carwardine, author of a famous history of the Pullman strike, purchased the building.
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Workers' and Managers' Row Houses
In 1894, workers paid $15.00 to $17.00/month when average full-time pay was $1.84/day. Thomas W. Heathcote, Chairman of the Central Strike Committee and President of Pullman Local No. 209 lived at 11363 Champlain. Jennie Curtis, President of the Girls' Union No. 269 and member of the strikers' grievance committee, who famously pleaded the workers' cause to Mayor Hopkins on May 27, 1894, lived at 11310 Champlain.
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Workers' Cottages
These cottages between 111th and 113th along the west side of Langley Avenue were the smallest houses in Pullman. On May 14 and 18, 1894, Debs visited residents here, and on August 14, Governor Altgeld visited after the strike was broken by federal troops.
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Langley Play Lot
On May 18, 1894, Debs and G. W. Howard of the ARU spoke to thousands of workers here.
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Bessemer Park
Rally place for the monumental 1919 steel strike.
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Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
3200 E 91st St
Chicago, IL 60617, US
As Mexican immigrants flocked to Chicago for industrial jobs, many immigrants settled in communities around the steel mills. The mural to Our Lady of Guadalupe is one public display of the growing Mexican presence in the once all white community.
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Calumet Park and Fieldhouse
(Perfect for a mid-tour picnic). The field house is home to the South East Side Museum documenting the everyday life of people in the steel areas.
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Trumbull Park Homes
By the middle of the twentieth century, this area of Chicago was home to an established white working-class Catholic community. This changed dramatically in the post-World War II era. In South Chicago, for example, the white population decreased from 94.8 percent of the total in 1960 to only 27.5 percent by 1980. In 1953, when the Chicago Housing Authority attempted to integrate the all-white Trumbull Park homemade bombs exploded and the African-American families faced threats from their neighbors as they tried to shop, attend church, and go to work. The accompanying photograph shows Donald and Helen Howard, two of the African Americans who moved into Trumbull Park; they are putting plywood over the windows as protection from flying objects. (Chicago History Museum, ICHi-15102)
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St. Kevin's Catholic Church
The white working class community built St. Kevin's in 1925 to encourage homeownership and community stability. In the 1950s, the church also became an advocate for the integration of the Trumbull Park homes.
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St. Simeon Mirotocivi, Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian immigrants, most of whom worked in the nearby steel mills, built this church in 1969 in the style of a fifteenth-century Serbian monastery.
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USWA Local 1031
11731 S Avenue O
Chicago, IL 60617, US
Former offices of United Steel Workers' Local 1031. Note the plaque on the flagpole memorializing the Republic Steel Massacre.
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Theodore Herzl Public School
Named for Theodore Herzl (1860-1904), a journalist and playwright in Vienna and France, and an early leader of the movement for an independent Jewish state, this school served North Lawndale's changing needs over the course of the twentieth century. In 1915, it opened as an elementary school for the area's expanding Jewish population, and in 1927, it became a junior college to provide job training and professional classes for upwardly mobile residents. Between April 1944 and December 1945, the building served as a Naval Training College. After the war, Herzl continued to be a junior college, but as black migration into the West Side increased and North Lawndale's population of school-age children grew dramatically, this building once again provided elementary school classes beginning in 1953. Herzl Junior College remained in the City College system, and in 1969 was renamed Malcolm X College, located at 1900 West Van Buren Street.
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Jewish People's Institute
3500 W Douglas Blvd
Chicago, IL 60623, US
The Jewish People's Institute was perhaps the central cultural center of North Lawndale during the first half of the twentieth century. The building provided classes and recreation for adults and children. The Commission on Chicago Landmarks suggests that the designer, Ernest A. Grunsfeld, Jr. -- also architect of the Adler Planetarium -- gave the building, "a distinctive Byzantine-influenced exterior visually interpreting the Middle-Eastern origins of Judaism." (see, http://www.ci.chi.il.us/Landmarks/J/JPI.html, 21 October 2003)
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Marcy Center
1539 S Springfield Ave
Chicago, IL 60623, US
Part of the Marcy-Newberry Association, North Lawndale's Marcy Center grew out of the response to the Jewish population's move west from the Near West Side. Originally founded in 1883 by Elizabeth Smith Marcy, the group purchased a small building at 300 West Maxwell Street. In 1930, the group broke ground on the North Lawndale building. From the beginning, the Marcy Center has provided job training, youth recreation programs, daycare, and adult education. As African Americans moved into the area from other parts of the city and southern states, the Marcy Center remained committed to the community. In 1951, the center recruited Hazzard Parks of Exmore, Virginia, who had been working in New Orleans, to come to the Marcy center. Parks became the head of the Center, and a leading figure in the North Lawndale community groups and public anti-poverty programs.
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Douglas Park Field House
Named for Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas, this park helped attract the first major settlement of German, Dutch, and Irish immigrants to Chicago's West Side. The fieldhouse was built in 1928 to serve what had become Chicago's largest Jewish community. In February 1965, Chicago's third Urban Progress Center -- the local offices of the federal War on Poverty -- opened in this structure.
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Lawndale for Better Jobs
1449 S Keeler Ave
Chicago, IL 60623, US
On July 13, 1966, the Chicago Conference on Race and Religion began the Tri-Faith Jobs Project, ultimately opening four neighborhood job placement centers across the city. In addition to the offices of Lawndale for Better Jobs on Keeler Avenue, Tri-Faith had locations in East Garfield Park (328 South Albany Avenue), the eastern part of Lawndale (3708 West 16th Street), and West Garfield Park (3932 West Madison Street). The Tri-Faith Jobs Project is a good example of ways in which community and religious groups worked with public agencies in efforts to fight urban poverty during the 1960s and early 1970s. The group had some success in job placements. In November 1969, for instance, Tri-Faith Director John Robinson reported that the project had placed more than 20,939 workers in new jobs to that point in 1969, 425 more than during the same period of 1968.
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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Chicago Apartment
1550 S Hamlin Ave
Chicago, IL 60623, US
In 1966 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., moved into an apartment at 1550 South Hamlin Avenue to dramatize the plight of African Americans living in dilapidated tenements as part of the Chicago Freedom Movement's (CFM) effort to "end slums." The lot is now empty.
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Chicago Freedom Movement "Slum Building"
1321 S Homan Ave
Chicago, IL 60623, US
In February 1966, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other representatives of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the West Side Federation, and the Chicago Coaliton of Community Organizations took over the management of this six-flat "slum building." The eighty-one-year-old building owner John Bender told the Chicago Tribune that of the six buildings he owned, the one King had taken over was, a "white elephant," and that he would be "more than happy to give it to [King] if he would take over the mortgage." King argued that the legality of their actions paled in comparison to the "moral question" of helping to clean up "slum" housing.
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Monroe Exchange of the Chicago Telephone Company
22 S Sangamon St
Chicago, IL 60607, US
The accompanying photograph (Chicago History Museum, ICHi-14439) shows female employees of the Chicago Telephone Company sitting in the garden at the Monroe Exchange in 1910.
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Former Site of Riverview Amusement Park
In the late 1800s, the development of interurban railroads allowed working-class Chicagoans in the crowded neighborhoods to travel out to the city's edges for recreation. A number of picnic grounds developed for a diverse public. In 1879, a group of Prussian War veterans bought this twenty-two acre site, dubbed it Sharpshooters Park, and used the land for a rifle range and picnic grove. In 1904, a beer garden opened in the newly renamed Riverview Park, and in the succeeding years the park became one of the most popular recreation attractions in the city, boasting performance spaces, rides, and concessions. The park closed in 1967, and was replaced by an industrial park and the campus of DeVry Institute of Technology. In the accompanying photo (Chicago History Museum, ICHi-16820), we see an aerial view of a 1925 outing for the employees of Chicago's massive Crane Manufacturing Company. According to historian Ann Durkin Keating, Riverview sponsored "special days for religious, ethnic, and work groups, which continued to encourage a segregated use of this semipublic space." See: Keating, Chicagoland (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2005).
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Comiskey Park
The original Comiskey Park -- home of the 1917 World Champion White Sox baseball team -- stood in what is now the parking lot of today's U.S. Cellular field -- home of the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox. In the accompanying picture taken in 1957 by a Chicago Daily News photographer, a man identified as "William Larkin, disabled veteran" hawks souvenirs in front of the original Comiskey Park (Chicago History Museum, CN-Alpha).
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Center of the 1951 Cicero Riots
Between July 10 and 12, 1951, crowds of two to five thousand white Cicero residents repeatedly attacked an apartment building that housed a single black family. Historian Arnold Hirsch described the scene: "The burning and looting of the building's contents lasted several nights until order was finally restored by the presence of some 450 National Guardsmen and 200 Cicero and Cook County Sheriff's police" (Hirsch, p. 53). The accompanying photograph shows one of these National Guardsmen being helped away from the scene of the riots, blood running down his face. (Chicago History Museum, DN-N-7954) Hirsch explains that the Cicero riot was especially important because, unlike previous violent attempts to drive black residents out of otherwise all white neighborhoods, the press widely covered the Cicero events. Whereas the press virtually ignored violent upheaval at the Airport Homes Project in 1946, the Fernwood Park Project in 1947, in Park Manor in 1949, and in Englewood in 1949, the Cicero riots became news across the United States and the world. Word of the violence reached such far flung outlets as the Singapore Straits Times and the Pakistan Observer (Hirsch, p. 53). Perhaps most importantly, the Cicero riots began a new phase in Chicago's violent confrontations over race; rather than focusing on housing sites specifically, "battles over the use of schools, playgrounds, parks, and beaches became the dominant mode of interracial conflict" (Hirsch, p. 63). See: Arnold Hirsch, Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940-1960 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1983, repr. 1998).
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Bug House Square - Washington Square Park
Between Delaware and Walton on Dearborn Street, across from the Newberry Library, Washington Square Park was Chicago's most famous free speech forum used by, among others, the Industrial Workers of the World, the Haymarket protesters, Clarence Darrow. During the Lager Beer Riot of April 21, 1855, angry Germans gathered here to protest a $300 increase in annual liquor license fees. The Germans ultimately won and their beer gardens remained central neighborhood institutions until the 1920s.
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St. Patrick's Academy and St. Malachy School
2252 W Washington Blvd
Chicago, IL 60612, US
The accompanying image shows girls participating in the St. Patrick Academy shoe shining campaign, holding rags and shoes, standing on a sidewalk in Chicago, Illinois. A small park and buildings of St. Patrick Academy and of St. Malachy parish school (on the right) are visible in the background.
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Battle to Stop Railroad Tracks
W 57th St & S Oakley Ave
Chicago, IL 60636, US
The accompanying group portrait shows women who, on 11 November 1915, stopped the laying of tracks at West 57th Street and South Oakley Avenue in the Gage Park community area of Chicago, Illinois, standing on the front porch steps of a clapboard home.
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Cal-Sag Channel
In 1911, Chicago broke ground for a channel to connect the Calumet River to the Sanitary Drainage and Ship Canal just north of Lockport. The Cal-Sag Channel's western end passes just south of the "Saganashkee Slough" between 104th Avenue and Archer Avenue at the border of Cook and DuPage Counties. The accompanying photograph shows workers at the start of the canal in 1912, just west of Halsted Street and West 130th Street. The surrounding communities had begun as farm towns, but grew along with the nearby industry's increased access to railroads and the Calumet Harbor. The Cal-Sag Channel opened in 1922, and reversed the flow of the Calumet River. Initially designed as a sewage canal, the Cal-Sag Channel soon carried heavy commercial traffic. During the 1930s, the Cal-Sag Channel grew in importance, as Lake Calumet Harbor became the city's busiest port. In the 1950s, the channel was amended again to meet the growing needs of the recently completed St. Lawrence Seaway. For a history of Chicago's canal system, see: Chicago Public Library, "Down the Drain: The Big Ditch," http://www.chipublib.org/digital/sewers/history4.html. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago's website includes a map of the Cal-Sag Channel's course: http://www.mwrd.org/water/canal.htm
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Original Washburne School
W 14th St & S Union Ave
Chicago, IL 60607, US
In 1887, this school was named for the recently deceased Elihu B. Washburne, a former U.S. Representative, Secretary of State under President Ulysses S. Grant, and President of the Chicago Historical Society (1884-87). The school served elementary grades until 1919, when it became the Washburne Trade and Continuation School. The accompanying 1912 photograph shows a group of mothers watching a nurse demonstrate lessons in child care at the school. In 1958, the school relocated to a thirteen-building site at 31st and Kedzie. See: Washburne Trade School. See: Washburne Trade School .
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Workers' Housing
W Foster Ave & N Winthrop Ave
Chicago, IL 60640, US
This photograph from 1909 shows portable houses near Goudy School, located on the southwest corner of West Foster and North Winthrop Avenues between the Edgewater and Uptown community areas of Chicago, Illinois. Railroad tracks and coal cars are in the foreground.
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Tenement Housing Explosion and Fire
813 W 14th Pl
Chicago, IL 60608, US
This photograph shows the remains of a tenement building, seen from across the street, after an explosion on February 2, 1917. Several onlookers are standing on the sidewalks across the street from the site. The cause was believed to be a leak in the gas main and approximately twenty-five people died. Throughout Chicago's history, working-class tenement housing was notoriously dangerous.
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Wieboldt Department Store, Lakeview
N Lincoln Ave & W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657, US
This 1917 photograph shows the Lakeview location of the Wieboldt Department Stores, a chain that spread across the city in the early twentieth century. The store pictured here anchored a commercial district in the development Lakeview community, which was welcoming a mixed-class population seeking housing near their jobs in local factories.
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Wieboldt's Mid-West Store
Part of the citywide Wieboldt Department Store chain founded by William A. Wieboldt in 1883. By 1930, Wieboldt had five stores, and added another five after World War II. The chain continued to employ about 6,000 Chicagoans in the 1970s, but fell into bankruptcy in 1986
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Wieboldt's South Town Store
W 63rd Pkwy & S Green St
Chicago, IL 60621, US
Part of the citywide Wieboldt Department Store chain founded by William A. Wieboldt in 1883. By 1930, Wieboldt had five stores, and added another five after World War II. The chain continued to employ about 6,000 Chicagoans in the 1970s, but fell into bankruptcy in 1986.
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Newberry Avenue Center
1331 S Newberry Ave
Chicago, IL 60608, US
Originally founded in 1883 by Elizabeth Smith Marcy, the group purchased a small building at 300 West Maxwell Street. In 1890, the association bought a small frame house on Newberry Avenue. It is now part of the Marcy-Newberry Association
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Sweatshop
This photograph shows women and men sewing at various tables and sewing machines in the workroom of a sweatshop at 132 Maxwell Street.
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Roosevelt Road - Riot April 6-8, 1968
On April 4, 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. People around the world mourned over the weekend after hearing that the leader of the non-violent Civil Rights Movement had been shot. After anger had simmered in Chicago over the weekend, on Monday, April 6, violence broke out. Starting fires and smashing store windows, the rioters damaged seventy-five businesses and nearby apartments, with the most damage along Roosevelt Road, which had long been one of Chicago's most vibrant retail districts. Rumors that the riots had been coordinated by Black Panther activists swirled through the city, and an April 10 Chicago Tribune editorial claimed that "Black Power groups" fueled the violence through a "Conspiracy to Riot." No evidence of such a planned riot ever surfaced. During the summer of 1968, Mayor Richard J. Daley appointed the Chicago Riot Study Committee, led by judges, business leaders, lawyers, and politicians, and staffed by volunteers from dozens of local law offices. The Committee interviewed hundreds of North Lawndale's black residents and white business owners, as well as police officers, fire fighters, and local activists, but found no evidence of a conspiracy. The final Riot Study concluded, "Some of the rioters may have discussed specific acts of violence, but for the majority of blacks the riot was a spontaneous overflow of pent-up aggressions." ("Report of the Chicago Riot Study Committee," p. 72). The Committee found that most of the first rioters were high school students taking their frustration out on local white business owners. Once in progress, witnesses suggested that the riots took on a momentum of their own and a number of adults joined the teenage rioters in smashing store windows, taking consumer products, and setting fire to the shops. Whoever the rioters were, it is clear that they targeted white-owned businesses, especially those with owners who were known to sell inferior merchandise at high prices, or who engaged in predatory credit practices. The Committee also found no evidence that anyone intentionally set fire to a black-owned business or residence. See: "Report of the Chicago Riot Study Committee to the Hon. Richard J. Daley," (Chicago: August 1, 1968). Ultimately, the riots' long-term effects were the most damaging; they increased the pace of the area's ongoing deindustrialization, public and private disinvestment, while causing the flight of most local black residents who could afford to leave the area. As a result, North Lawndale's population declined from 124,937 in 1960, to 47,296 in 1990, and 41,786 in 2000. Nonetheless, a core of people who either could not afford to leave the community, or who were committed to North Lawndale remained. Many local residents have continued to fight to improve the housing, and bring public and private services to the area.
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Hoboville
This photograph shows a group of men in "Hoboville" at Canal and Harrison Streets.
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Back of the Yards Neighborhood Tour
W 47th St & S Racine Ave
Chicago, IL 60609, US
During the century between the Civil War and the 1960s, the Union Stock Yards (1864) was one of the most important employers in the city, with over 40,000 workers at their peak. The larger Stock Yard district includes the neighborhoods of Bridgeport, Canaryville, and McKinley Park. The working class neighborhood just to the west and south of the yards attracted German, Irish, Lithuanian, Polish, African-American, and Mexican immigrants. In 1906, Upton Sinclair published The Jungle, his famous muckraking novel, about this area. From 1919 to 1921, the Stockyards Labor Council (SLC) led a series of strikes for the right to unionize. Although these strikes failed, during the Depression the CIO's Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee largely succeeded. The area was also a center of Progressive Era reform, exemplified by Mary McDowell and the University of Chicago Settlement House. In addition, Saul Alinsky's Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council was a forerunner to later community organizing efforts throughout the U.S.

