Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum The Chicago History Museum is a place of learning, discovery, creativity, and, of course, history. We encourage people to value their own stories and share them with others and make their lives part of Chicago's story.
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Operating as usual

#OnThisDay in 1974, the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) was formed at a founding conference held in Chicago after ...
03/24/2021

#OnThisDay in 1974, the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) was formed at a founding conference held in Chicago after women union leaders, including Olga Madar and Chicago’s Rev. Addie L. Wyatt, met to discuss forming a group to support and increase women’s participation in unions. The CLUW sought to organize and empower women, advance workplace fairness, promote affirmative action, and ensure working women’s voices in the political process. Read more about women’s labor activists in our online experience, Democracy Limited: Chicago Women and the Vote. https://democracylimited.com/episode-5/ // Group of CLUW picketers with “No Wage Controls Roll Back Prices” sign, Chicago, c. 1970. CHM, ICHi-039912 #MuseumFromHome #WomensHistoryMonth

“The History Museum should be the teller of truth. That’s unbiased truth.” - CHM’s incoming president and CEO, Donald La...
03/22/2021
Read about new CEO David Lassere’s plans for the Chicago History Museum

“The History Museum should be the teller of truth. That’s unbiased truth.” - CHM’s incoming president and CEO, Donald Lassere, spoke to The Chicago Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman on his plans to build and diversify the museum’s attendance, and much more. Read on and listen to the full interview!

Donald Lassere is returning to his hometown of Chicago with a plan to make the museum more interactive and exciting and to build and diversify a clientele that is now "more than 80%" white in a majority-minority city.

Today is #NationalQuiltingDay, which celebrates all quiltmakers and quilt lovers. In our exhibition #AmericanMedina: Sto...
03/20/2021

Today is #NationalQuiltingDay, which celebrates all quiltmakers and quilt lovers. In our exhibition #AmericanMedina: Stories of #MuslimChicago, we feature a quilt by Chicagoan Hanifah Ibrahim. A Pennsylvania native and convert to Islam, Ibrahim expresses her faith and art through her sewing. She created this quilt bearing the 99 names of Allah (God). These names come from both the Quran and the hadith, which are early reports and accounts of the Prophet Muhammad’s life. This giant dahlia patchwork pattern is made from hand-dyed cotton batik fabrics. Ibrahim hand sewed the Arabic calligraphy and recited the names of Allah or repeated Bismillah (“In the name of God”) as she sewed them. She machine stitched the patchwork pieces together and machine quilted the entire piece, which took over 150 hours to create. Listen to an excerpt of our interview with Ibrahim. https://soundcloud.com/chicagomuseum/hanifah-ibrahim-american-medina-clip #MuseumFromHome

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! With not one but two St. Patrick’s Day parades, dyeing the Chicago River, and enjoying a green ...
03/17/2021
Labor of Love: A St. Patrick's Day Special | | WTTW

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! With not one but two St. Patrick’s Day parades, dyeing the Chicago River, and enjoying a green beer or two, Chicagoans know how to celebrate this beloved holiday. Tune in to WTTW tonight at 8 pm to hear CHM chief historian Peter T. Alter talk about the history of Chicago’s Irish population on the documentary "Labor of Love: A St. Patrick’s Day Special." #MuseumFromHome #Chirish

This documentary reveals how the Chicago Journeyman Plumbers Local 130, UA became involved in organizing the city's storied St.

Remember to #SpringForward tonight! This Golden Hour clock (1955) made by the Jefferson Electric Co. illustrates a blend...
03/13/2021

Remember to #SpringForward tonight! This Golden Hour clock (1955) made by the Jefferson Electric Co. illustrates a blend of old and new modern design. It has a glass face set in cast zinc plated with 24-karat gold with a brushed satin finish. The overall look is more austere than streamlined, but there are vertical speed lines on the mount. The jewel-like clock remained in production from 1949 to 1991 with more than 2 million sold nationwide. In 1955, it retailed for $22.50 ($221.64 in 2021). Learn about some of Chicago’s quintessential streamlined products: https://bit.ly/33f2Mc3 #MuseumFromHome #DaylightSavingTime

#TBT to University of Michigan men’s basketball head coach Juwan Howard (#42) playing for Chicago Vocational HS vs. Sout...
03/11/2021

#TBT to University of Michigan men’s basketball head coach Juwan Howard (#42) playing for Chicago Vocational HS vs. South Shore HS in his senior season. That year, he averaged 26.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists. An All-American and top college recruit, Howard attended the University of Michigan and was a member of the “Fab Five,” the nickname given to the incoming class of fellow All-Americans. Howard would go on to have an astounding 19-year career in the NBA, drafted by the Washington Bullets (now Wizards) in 1994 and playing for numerous teams before officially retiring in 2013 with the Miami Heat. He was an assistant coach at Miami until 2019, when he was hired by his alma mater as head coach. This year he was honored with the Big Ten Conference Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year award. See more Sun-Times photographs from the game. https://images.chicagohistory.org/search/?searchQuery=chicago+vocational+beats+south+shore #MuseumFromHome #MarchMadness