Important Sites in the Back of the Yards include:

*Davis Square Park
*BO Packing Co.
*Chicago Stockyards Gate
*Chicago Commons Association New City Child Care Center
*St. Joseph Catholic Church
*Columbia Hall
*Sikoras Hall
*St. Rose of Lima Church
*Local Mural
*St. Augustine Catholic Church
*St. John of God Church
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Bronzeville Neighborhood Tour
The Bronzeville community areas (primarily Douglas and Grand Boulevard) became Chicago's first majority African American neighborhoods during the Great Migration between World War I and 1929. Black migrants formed successful institutions, including civic associations, churches, and some businesses to cater to their newfound community. The Depression led many African Americans to seek more radical solutions to racial discrimination in employment and housing, and to create a cultural renaissance that embraced a black working-class artistic perspective. The loss of industrial jobs and the departure of many African Americans who could afford to seek better housing in other areas contributed to the neighborhood's decline in the 1950s. At the same time, community groups and real estate interests persistently worked to sustain their neighborhoods, and recently have endeavored to revive the once thriving "Black Metropolis."

Important sites in Bronzeville include:

*Chicago Urban League offices
*Home of Harold Washington
*Chicago Defender Building
*Giles Armory
*Victory Monument
*Associated Negro Press/Supreme Life Insurance Co.
*Soldiers’ Home
*Sunset Cafe
*Bronzeville YMCA
*South Side Community Art Center
*Ida B. Wells Homes
*The Forum
*Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
*Liberty Baptist Church
*Benjamin Franklin Store
"*Cigar Store" Policy Wheel
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Washington Park Neighborhood Tour
Irish and German railroad and meatpacking workers settled here in the 1860s followed by German Jews in the 1890s. The neighborhood's direct transportation routes to downtown inspired wealthy white Chicagoans to build large mansions along the neighborhood's wide boulevards. From the beginning of the Great Migration into the 1940s, African Americans pushed southward from Bronzeville and clashed with white property owners who resisted racial integration. By 1930, Washington Park was over 90 percent black, and real estate brokers divided much of the neighborhood's housing stock into kitchenettes. This community used the park itself to engage in leisure activities and for open-air political meetings.

Important sites in Washington Park include:

*Operation PUSH
*Musicians Union Local 208
*Washington Park
*Jesse Binga home
*Hansberry House
*Woodlawn A.M.E. Church
*White City/Park City Bowl and Roller Rink
*UPWA Union Hall
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Pullman Neighborhood Tour
The Pullman neighborhood exemplifies the "company town" style of industrial development, and was the site of one of the most famous labor clashes in U.S. history. George M. Pullman began construction in 1880, seeking to create a harmonious environment that would prevent class tensions. However, Pullman's social control experiment alienated workers, and conditions worsened when Pullman maintained the cost of rents but decreased wages during the 1893 financial panic. The resulting 1894 battle between the American Railway Union (ARU), an early industry-wide union led by Eugene V. Debs, and the General Managers' Association (GMA), a powerful combination of railroad owners, ended when President Grover Cleveland called in federal troops over the objections of Mayor John P. Hopkins and Governor John Peter Altgeld. In 1960, the city of Chicago declared the area "blighted" and moved to replace it with a new industrial park. The residents saved Pullman's main housing and it continues to be a vibrant community. For more information on Pullman, visit the museum at 112th and Forrestville.

Important sites in Pullman include:

*A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum
*Pullman Clock Tower and Administration Building
*Hotel Florence
*Officers Row
*Green Stone Church
*Workers and Managers Row Houses
*Workers Cottages
*Langley Playground
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South East Chicago Neighborhood Tour
Video of Ed Sadlowski Describing the Industrialization and Deindustrialization of the Calumet River

Southeast Chicago and northwest Indiana contain the remnants of what was once a vibrant center of the steel industry. Steel mills once blanketed the entire lakeshore south of 79th Street and the banks of the Calumet River, but the mills have all disappeared since the 1970s. For example, U.S. Steel's South Works, which once employed over 17,000 workers and occupied over 800 acres north of Calumet Park, closed in 1993. To hear former steel worker and labor activist Ed Sadlowski describe the steel industry click here: Ed Sadlowski Describes the Steel Industry The neighborhood experienced many labor struggles, such as the infamous 1937 Memorial Day Massacre at Republic Steel, and has undergone continual racial and ethnic succession, as earlier immigrants moved to outlying areas and newer immigrant groups replaced them in the industrial core of the district.

Important sites in South East Chicago include:

*Memorial Day Massacre at Republic Steel
*Bessemer Park
*Our Lady of Guadalupe
*Calumet Park & Field House
*Trumbull Park Homes
*St. Kevins Church
*Serbian Orthodox Church
*Cal-Sag Channel
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Polonia Triangle Neighborhood Tour
Centered at the corner of Division and Milwaukee, this tour traces the development of the old Polish Downtown. Located near this commercial triangle were once all the major institutions of the Polish-America, a mainstay of Chicago's turn-of-the-twentieth-century blue-collar community. The fountain within the Triangle holds an inscription: "For the Masses Who Do the City's Labor Also Keep the City's Heart." As industrial workers, Poles, like the Germans who preceded them, clustered around the Northwest Side's large-scale industries, including leather and tanning, iron and steel, furniture and machine tools. In the early years of the 20th century, Milwaukee Ave. was known as "dinner pail avenue" for the number of laborers trudging to and from work. Only a trace of the city's northern manufacturing district, which initially lined the North Branch of the Chicago River (and subsequently spread along the Clybourn and Elston Street corridors) remains. Yet, even as more upscale residences continue to transform today's Bucktown-Wicker Park district, the immigrants' creation of what they once called "Stanislova" is evident in ornate churches, home construction – from tenements to two-flats to bungalows – public bathhouses, and park grounds.

Important sites in the Polonia Triangle include:

*Gutmann Tannery
*A. Finkl & Sons
"*Milwaukee two-flats"
*Kosciusko Public Bath
*Immigrant tenement housing
*Pulaski Park and Fieldhouse
*St. Stanislaus Kostka
*Polish Womens Alliance
*Polish Bank and Newspaper Building
*Former home of the Polish National Alliance
*Holy Trinity Church
*Northwestern University Settlement House
*National headquarters of the Polish Roman Catholic Union
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Union Row Neighborhood Tour
Audio of Historian Leon Fink Introducing the Labor Trail and Leading a Tour of Union Row

Fink describes Chicago's history of trades unions, industrial unions, international unionism, and labor politics, as it is inscribed in Union Row. Union Park, named in honor of the Federal Union in 1853 was the centerpiece of a wealthy neighborhood on the edge of the city. After the 1871 Chicago Fire, working-class residents began to visit the park and move into the community. By 1930 many of the old homes made up "Union Row," the home of Chicago's labor movement. Today, unions remain along Ashland Avenue but working-class residents face pressure from increased housing costs.

Important sites in Union Row include:

*First Baptist Congregational Church
*Statue of Carter Harrison
*R. C. Wieboldt Department Store Headquarters
*Plumbers Union Hall
*United Electrical Workers
*Painters District Council No. 14
*Haymarket Statue in Police Training Academy
*New headquarters of the Chicago Federation of Labor
*UFCW 546 Hall (originally UFCW 100)
*Milk Wagon Drivers Union, Local 753
*Teamster City
*UNITE! Hall
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Loop Neighborhood Tour
Named after the "Loop" of the elevated trains overhead, downtown Chicago is the Second City's business and financial center. The Loop represents a rich working-class history in, for example, the Marina City Towers (300 N. State St.), built with the pension fund of the Building Service Employee's Union, and originally meant to be low-cost housing for union members. The area also includes Printers Row, once the home of Chicago's vibrant printing trades. Along with the many historical landmarks which dot the downtown landscape, you will find many sites of great importance to the history of the Chicago labor movement.

Important sites in the Loop include:

*Chicago & Northeast Illinois District Council of Carpenters
*Site of the "Bread Riot"
*Site of the "Eastland Disaster"
*Chicago Tribune Tower
*Lake and Franklin wholesalers buildings
*Printers Row
*Tattersalls Hall
*Kalo Shop
*Chicago Art Silver Shop (Art Metal Studios)
*Chicago Womens Club
*Fallen Firefighter and Paramedic Memorial Park
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Near West Side Neighborhood Tour
Chicago's Near West Side was one of the first industrial areas in the city and an immigrant portal neighborhood. The area was pivotal during the Great Upheaval in 1877 and the site of conflict at the McCormick Reaper Plant that led to the Haymarket Massacre on May 4, 1886. It has changed dramatically since the 1950s with the construction of the Eisenhower Expressway and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Yet, the Near West Side remains a prime example of Chicago's many generations of ethnic and working-class history.

Important sites in the Near West Side include:

*Montgomery Ward Headquarters
*Chicago Commons Building
*Union Health Center
*Jane Addams Homes
*Jane Addams Hull House
*Formerly the West Side Auditorium
*St. Francis of Assisi Church
*Formerly West Side Turner Hall
*Former site of O Leary Cottage
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Pilsen Neighborhood Tour
Bounded by Western Avenue, the South Branch of the Chicago River, and to the north by the tracks of several railroads, this tour highlights locations that exemplify Pilsen's rich history of immigrant community life and labor and political activism. Beginning in the mid nineteenth century, the city of Chicago initiated a series of urban development projects that drove thousands of Bohemian immigrants out of what became Lincoln Park and "The Gold Coast" and into a section of the West Side. They named their new home Pilsen, after the second largest city in Bohemia (Czech Republic). A number of these immigrants arrived in Chicago as anarchists and socialists, and, after experiencing the effects of the recession of 1873, led and participated in a series of strikes and protests. By 1910, Pilsen had become the largest Bohemian community in the U.S. In 1920, after receiving waves of immigration from Poland, Lithuania, and Croatia, at least twenty-six ethnic groups lived here, many of whom established churches, schools, and community houses. During the early twentieth century, thousands of these immigrants began moving into various suburbs.

In the 1950s, Mexican immigrants began arriving in Pilsen, their numbers then increased by the population displaced by the expansion of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Today, Pilsen is one of the largest Mexican communities in the Midwest.

Important sites in Pilsen include:

*Battle of the Viaduct
*Schoenhofen Brewery
*Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum
*Chicago Public Library-Rudy Lozano Branch
*Thalia Hall
*Casa Aztlan
*Benito Juarez High School
*Former site of the McCormick Reaper Works
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A Welcome to the Interactive Labor Trail
Welcome to the Interactive Labor Trail map! Please feel free to explore, leave comments and add sites to help improve our showcase of Chicago's working-class history!

To help you get started, we have put together tours highlighting a given neighborhood, event, or theme from Chicago's labor history.

*Back of the Yards Neighborhood Tour
*Bronzeville Neighborhood Tour
*Haymarket Affair
*Loop Neighborhood Tour
*Near West Side Neighborhood Tour
North Lawndale Neighborhood Tour
*Pilsen Neighborhood Tour
*Polonia Triangle Neighborhood Tour
*Pullman Neighborhood Tour
*South East Chicago Neighborhood Tour
*Union Row Neighborhood Tour
*Washington Park Neighborhood Tour
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1980 Firefighters' Strike
Video of Dale Berry Describing the 1980 Firefighters Strike
Between 1968 and 1980, firefighters in large and small towns across Illinois fought for union recognition and municipal contracts. In an series of campaigns taking on an unprecedented intensity, firefighters used "Silver Spanner" strikes -- in which the fire departments continued to respond to fires, but did not otherwise attend to their duties -- to force intransigent city officials to improve wages, hours, and benefits. In 1980, the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, International Association of Firefighters (AFFI--IAFF-AFL-CIO) brought the fight to Chicago. Organized in 1902, the city's IAFF Local 2 was the oldest firefighters union in the country, but it had devolved into "more of a social club than a trade union." Matejka, p. 143) Local 2 had no written contract with the city, no collective bargaining procedures, nor any official labor representative in the city offices. "Handshake agreements" with the city gave the mayor control over patronage in the fire department, while limiting Local 2's power. More than anything else firefighters wanted a formal contract with the city in order to have a position from which to bargain for pay comparable to unionized departments in other cities, benefits packages, and updated equipment. During the 1979 mayoral campaign, then candidate Jane Byrne pledged that she would work out a contract with Chicago firefighters. Once elected, however, Byrne refused to give the firefighters a contract until the City Council passed a collective bargaining ordinance. In the meantime, she agreed to hold "discussions" with the union, but would not officially negotiate contract terms. Frustrated with Byrne, Local 2 President Frank Muscare called union members to strike on February 14, 1980. The next day the city secured a back-to-work order, and on February 16 Circuit Court Judge John Hechinger issued contempt of court citations to union leaders, including Muscare. Firefigthers ignored both the back-to-work order and the contempt citiations, while on February 17 five hundred union members picketed in front of City Hall, and on February 18 the Chicago Federation of Labor recognized the strike and promised to honor picket lines. On February 20, the firefighters agreed to go back to work for twenty-four hours, but when they tried to return, the city locked them out. Judge Hechinger sentenced Muscare to five months in jail and levied heavy fines against him and the union. Dale Berry, legal counsel for Local 2, remembers a crucial standoff on February 22 at McCormick Place, where the firefighters were holding a picket line and turned back a group of Teamsters who attempted to forcefully break up the picket. In addition to its struggles with an intransigent city administration and unsupportive unions, Local 2 had to overcome internal divisions over race and different levels of militancy among union members. Pressure mounted for both sides to settle the strike as the states electoral primary approached, and as deadly fires broke across the city. On March 7, the union agreed to a settlement; workers would return to work and the city agreed to binding arbitration. The city asked the court for leniency in fines against Local 2. Muscare remained in jail until March 21, and the union paid significant fines. Finally, in November 1980, Local 2 secured a contract.
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AFSCME's Struggle for a Municipal Contract
121 N la Salle St
Chicago, IL 60602, US
Video of Steve Cullen Describing AFSCME's Struggle for a Municipal Contract
Steve Cullen, labor activist and member of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), remembers this spot -- the office of the mayor of Chicago -- as the central location in AFSCME's many battles to persuade the city to support a state law giving public workers the right to bargain collectively. His description of AFSCME's struggle with the municipal government also sheds light on the history of the 1980 Firefighters Strike In addition, click here to watch a video of Ray Harris, AFSCME lobbyist and director of intergovernmental affairs, describe the union's fight for the right to collective bargaining. Harris explains that AFSCME supported mayoral candidate Harold Washington largely because Washington promised to push for collective bargaining for public workers. Harris also discusses AFSCME's diverse membership, and its role in the Civil Rights Movement.
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Elwood Flowers on 1968 Transit Workers Struggle
Video of Elwood Flowers Describing the 1968 Transit Strike
Flowers, a leader of the Almagamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 308, describes the 1968 strike in which the members of Local 308 struck in support of the black members of Local 241, who were protesting racial segregation in their own bus drivers' union. Flowers also marks Dr. Martin Luther King Drive (formerly South Parkway) as a key work site for African American transit workers in Chicago.
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Crane Manufacturing Company
W 41st St & S Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60632, US
In 1915, the Crane Manufacturing Company moved from its former site at 1100 South Canal Street to this plant at 41st and Kedzie. The new location took advantage of easy access to rail transportation at the Santa Fe-Corwith Railyards just north of this site, and became the largest employer in the area. The accompanying photograph shows three workers in the factory on March 26, 1943.
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Barrett Manufacturing Company
In 1909, Barrett Manufacturing began construction on a new plant, to consolidate two separate works at 25th Street and Loomis Avenue, and on Goose Island. According to the Chicago Tribune, the new Barrett site took up about twenty-four acres ("Barrett Co. Gets a Big Site," Chicago Tribune, April 20, 1909, p. 14). Barrett manufactured construction materials for paving and roofing. In this photograph, workers are taking English language classes provided by the company in 1919.
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White City/Park City Bowl and Roller Rink
345 E 63rd St
Chicago, IL 60637, US
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.
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Chicago Teachers Union Founding
2245 W Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60612, US
Sarah Howard on the Founding of the Chicago Teachers' Union

Founded in the 1930s, the Chicago Teachers' Union became "the progessive force" in education in Chicago, despite the fact that it was officially recognized by the Chicago Board of Education until 1967. In the accompanying video Sarah Howard -- great great grandniece of the legendary labor activist and teacher Lilian Herstein -- describes Chicago teachers' struggle for more school funding and fair labor conditions during the Depression. Between December 1932 and December 1933, Chicago teachers worked without pay, and in 1933 the Board of Education imposed radical budget cuts. They closed schools, increased class sizes, and dropped extracurricular programs. One of the schools the Board of Education closed was the highly popular Crane Junior College, which had opened in 1911 as part of the Crane Technical High School. Although Crane Junior College remained closed until the 1950s -- when it reopened and eventually became Malcolm X College -- Chicago teachers and students forced the Board of Education to open the Herzl Junior College in the North Lawndale neighborhood. In 1937, the many separate teachers' organizations that had been fighting under an ad hoc steering committee formally organized the Chicago Teachers' Union.
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Joseph T. Ryerson and Son, Inc.
W 16th St & S Rockwell St
Chicago, IL 60608, US
In the early 1840s, Joseph T. Ryerson arrived in Chicago as an agent of a Pennsylvania iron firm, and soon opened his own shop at a site on the Chicago River. Although the 1871 Chicago Fire destroyed the Ryerson warehouse, the company rebuilt and continued to grow on the Chicago River until 1903, when it moved to this facility served by North Lawndale's many industrial rail lines. In 1935, Joseph T. Ryerson and Son, Inc., became a subsidiary of Inland Steel. The Ryerson plant, with significant capital investments, has remained in North Lawndale even as most of the neighborhood's industry left in the decades after World War II, and especially after 1970. Recently, the company has also funded community development and organization initiatives in the North Lawndale neighborhood. Ryerson also maintains a plant on the South Side near the intersection of 111th Street and the Bishop Ford Expressway (Interstate 94). The two accompanying photos show an aerial view of the North Lawndale plant (Chicago History Museum, ICHi-39815), and white-collar workers at the plant in 1941 (ICHi-39919). Today, the plants employ approximately 540 union workers represented by the joint United Steelworkers and Teamsters Union Local 714.
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Former Cook County Courthouse, Jail, and Gallows Alley
N Dearborn St & W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60610, US
The original Cook County Courthouse, where the Haymarket Eight were tried and convicted, was torn down in 1892. The trial began on June 21, 1886; two months and 981 witnesses later, Judge Joseph E. Gary sentenced seven of the eight to death by hanging. Oscar Neebe received fifteen years of hard labor in Joliet Prison.
The Haymarket Eight were held in the Cook County Jail on the southwest corner of Illinois and Dearborn Streets. Before the jail was torn down in 1929, it also held Eugene V. Debbs when he was arrested during the 1894 Pullman Strike, and "Big Bill" Heywood was here for six months in 1917-18 after the Palmer Raids.
In 1886, the alley between the Courthouse and the Jail was a courtyard. The city erected the gallows in this courtyard and, at about 11:30 AM on November 11, 1887, hanged George Engel, Aldolph Fischer, Albert Parsons, and August Spies.
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Haymarket Square, Crane's Alley, and Zepf's Hall
On May 4, 1886, about 2,500 people gathered in Haymarket Square near Randolph and Desplaines to hear labor and community leaders such as August Spies, Albert Parsons, and Samuel Fielden discuss the violent clash betweeen striking workers and the police the day before at the McCormick Reaper Plant, the movement for the eight hour day, and general tensions between labor and capital across the nation (see accompanying photo of the Square in 1911 -- Chicago History Museum, DN-0057584). At about 10:30, with the crowd reduced to approximately two hundred, a bomb exploded at the same time that 176 armed police officers moved in to disperse the gathering. In the hue and cry for "law and order" eight men -- the "Haymarket Eight" -- were brought to trial and convicted for the bombing. One of the eight, Louis Lingg, was found dead in his cell on November 10, 1887. The next day, four others were hanged. In June 1893, Governor Peter Altgeld pardoned the three surviving men convicted in what Altgeld described as a profoundly unfair trial.

The speakers during the May 4 gathering spoke from the back of a wagon that was parked on the spot where sculptor Mary Brogger's "Haymarket Memorial" (2004 -- see attached photo) now stands. According to historian William J. Adelman, the bomb was most likely thrown from the vestibule of a building on the Northeast corner of Randolph and Desplaines. Just to the north was Zepf's Hall (now 630 West Lake Street), then home to the Lumbershovers' Union that had asked Albert Spies to speak to its members near the McCormic Plant on May 3. When the bomb exploded, Albert and Lucy Parsons were in the tavern on the first floor of Zepf's Hall with their children and their friend Lizzie Holmes.

The bomb landed on the west side of Desplaines, opposite Crane's Alley which was on the east side of Desplaines between Randolph and Lake. One police officer died immediately.
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Former Desplaines Street Police Station
In the alley next to the Desplaines Street Police Station, which is no longer standing, 176 police officers gathered on the evening of May 4, 1886. The officers waited for orders from the infamous Captain Bonfield to break up the gathering in Haymarket Square. Mayor Carter Harrison, who had been at the Square and decided it was a peaceful assembly, came to this station and told Bonfield to send his police officers home. After Bonfield heard that the Mayor had finally left the Square, Bonfield ordered his officers to advance. Mayor Harrison heard the bomb blast from his home on Ashland Avenue, and rushed back to the Desplaines Station.
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North Lawndale
North Lawndale's tumultuous history parallels Chicago's sweeping story of immigration, economic booms and deindustrialization, racial transition and conflict, and persistent community and political activism. The virtually empty prairie of the mid-19th century developed into a vibrant Jewish neighborhood and industrial center by the 1920s, became an almost entirely African American community in the post-World War II decades, and, between the 1940s and 1990s, lost two-thirds of its population and the majority of its industry. Vestiges of all of these changes remain in the monumental buildings along Douglas Boulevard and the extensive stock of Greystone housing. African-American residents have endured through segregation and economic decline, building community networks and fighting to bring housing, jobs, private investment, and public services to the area. Although residents continue to struggle with the problems of a largely poor urban community, activists and developers have had some success, making North Lawndale a nationally renowned example of "inner city" revitalization.

*Chicago Freedom Movement House
*Douglas Park Field House
*Jewish Peoples Institute
*Lawndale for Better Jobs
*Marcy Center
*Original Sears Tower
*Reverend Martin Luther King Jr Chicago Apartment
*Roosevelt Road and 1968 Riots
*Ryerson Steel
*Theodore Herzl Public School
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Uptown Tour
Originally a wealthy enclave, Uptown's entertainment and retail sectors rivaled the Loop by the 1920s when extensive apartment construction lowered rents and attracted singles from other parts of the city. Eastern European Jews and African-Americans followed, and relocated Japanese-Americans moved there during and after World War II. Native Americans and Appalachians arrived during the 1950s. Uptown faced population loss and disinvestment through the 1980s, but has remained a port of entry for working-class immigrants and refugees.

Ebenezer Lutheran Church
Swedish American Museum Center
Rooming House
Edgewater Beach Hotel
American Indian Center
Aragon Ballroom
Peoples Church of Chicago
Segregated Block
Jobs Or Income Now (JOIN) Office
Graceland Cemetary
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Congress Hotel Strike
520 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605, US
On August 1, 2002, a five-year citywide hotel workers contract expired. After a standoff between UNITE HERE Local 1 and the city's hotel owners, the union won a new citywide contract with improved wages and benefits (see entry on Pioneer Court). In the 1990s, the owners of the Congress Hotel had pulled out of the multi-employer association, so when the Congress Hotel workers' contract expired on December 31, 2002, they needed to fight for their own contract. In May 2003, the Congress Hotel submitted its final contract offer, which included severe wage and benefits cuts. In response, on June 15, 2003, the workers at the Congress Hotel went out on strike. As of May 26, 2006, the Congress Hotel workers continue to walk the picket line against the unyielding owners. The Congress Hotel picket line is a critical front in a larger struggle for the labor rights of service workers in Chicago's massive hotel and tourism business. The attached photo (taken by Garth Liebhafer) shows workers on the picket line. For the latest on the Congress Hotel strike, click on the title above to link to UNITE HERE Local 1's strike information website.
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Henrici Restaurant
67 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601, US
A strike began on 5 February 1910 at Henrici's Restaurant. The strike followed six months of negotiations between restaurant workers in the "loop" district and their employers. Although over 100 restaurants agreed on a scale of hours and wages and the right of workers to unionize, a handful of restaurants refused. One of the first restaurants to refuse was Henrici's.

Henrici responded to the demands of its workers by firing all union members. These workers, in turn, formed a peaceful picket. The restaurant attempted to undermine the strike by taking out newspaper ads claiming the strikers were radicals and not former employees. The police made over 125 arrests at the picket and were charged by strikers with brutality. Hull House co-founder Ellen Gates Starr was arrested for picketing on 2 March 1914.

Henrici's was successful in obtaining an injunction against the right of workers to picket.
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Kalo Arts Crafts Community House
322 Grant Pl
Park Ridge, IL 60068, US
In the early 20th century, the Kalo Arts Crafts Community House was home to a famous artists's colony that featured a "school within a workshop." Operated by Clara Barck Welles, founder of the Kalo Shop in Chicago, Park Ridge and New York, the home served as as a major commercial training facility for jewelry, metalwork and handicrafts during the height of the American Arts & Crafts movement.
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Lager Beer Riot of 1855
The little publicized election of March 6, 1855 ushered in a new mayor named Levi Boone and his coalition of nativists, Know-Nothings, anti-Catholics, and temperance advocates to city government. Boone drew the ire of Chicago’s Irish and German community when he increased liquor licensing fees from $50 to $300. His “law and order” platform also included the tripling of the Chicago police force- without hiring any immigrants. When Boone ordered the enforcement of an ordinance that called for all taverns to be closed on Sunday, it was seen by many as a direct attack on the Irish and German community, who traditionally made alcohol part of their Sabbath-day leisure activities.

Boone made hundreds of arrests for violation of the Sunday temperance ordinance and soon the courts were clogged with cases. Judge Henry Rucker was given the job of presiding over a test case for the ordinance enforcement on April 21. Crowds gathered in front of the original Cook County Courthouse at Clark and Randolph to protest the ordinance. The police dispersed the crowd after arresting nine people. Later in the afternoon, protesters assembled again on Clark Street, north of the river, and began to march toward the courthouse. Mayor Boone ordered the Clark Street Bridge to be raised, thus halting most of the crowd until the police and local militia could arrive. When the bridge was lowered, a riot broke out that was quickly put down. One person was killed in the melee and 60 were arrested in what was later dubbed the “Lager Beer Riot of 1855.”

Boone later eased his enforcement of the Sunday closing laws and in March of 1856, he and his slate of candidates were voted out of office. The $50 licensing fee was restored and Chicago’s Irish and German communities remained politically active.
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Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church/Shrine
1101 N 23rd Ave
Melrose Park, IL 60160, US
Home of one of the Larger Italian American Festivals in Chicago held each July since 1894. The original popularity of this fest led many Italians to migrate from Italian enclaves in the city to this suburb, creating a large enclave of Italian culture and political influence in the western suburbs.
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Headquarters of the United Transport Service Employees of America
3451 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60653, US
Organized and lead by Willard S. Townsend, the United Transportation Service Employees of America was a union of "Red Caps," cooks, custodians and other railroad service employees. The UTSEA affiliated with the CIO in 1942. It's leader Willard Townsend was the first African-American to serve on the CIO Executive Council.
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Austin Lunch
1458 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60607, US
The Austin Lunch was a diner owned by the Limberopoulos family, one of a plethora of Greek-owned restaurants in the "Delta," as the old Greektown area of Chicago was known. Author Constance Limberopoulos Constant has written a memoir of her family's experience with the same title; it is an eye-opening account of the struggle of family-owned businesses in Depression-era Chicago, and as such it adds to our understanding of urban America and immigrant life in particular.
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University of Chicago Settlement House
4655 S McDowell Ave
Chicago, IL 60609, US
In 1894, Mary McDowell opened the University of Chicago Settlement House in her apartment located here in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. The goal of the University of Chicago Settlement, like most settlement houses, was to help immigrants assimilate. The Settlement offered classes in English, nutrition, and hygiene. Club meetings, lectures, and concerts also took place there. The Settlement eventually expanded from the single apartment to a complex encompassing a school and gymnasium. Numerous different European immigrants utilized the services of the Settlement including Poles, Irish, Germans, Bohemians, Lithuanians, Hungarians, Finns, Welsh, and Scotch. The Settlement also served as a center for Mexicans during the late 1920's/early 1930's. Several Mexican Societies had headquarters there. McDowell worked personally with Mexican immigrants in promoting interethnic cooperation, and she trained Mexican women to take leadership roles (i.e. the Mexican Mothers' Club).
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St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church
8237 S South Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60617, US
St. Michael the Archangel was formed in 1892 at 83rd Street and South Shore Drive to serve Polish families on the south side. It was built in 1907 by Polish-American steelworkers down the street from Illinois Steel Southworks. It has been praised for its gothic style. Today, it serves the predominantly Hispanic community, although a Polish language school is still offered.

Photo from: http://www.stmichaelchicago.org/
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Holy Trinity Orthodox Church
1121 N Leavitt Street
Chicago, IL 60622, US
Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral was completed in 1903 in part because of a $4,000 gift by Tsar Nicholas II (out of his personal funds) and designed by famed Louis Sullivan. It quickly became the most important religious institution for Chicago's Russian colony as well as the most visible symbol of the Russian presence west of the loop.

Photo from:
http://holytrinitycathedral.net/

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Douglas Park Auditorium
S Kedzie Ave & W Ogden Ave
Chicago, IL 60623, US
A multipurpose Jewish institutional building that housed the Workmen's Circle, Jewish labor unions, and the Yiddish Theater. This building was later renamed Labor Lyceum. Today the building is the location of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith.
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Depression Era Protest, March 11, 1932
Humboldt Park
Chicago, IL,
A demonstration in Humboldt Park on March 11, 1932 protested the distribution of rotten food at the Emerson Relief Station. Protestors carrying signs reading "We Want Milk for Our Babies" and "No More Evictions" were set upon by club wielding police. Eighteen were arrested, including five women. The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Police Department accused "reds" of leading the protest. In this largely Scandinavian enclave, Danes took exception to this characterization in their foreign-language paper, the Danish Times. In their version of events, the protestors were peaceful and not affiliated with communists. In the wake of the riot the poor were not given rotten surplus anymore, but certificates that could be used in any food store, so that the unemployed could buy what they wanted.
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Woodlawn A.M.E.
S Evans Ave & E 65th St
Chicago, IL 60637, US
Chicago Church Tour 1/3:
The role of black churches in the Civil Rights Movement was crucial. Black churches were economically connected to their black communities through tithes and association. This situation created a level of black autonomy, where other black organizations were clandestinely controlled or hindered by links to white society. Consequently black churches flourished and evolved into not only a place of worship but as a center for political activism. Civil rights leaders, ministers, activist, and union organizations utilized this platform with remarkable results within their black communities.

On June 20, 1943 at the Woodlawn A.M.E. church on 65th and Evans Avenue, the president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, A. Phillip Randolph, addressed the forum. The meeting was presided over by William P. Harrison, a member of the board of directors of the Chicago Urban league. At this church political agenda was active, stimulating the formation of the Woodland Forum. In the 1940s, this forum was a political, discussion-based group whose chairman was Miss. C. Novella Trotter in 1942. Issues discussed varied with guest speakers, from “The American Negro and the War.” to “Should England Grant India Independence Now?”

Next, see St. Marks M.E. on Wabash and 50th.
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St. Marks M.E.
S Wabash Ave & E 50th St
Chicago, IL 60615, US
Chicago Church Tour 2/3:
The role of black churches in the Civil Rights Movement was crucial. Black churches were economically connected to their black communities through tithes and association. This situation created a level of black autonomy, where other black organizations were clandestinely controlled or hindered by links to white society. Consequently black churches flourished and evolved into not only a place of worship but as a center for political activism. Civil rights leaders, ministers, and union organizations utilized this platform with remarkable results within their black communities.

On August 24, 1930 at St. Marks M.E. church on Wabash and 50th street, the quinquennial celebration of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Maids union transpired. Clergymen of this church also served as local vanguards of the Civil Rights Movement. The rector of St Marks M.E., Reverend Clarence Parker was co-chairman of the Civil Rights Congress of Illinois. Reverend John B. Redmond, pastor of St. Marks was an outspoken advocate of better housing on the south side of Chicago, while proposing the beautification of regional black neighborhoods.

Next, see Metropolitan Community Church on 41st and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
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Metropolitan Community Church
E 41st St & S Dr Martin L King Jr Dr
Chicago, IL 60653, US
Chicago Church Tour 3/3:
The role of black churches in the Civil Rights Movement was crucial. Black churches were economically connected to their black communities through tithes and association. This situation created a level of black autonomy, where other black organizations were clandestinely controlled or hindered by links to white society. Consequently black churches flourished and evolved into not only a place of worship but as a center for political activism. Civil rights leaders, ministers, and union organizations utilized this platform with remarkable results within their black communities.

The Metropolitan Community Church on 41st and South Park Way (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive) was such a platform. A. Phillip Randolph, the president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, held meetings and gave numerous speeches there. For example, on July 1, 1943 A. Phillip Randolph presided over a meeting of 500 delegates of the March on Washington Movement at this church. This movement was established to address the concerns of segregation and discrimination within the United States government. Other Civil Rights leaders who spoke that day were Dr. Lawrence M. Ervin, an eastern director of the March on Washington Movement and Lawrence D. Reddick, the curator of the Schomburg collection of Negro literature in New York City. In addition, on March 18, 1945, A. Phillip Randolph presided over a rally sponsored by the Chicago citizens fair employment practice committee, and on March 14, 1943, Congressman William A. Rowan before the Chicago Citizens Committee of one thousand people assured that a newly introduced civil rights bill was legitimate; both of these events were held at the Metorpolitan Community Church.

To begin this tour see Woodlawn A.M.E. on 65th and Evans Avenue.
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"Hull House Riot"
400 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60607, US
In January 1915 a march of unemployed to downtown from the Hull House was beaten back by police. Lucy Parsons, Rev. Irwin St. John Tucker, immigrants, and IWW members were arrested. Sophonisba Breckenridge called it a breach of free speech and the right to assemble.
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Actors' Equity Association
125 S Clark St
Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60603, USA
312-641-0393
Actors' Equity Association ("AEA" or "Equity"), founded in 1913, is the labor union that represents more than 45,000 Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions and provides a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans, for its members. Actors' Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions.
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Fort Sheridan
1st Street & Sheridan Road
Fort Sheridan, IL 60037, USA
Fort Sheridan was an Army post founded November 8, 1887, three days before the execution of the Haymarket Martyrs in Chicago. Founded specifically to quell labor resistance and protect North Shore mansions from angry employees in Chicago, the fort was founded with a 632 acre donation to the Army by the Commercial Club of Chicago, spearheaded by Marshall Field, George Pullman and Senator C.B. Farwell. The actual deed was issued through "straw men" Bartlett, Hutchinson & Janes (along with their wives) and the Commercial Club was specifically not listed, as the Club's charter prohibited it from owning or donating property. In June 1894, troops were mobilized from Fort Sheridan to put down the Pullman Strike. And President Grover Cleveland ordered the 15th Infantry & 7th Cavalry from Fort Sheridan to put down a strike at the Union Stockyards. This would be the last time troops at the Fort would be used to attack labor actions in Chicago. Fort Sheridan was decommissioned May 28, 1993 in a cost-cutting move. Other notable events: the imprisonment at the fort of Lakota warriors after the Battle of Wounded Knee, and its use as a training and staging camp for both World Wars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Sheridan

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/fort-sheridan.htm

http://www.globalseeker.com/users/fortorg/histsig.htm

http://www.globalseeker.com/users/virtualtour/
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1966 Airline Strike
From July 8 to August 19, 1966 over 35,000 airline workers across the nation employed by five airlines went on strike.
After several years of stilted wage gains as the airline industry invested heavily in jet technology, aircraft mechanics and other ground service workers represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM) were anxious to share in the substantial profits of 1965. Facing a bargaining impasse between the IAM and the five carriers (United, Northwest, National, Trans World and Eastern) covered in the industry’s first multi-carrier labor contract, a Presidential Emergency Board presented a “compromise” package. In the summer of 1966, IAM members rejected this compromise and walked off the job in the largest strike in airline history. For 43 days during the peak summer travel season, 60 percent of the U.S. commercial airline industry was literally inoperative as 35,000 workers stayed out on strike.
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1966 Airline Strike
Between July 8 and August 19, 1966 over 35,000 employees of five airlines went on strike nationwide shutting down over 40 percent of the nation's commercial air traffic. The strike resulted in a major wage victory against President Lyndon Johnson's attempts to control inflation during the Vietnam War.
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National Public Housing Museum
1200 Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607, US
In 1937 the Jane Addams Homes opened to working.......
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Waukegan Tour
Waukegan was a small town of about 4,000 on Lake Michigan in 1890. A decade later, its population had increased by 90% as the first wave of industrialization attracted Eastern Europeans, Finns, and Swedes. During the 1920s, the next round of manufacturing expansion, Waukegan’s population went up about 75%, drawing upon African Americans and Southern whites. By 1955, there were around 19,000 manufacturing jobs in the Waukegan-North Chicago economic complex. Less than 20 years later, the city’s industrial decline began when the Greiss-Pfleger Tannery, where more than 600 worked, closed. By the mid-1990s, few factory jobs were left, but during that decade, Waukegan’s population increased by more than 25%, as it attracted Mexican immigrants seeking jobs in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Waukegan had much to offer industry. About half-way between Chicago and Milwaukee, its residential and business district sat on a bluff 60 to 80 feet above the “flats” that ran to the lake. The flats offered cheap land and easy access to an endless supply of water. The port provided one means of transportation, while the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad offered, in a route that stretched to Porter, Indiana, a way around Chicago. Waukegan, moreover, had little sustained working-class culture or activity.

Washburn Moen, a wire mill in Worcester, Massachusetts, was the first to see Waukegan’s possibilities. Its establishment of a branch in Waukegan in the early 1890s set off the city’s industrial expansion. Established with the help of skilled workers, especially Scandinavians, this firm, to become American Steel and Wire, soon employed more than 2,000. For the next ten years, new factories, like the sugar refinery that employed between 750 and 1,000, continued to be built on the southern portion of the flats. It was there, at the Corn Products Company, that the worst industrial accident in Lake County’s history occurred: Fourteen workers died in an explosion in November, 1912.

Eastern and Northern Europeans, caught up in the social and economic dislocations produced by expanding Euro-US capitalism, flocked to Waukegan in search of steady employment. By 1910, Waukegan’s population, which had grown to 16,000, was 35% foreign-born. Living almost entirely on the city’s South Side, these immigrants – Finns, Lithuanians, and Slovenians were most prominent – created institutions that sustained them and their children for the next 50 years years. The Finns and Slovenians – the Lithuanians to a much lesser extent – were deeply divided between the churched and the non-churched or, perhaps better, the anti-clerical. For the Slovenians, it was Mother of God and the Slovenic National Home; for the Finns, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church/Temperance Hall and Workers Hall.

The 1919 steel strike is the exception to the Waukegan working classes’ long record of relative quiescence in the workplace, at least as measured by walkouts. The strikers at American Steel and Wire stayed out long after most in the Chicago and Pittsburgh regions had gone back to work. Using the Slovenic National Home as primary strike headquarters and Workers Hall as a secondary one, their mass meetings heard speeches by Mother Jones and Daniel Hoan, the socialist mayor of Milwaukee. The company, in alliance with city officials and a besieged middle-class, triumphed over the strikers, despite their stirring demonstration of solidarity across ethnic-lines. The defeat would be remembered, especially by Slovenians, for a long time.
The African-American population in Waukegan more than doubled during the 1920s. The Wilder tannery, soon to become Griess-Pfleger, recruited Southern blacks to work in its Waukegan plant during WW I, but had to build housing for these new employees because whites would not rent to them. The tannery’s development, on the northwest outskirts of town, became known as “Frog Island.” Almost equally black and white in 1920, it was overwhelmingly African-American by 1930, as Southern blacks continued moving to Waukegan for jobs. In that census year, of 46 black heads-of-households, 9 worked at the tannery. Frog Island, a proud and self-contained residential area, anchored by Gideon Missionary Baptist Church, would provide leadership for Waukegan’s blacks for the next 30 years.
Waukegan’s next wave of industrialization came in the 1920s when several companies that would leave a lasting mark on the city arrived: Johns Manville, which produced assorted goods made from asbestos, and Johnson Motors, which made outboard motors for recreational boats. The former, which began production just outside the northern city limits in 1923, employed about 2,500 in 1955, while the latter, which opened in 1927, employed more than 2,000 in the same year on the northern flats. Eleven African-Americans from Frog Island worked at Johns Manville in 1930.
North Chicago – the city immediately south of Waukegan – was the scene of the area’s most dramatic event in the area during the Great Depression. When management refused to negotiate with Fansteel’s workers, they occupied the plant in 1937, only to be ejected by the police after considerable violence. Two years later, the Supreme Court ruled that Fansteel had committed unfair labor practices; it also decided that the workers’ sit-down strike was illegal. In 1955, the company, which had begun production in North Chicago in 1907, employed about 2,000, many of whom lived in Waukegan.
We know little about other labor activity in Waukegan during the 1930s. The Co-Operative Trading Company, which had come out of the Finnish immigrant community, took the lead in organizing the unemployed, while the CIO’s Fur and Leather Workers won recognition and a contract at Griess-Pfleger after a five-week strike in 1941. The Steel Workers seem to have won bargaining rights at American Steel and Wire during WW II. Independent unions came to represent workers at Johnson Motors and Johns Manville. The Independent Marine and Machinist Union represented employees of the former during the life of the plant, but by 1959, employees at the latter had switched to the Chemical Workers.

On July 24, 1970, 17 of the 19 police officers assigned to work the midnight shift called in with the “blue flu.” Several days later, the majority of police officers voted to not report for work: Their demand for union recognition brought them into direct conflict with Robert Sabonjian, the son of an Armenian immigrant and steelworker, who was serving his fourth term as mayor. The final result was a crushing defeat when Sabonjian fired more than 50 patrolmen, sergeants, and lieutenants.

The closing of Griess-Pfleger in 1973 marked the beginning of the end of factory production in Waukegan. In 1979, American Steel and Wire shuttered its doors. From then on, Waukegan’s industrial work force declined fitfully, but inexorably. In 1992, Johns Manville closed. By that time, few production workers remained at OMC, the new name for Johnson Motors; it officially shut down in 2000.

Factory jobs, which had been the life-blood of Waukegan for almost a century, all but disappeared, but industrial production left its mark on the city in two different, but related ways. First, in 1934 and 1935, workers at Johns Manville had filed numerous lawsuits, holding the company responsible for their health problems. The courts denied these claims, so Johns Manville continued production at Waukegan and elsewhere, cognizant of asbestos’ danger. By the mid-1970s, though, it could no longer hide what it was doing and an avalanche of lawsuits and court rulings brought the problem the attention it deserved. Johns Manville declared bankruptcy in 1982. There are few long-time residents in Waukegan who do not know more than a few people who died of asbestos. The casualties, moreover, continue.

Severe environmental problems are the second legacy of Waukegan’s industrial production. Johns Manville left behind a 300-acre site filled with asbestos, while OMC did the same with 1,000,000 pounds of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Here the damage extended to the harbor, where about one-third of the PCBs ended up. Large amounts of chemical waste also were discovered at the tannery as well as at an abandoned manufactured gas and coke plant. The federal government declared OMC, Johns Manville, and Yeoman Creek Landfill – a city owned disposal site of 70 acres that contained a witch’s brew of synthetic chemicals – Superfund Sites. Remediation, under the EPA’s direction and largely successful, has been going on for more than 20 years. The city also has a master plan for lakefront development.

The capital mobility that created massive social and economic dislocation in Waukegan during the last quarter of the twentieth century produced a similar dynamic in Mexico. As the city emptied out of the white working class and downtown shopping all but disappeared, hundreds of Mexican men and women began moving in large numbers to Waukegan looking for jobs. The percent of Mexicans living in the city doubled from 1980 to 1990 and again from 1990 to 2000. Finding jobs that paid considerably better in the US than in Mexico, just like the Slovenians and Finns had decades before, Mexicanos and Mexicanas began creating a world for themselves, doing the best they could for their families within conditions over which they had little control.

Important sites in Waukegan include:

*Frog Island
*Lithuanian Hall
*Slovenic National Home
*Workers Hall
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Slovenic National Home
424 10th St
Waukegan, IL 60085, US
Unchurched and free-thinking – sometimes anti-clerical – Slovenian immigrants decided in 1913 that they needed a center for their activities in Waukegan. They also wanted a large meeting hall for the wider Slovenian community. Fours years later, after endless selling of shares house-to-house, raffles, dances, and bazaars, building began: The shareholders did all the work. The cornerstone was laid on November 3, 1917, and the “Dom,” as the Slovenians called it, was completed at the end of December, 1918.

The hall’s location at 424 10th Street was not accidental. First, it was just a few blocks away from the main entrance to American Steel and Wire, where many Slovenians worked. Second, 10th Street was the Southside immigrant community’s downtown. Third, and perhaps most important, it was located just east of Mother of God, the Catholic Slovenian national parish. The free-thinkers, therefore, were asserting their presence within the community.

The Slovenic National Home was the immigrant community’s largest meeting space and cultural center. On the upper floor, its large auditorium sat 1200. On the top floor, it had six offices that it rented out. The street-level floor had a leased office as well as the shareholders’ club. There were smaller meeting spaces in the basement. Balina courts were on the lawn east of the building. For the next 40 or so years, numerous organizations created by first-generation unchurched and/or left-wing Slovenian immigrants met at the Home. Other ethnic groups, particularly left-wing, also used the building because of its size. Finns, for example, sometimes used the auditorium for plays they thought would attract an especially large crowd.

The Slovenic National Home played a critical role in the 1919 steel strike when it served as strike headquarters: The regular Sunday rallies and the weekly closed meetings of the strikers were held there. A typical Sunday rally featured the largely Finnish American Steel and Wire Band, musical performances in a variety of languages, and a prominent speaker. Mother Jones came in to rally the strikers in mid-October. When the city fathers decided to restore “order” in Waukegan, one of the things they did was to close down the meetings at the Dom. The strikers moved them to the considerably smaller Workers Hall.

The Dom continued to serve the labor movement well after the 1919 strike. Seven of the locals that the Steelworkers eventually organized in Waukegan and North Chicago met at the Slovenic National Home as did several other CIO unions. (By contrast, the skilled-trades unions almost always had their offices in the downtown area.) In its early years, the Lake County Industrial Union Council also met there.

In 1988, there was still enough commitment in the Slovenian-American community to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Slovenic National Home with a dinner and polka dance. American Steel and Wire retirees and the SNPJ (Slovenic National Benefit Society) still were meeting there, but bingo and rentals were keeping it afloat. The city of Waukegan owned the building in 1991. Sometime after that, Sign of the Dove, a non-denominational Protestant church, bought the building; it still holds services there.
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Charles H. Kerr Publishing Co.
1726 W Jarvis Ave
Chicago, IL 60626, US
The company's story begins improbably enough with the birth of Charles Hope Kerr to abolitionist parents living in LaGrange, Georgia just before the start of the Civil War. According to some accounts, the Kerrs used the Underground Railroad, designed to transport fugitive slaves, to beat a hasty retreat from the South. By 1881, Charles Hope Kerr had graduated from the University of Wisconsin, where his father chaired the Department of Classics. The younger Kerr's undergraduate training in Romance Languages would later serve him well as he was to translate into English such works as Antonio Labriola's Essays on the Materialist Conception of History and Paul Lafargue's brilliant The Right to Be Lazy.

When the Haymarket bomb exploded at a Chicago labor demonstration in 1886, Charles Hope Kerr was a resident of that city, an experienced editor of Unitarian periodicals and the founder of his own Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company. He later recalled learning much from the left Unitarians, though he noted that the radicalism of many of them dimmed quickly when the property question came to the fore.

In the wake of Haymarket and of the 1894 Pullman strike, the property question was to become an increasingly sharp concern for Kerr and for his wife, the feminist temperance advocate, May Walden. After first embracing the monetary reform ideas of the Populist movement, the couple accepted socialism at the century's turn. A 1900 Kerr Company catalog suggests the expansive range of interests which the publishing house brought with it in joining forces with the organized left, promising books "on socialism, free thought, economics, history, hygiene, American fiction, etc."

A year later music would join the list, with the publication of Socialist Songs With Music, the first such collection printed in the U.S. Kerr edited Socialist Songs himself and provided a translation of the "Internationale," one destined to become the standard English text. In subsequent years, socialist playing cards, post cards and even board games found places in Kerr catalogs alongside works of theory.

In the early twentieth century, the Kerr Company became the world's leading English-language radical publisher. It issued, between 1906 and 1909, Ernest Untermann's translation of the three volumes of Marx's Capital, the first full such text, and published the initial popular edition of the anthropological classic Ancient Society, by Lewis Henry Morgan. The works of Clarence Darrow, Peter Kropotkin, Carl Sandburg and Jack London also graced Kerr's lists.

The International Socialist Review (ISR), published by Kerr and affiliated with the Second International, began in 1900 as a rather staid and academic journal edited by the socialist intellectual A. M. Simons. But, after 1908, under Kerr's and later Mary Marcy's editorship, it became a lively mass circulation magazine featuring radical theory, culture (including exclusive publications of London's short stories) and reportage. Contributors included virtually every well-known figure in the radical labor movement, here and abroad.

During the critical World War One years, the Kerr Company represented not only a publishing house, but also a current in the American socialist movement. Openly and uncompromisingly revolutionary, sympathetic to the proletarian socialism of the Industrial Workers of the World and intractably opposed to militarism, the Kerr Company vigorously opposed the war, both before and after U.S. entry. The U.S. government as vigorously opposed the Kerr Company, seeing to it that ISR was banned from the mails under the infamous Espionage Act. Repression, splits in the Socialist Party and the decimation of the IWW all took their toll and, by 1928, an exhausted Charles H. Kerr retired from the company which he had directed for 42 years.

Kerr left the company which bore his name a rich heritage, especially as the American publisher of works representing the viewpoints of the libertarian far left and of revolutionary industrial unionism. Out of the IWW experiences came Kerr's publication of Austin Lewis' The Militant Proletariat, one of the most important theoretical works written in the U.S. Especially during the war, ISR opened its pages to the best of the European far left, including Rosa Luxemburg, Otto Ruble, Hermann Gorter and S. J. Rutgers. Not only did Anton Pannekoek's articles appear, but his Marxism and Darwinism, translated into English, became a Kerr pamphlet. Perhaps most remarkably, in 1913, shortly after being investigated by the Socialist Party leadership for its heterodoxy, the Kerr Company published a translation of Marx's The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte done by the SP's sternest left critic, Daniel DeLeon. Kerr himself, though still an SP member, also included DeLeon's 1897 introduction and to top off a noteworthy adventure in nonsectarianism, added a "Publisher's Note" stressing that the "events of sixteen years have in many ways confirmed [the introduction's] forecast" on political matters.

Prior to leaving, Charles H. Kerr took steps to ensure that the company would continue. Well before he departed, he turned over much of the operation to John Keracher and other members of the Proletarian Party. The PP, which originally adhered to the Communist International, dissented from any analyses which hinted that the time of triumph of American Bolshevism was at hand. It proved to be a small party, but an apt caretaker for the Kerr Company. The Proletarians' roots in the Michigan Socialist Party imparted a deep respect for Kerr's past. Perhaps for that reason, the PP never sought to transform Kerr into a narrow party press. The PP also enjoyed a substantial following among self-educated skilled workers. It often conducted workers' schools and, at times, seemed as interested in spreading knowledge of the natural sciences as in propagating Marxism. This love of knowledge, along with the long-range perspectives of the PP, fit Keracher and his associates well for radical publishing work.

Through 1971, the Proletarians ran Kerr, a company much diminished in size from its early twentieth century heyday, but one still able to keep Marxist classics in print and even to add an occasional new title, such as Keracher's own witty and biting critique of advertising and media, The Head-Fixing Industry.

In 1971, with the PP passing out of existence, its leaders gave control of the Kerr Company to a new Board of Directors, including longtime IWW leader Fred Thompson, labor defense activist and radical economist Joseph Giganti, socialist historian and expert on American Indians Virgil Vogel, and Burt Rosen, a Korean War draft resistance activist and veteran socialist. Cooperating with the Illinois Labor History Society, the revived Kerr Company far exceeded the original expectations of its new Board of Directors, which, as Thompson recalls, at first hoped to give a "decent burial" to a historic institution by distributing its existing stock. Instead, and largely through the hard work of Burt Rosen, the company rebounded and published new biographies of Eugene Debs and of Lucy Parsons, as well as Daniel Fusfeld's masterful short history, Rise and Repression of Radical Labor. Old Kerr titles by Engels, Marx and Lafargue were reprinted, along with The Autobiography of Mother Jones, a labor classic first published in the twenties, reissued in time to sell thousands of copies in mining towns during the coal strikes of the seventies.

The past couple of decades have seen further growth of the Kerr Company. Organized as a worker-owned co-operative not-for-profit educational association, its rapidly expanding list features beautifully printed but reasonably priced books which bring back into print some of the best of C.L.R. James, Mary Marcy, Edward Bellamy, Eugene V. Debs, Clarence Darrow, Isadora Duncan, Vachel Lindsay, Mary MacLane, C. H. George, and Voltairine de Cleyre, as well as heretofore unpublished writings by T-Bone Slim, Claude McKay, Slim Brundage, and Covington Hall, and new books by H. L. Mitchell, Staughton Lynd,, Warren Leming, and Carlos Cortez. Several books on Haymarket, a "Sixties Series" (inaugurated by the first textually accurate edition ever published of the celebrated 1962 Port Huron Statement), a "Lost Utopias Series," a "Bughouse Square Series" and a large and steadily growing number of books on the IWW: These are just a few of the important books brought out by Charles H. Kerr in recent years.

Now (in 2003) in its 118th year, the Kerr Company is not only a living link with the most vital radical traditions of the past, but also an organic part of today's struggles for peace and justice in an ecologically balanced world.
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Lithuanian Hall
901 S Lincoln Ave
Waukegan, IL 60085, US
Waukegan’s Lithuanian-Americans do not seem to have written their history as Slovenian-Americans and Finnish-Americans did, so we know considerably less about Lithuanian Hall than we do about Workers Hall and Slovenic National Home.

Lithuanian Hall, according to one report, replaced previous frame buildings at the same address that also served the Lithuanian immigrant community. The cornerstone is dated 1929, but it is not known who erected it. St. Bartholomew, the Lithuanian national parish, was a few blocks north. In between was the Lithuanian Cooperative Trading Company, established in 1920. In 1939, the Lithuanian Building and Loan Association and the St. Bartholomew Society were meeting at the hall.

The building continues to serve as an immigrant social center. Today, it houses Hacienda del Norte.
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Workers' Hall
517 Helmholz Ave
Waukegan, IL 60085, US
Workers Hall originated in the refusal of the Temperance Hall Finns to allow, as they had for several years, the Waukegan local of the Finnish Federation of the Socialist Party to use its facilities. Several months later, therefore, on November 15, 1908, the Finn socialists decided to build their own space, as their brethren throughout the USA and in Finland were doing. In 1910, they dedicated Workers Hall, the center of Finnish left-wing culture and politics in Waukegan for years to come.

We are fortunate to have a first-hand description in English of the building’s interior as well as what went on there. The stairs led to the main floor, which had numerous rooms that served various functions. On Thursday, the traditional day off for the Finnish women who worked as maids, dances were held. On Saturdays and Sundays, plays and other cultural programs went on. There was a gymnasium for athletic practices and contests and another large room for meeting and conferences. The performing arts, especially theater, anchored Worker Hall culture. Most was in Finnish, but Eva H. Erickson remembered that the young people put on several plays in English.

Many Finnish socialists in Waukegan switched their allegiance to communism after the Russian Revolution. The Waukegan membership in the Finnish Federation of the Workers Party in 1923 rivaled that of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church. Throughout the 1920s, communists controlled Workers Hall. Erickson herself was a member of the Young Pioneers. She remembered that they “wore red handkerchief scarves and red beanies.”

Finnish-American communism apparently lost much legitimacy in Waukegan in 1929 and 1930 when its leadership, obeying the directives of Moscow, tried to extract money from co-operatives that were largely under Finnish control. When co-op officials refused to accept these orders and publicized the demands, the Finnish-American communists tried to replace them. When that failed, the Finnish-American communists tried to destroy the co-operatives. The details of how all this transpired in Waukegan is only accessible to readers of Finnish, but Finnish-American communism lost all its power in the Co-operative Trading Company and considerable power in the Finnish community. There was a deep enough reservoir of support for the Bolshevik experiment that more than 40 men, women, and children responded to “Karelian fever” by emigrating to the USSR to help build a socialist republic. Most are “missing.” Stalin’s police undoubtedly killed them or they starved to death.

Finnish socialists and communists fought over the control of Workers Hall for the rest of its existence. The Communists, by one report, wound up with control. In the early 1950s, the Antioch Baptist Church bought Workers Hall. It still holds services there.
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Frog Island
Frog Island, the well-defined African-American neighborhood on Waukegan’s west side, had two origins. First, during the Great Migration, many Southern blacks came to the city, fleeing racial oppression and looking for work. Second, whites in Waukegan responded to this growing presence of African-Americans by defining, through violence, if necessary, certain jobs, public spaces, and neighborhoods as belonging to them.

The Wilder Tanning Company took the lead, in 1917, in recruiting African-Americans for its newly built factory on the city’s north lakefront. Because, however, whites would not rent to blacks, Wilder was “compelled,” in the words of the Waukegan Daily Sun, to purchase land, build houses, and sell them to African-Americans. It did so in a sparsely settled and swampy area of the city originally called “Bull Frog Island.” On the neighborhood’s edge, Wilder put up a rooming house for single African-American men.

There apparently were just two places in Waukegan in which African-Americans could live in the 1920s: Market Street and Frog Island. Market Street was a run-down, dirty residential area, bounded by numerous railroad tracks, on the flats, where many of the newly arrived often settled before moving up the hill. By the 1910s, an integrated and vice-ridden community, on which the police focused considerable attention, Market Street was where few settled if they had much choice. Frog Island, therefore, attracted larger and larger numbers of African-Americans. An integrated community in 1920, by 1930, it was overwhelmingly African-American.

White racism intensified in reaction to the growing numbers – from 351 to 1,017 during the 1920s – of African-Americans in Waukegan. It sometimes took the form of arson as when two houses were burnt the same night in 1921: The first one was newly built and located outside of Market Street and Frog Island. The second was at the extreme western edge of Frog Island. African-Americans were rumored to be purchasing the former, while the latter seems to have been destroyed to help establish the western racial boundary line of Frog Island.

The KKK was the second kind of white response. In 1924, fellow-Klansmen, in full regalia, buried Herbert Gillis, a city police officer. On his casket, according to a newspaper report, “was a fiery cross on which the initials ‘K.K.K.’ appeared.” Four months later, hooded men proudly stood in front of a house they had built for Gillis’ widow. The newspaper’s front-page picture was captioned “Klan Aid Local Widow.” Two years later, the Waukegan KKK hosted a regional Klan rally on the edge of town. It cancelled its proposed march throughout the city when the city council’s parade permit prohibited the wearing of masks.

African-Americans, within this framework of continuing reminders that they had not completely escaped the KKK and white racism, went about building, out of hope, religious faith, and racial solidarity, a life for themselves in Frog Island. They primarily worked at Griess-Pfleger, Wilder’s successor, and Johns Manville, which built an asbestos plant just outside the city limits in the early 1920s. The jobs were dirty, poorly paid, and dangerous – particularly in the asbestos factory – but they were considerably better than what had been available in Arkansas and Georgia, where a majority of the 1930 residents were born. Gideon Missionary Baptist Church, founded in 1922, anchored the neighborhood.

The heyday of Frog Island extended from its founding into the late 1940s and early 1950s. It produced much of the city’s African-American leadership during that period as well as several African-American fraternal organizations. Proud men and women, including many professionals, came from its streets. Its residents led the Whittier School desegregation battle.

Residents of Frog Island have proudly remembered their past with two reunions. In 1974 and 2003, the remaining original residents and their descendants gathered to celebrate the neighborhood, in Ted Anderson’s words, “where we grew up and loved so much. We were like one big family, and the love and closeness has lingered all these years.”
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Auditorium Theatre
50 E Congress Pkwy
Chicago, IL 60605, US
The auditorium building is considered one of the most important buildings in chicago history.The auditorium includes a theatre,office etc.Ferdinand Peck,Louis sullivan and Dankmar beging their idea in 1886.The auditorium theatre opened in 1889 and was immediately known to be one of the most beautiful functional theatres in the world.
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Daley Plaza
50 W Washington St
Chicago, IL 60602, US
The Daley Plaza is a great area faor Chicagoans to express themselves; many use it to fight back against what they believe as oppression or as freedom of speech to support their beliefs. The plaza is chosen because of its location close to Cith Hall. The area allows people in large groups to gather and show their support. The area was founded by the first Mayor Daley and was originally known as the Chicago Civic Center. Located in the heart of the Chicago Loop, the Daley Center was Chicago's first major public building to be constructed in a modern rather than a classical architectural style. The center of Daley Plaza has an unnamed statue made by Pablo Picasso.
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Millennium Park
201 East Randolph Street
Chicago, IL, United States
When Millennium Park was finally completed in July of 2004, there was a lot of criticism. A few things had gone wrong throughout the process. The opening day of the park was originally thought to be four years earlier and then it exceeded the $150 budget making the final cost about $500 million. Another concern was that the money spent could have been used for something that was much more worthy.
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Chicago Cultural Center
78 E Washington St
Chicago, IL 60602, US
The Chicago Cultural Center is an interesting place to visit because it brings together architecture, social and industrial history. The Chicago Cultural Center was originally the first central public library when it was completed in 1897. It is an impressive limestone-faced building with complicated details, marble staircases, patterned ceilings, beautiful floor mosaics and two impressive stained glass domes, it was "designed to dazzle”. It was completed at a cost of nearly $2 million dollars, this place was inspired by the style of the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893.In 1991 the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs established the building as the Chicago Cultural Center. It is the nation's first free cultural location. It has more than 700 events and thousands of visitors every year. The working class show their struggles and advances in their strikes at the Cultural Center, since the Cultural Center has many photographs and paintings of the working class and their struggles together as a team. They work together; that is what we have to do to survive. This center is the history of it all. The picture below shows all the different culture’s gathering of a history of the beating of Rodney King. http://www.portlandart.net/archives/nickcave.jpg
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Gompers Park and Statue
5200 N Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60625, US
A life-size statue of Samuel Gompers stands before the working class park named in his honor in 1929 by park commissioner Henry A. Schwartz of the shoemakers union.
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Frog Island was great!
I was born in Frog Island in 1961, my Father in 1926. My Grandfather, John Dorsey, moved there from Thomson Georgia in 1923/4. I remember a community just like you described, full of proud and tough people. Damon Dorsey
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Market Street
My Mother was born and raised on market street. She described it just as you described it. Market street was a tough place. Damon Dorsey
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East St. Louis Race Riots
East St. Louis has long been known for its stockyards. But on July 2, 1917, a deadly race riot occurred in the town as an undeterminate amount of blacks were killed. Labor did not call the strike, but it often inflamed racial tension in the city in the months preceding the riot.
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East St. Louis Race Riots
East St Louis, IL
East St Louis, Illinois, US
East St. Louis was one of America's premier industrial towns in the late 19th and early 20th century. Unfortunately, it is also well known for a particularly disturbing Race Riot on July 2, 1917. Blacks throughout the city were shot, burned or lynched to death. After a Congressional Investigation, labor was not deemed to have caused the riot, but their often threatening and racial tone helped to inflame tension between the two races for months preceding the riot. It was another disturbing instance between whites and blacks involving labor relations.