Today is #InternationalWomensDay, which has its origins the labor and suffrage movements of the early 20th century. By 1...
03/08/2021

Today is #InternationalWomensDay, which has its origins the labor and suffrage movements of the early 20th century. By 1914, the day was agreed globally to be observed annually on March 8, which it has remained ever since. The way the day has been recognized has varied over time and from country to country. Women’s activism has a rich history in the Chicago area. Chicago women have chosen to challenge unfair employment policies, structural racism, and a lack of political representation. Our online experience Democracy Limited: Chicago Women and the Vote offers a glimpse of recent and distant moments when Chicago-area women mobilized for change, part of a long history of activism and protest. https://www.democracylimited.com // Women march down State Street for the first women's liberation march since 1916, May 15, 1971. ST-20003470-0019, Chicago Sun-Times collection, CHM © Sun-Times Media, LLC. #MuseumFromHome #WomensHistoryMonth

“If you can wear it, I take care of it.” — CHM costume collection manager Jessica Pushor discusses her role caring for a...
03/05/2021
‎Dressed: The History of Fashion: Chicago's Fashionable Past with Jessica Pushor, Part I on Apple Podcasts

“If you can wear it, I take care of it.” — CHM costume collection manager Jessica Pushor discusses her role caring for and preserving our renowned costume collection on this week’s two-part episode of the podcast, “Dressed: The History of Fashion.” Listen today! #FashionFriday https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/chicagos-fashionable-past-with-jessica-pushor-part-i/id1350850605?i=1000511436878

‎Show Dressed: The History of Fashion, Ep Chicago's Fashionable Past with Jessica Pushor, Part I - Mar 2, 2021

Thank you to all who donated, shared, or visited us yesterday as part of our reopening and second annual #CHMGivingDay! ...
03/05/2021
Giving Day 2021: Resilience, Redefined

Thank you to all who donated, shared, or visited us yesterday as part of our reopening and second annual #CHMGivingDay! We met our match and surpassed our goal of $50,000 with $62,735 raised so far—and that total continues to grow! Our community has shown its commitment to sharing Chicago stories, and we are grateful to have your support. You can still donate at https://donate.onecause.com/chmgivingday/home

Take the challenge and help a great cause.

"Hampered by political pressures and racial stereotyping, authorities repeatedly passed up chances to investigate crime ...
03/02/2021
The Murder Chicago Didn’t Want to Solve

"Hampered by political pressures and racial stereotyping, authorities repeatedly passed up chances to investigate crime figures, politicians and police who likely had knowledge of the murder—and may have been involved in committing it."

On February 28, 1963, Ben Lewis, the first Black elected official from Chicago’s West Side, was found shot to death in his ward office. Nearly six decades later, the case remains open, but Lewis has faded from public memory. Learn more in ProPublica's article, which includes images from our Chicago Daily News/Chicago Sun-Times photograph collection. Content warning: language and violence.

In 1963, a Black politician named Ben Lewis was shot to death in Chicago. Clues suggest the murder was a professional hit. Decades later, it remains no accident authorities never solved the crime.

#OnThisDay in 1843, Naomi Bowman Talbert Anderson was born in Michigan City, Indiana. She was a writer, speaker, activis...
03/01/2021

#OnThisDay in 1843, Naomi Bowman Talbert Anderson was born in Michigan City, Indiana. She was a writer, speaker, activist, and part of the temperance movement. While living in Chicago, she spoke at the 1869 women’s suffrage convention and urged attendees to support voting rights regardless of race or s*x. Learn more about her work and other early suffrage activists in our online experience Democracy Limited: Chicago Women and the Vote. https://democracylimited.com/episode-2/ // Naomi Anderson, c. 1893, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library Digital Collections. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-755b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99 #MuseumFromHome #WomensHistoryMonth

In February 1853, a law took effect that prohibited African Americans from settling in Illinois. This exclusion of Black...
02/27/2021

In February 1853, a law took effect that prohibited African Americans from settling in Illinois. This exclusion of Black Americans was one of the most egregious stipulations in a series of anti-Black laws passed in Illinois that relegated free African Americans to second-class citizenship. Chicago’s Black activists resisted the racist laws and worked to overturn them through associations, conventions, petitions, pamphlets, and lobbying. Fighting Illinois’s Black Laws was one of the many strains of protest that Chicago’s first generation of activists undertook. Learn more about the first generation of Black Chicagoans and their activism in our latest two-part Google Arts and Culture exhibit, “Concert is Power.” #MuseumFromHome #BlackHistoryMonth

Part 1 https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/concert-is-power-part-1%C2%A0/LwLyADdcxX1xJA

Part 2 https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/concert-is-power-part-2/GQKioDc32mxpJw

Amethyst is the birthstone for February. The word “amethyst” is derived from “amethystos” in Greek, with the prefix a-, ...
02/26/2021

Amethyst is the birthstone for February. The word “amethyst” is derived from “amethystos” in Greek, with the prefix a-, meaning “not,” and methyein “to be drunk with wine,” because the ancient Greeks believed that the stone could prevent or cure drunkenness in its wearer. This watch fob (c. 1910) was made by Carence Crafters (1908–11), a Chicago-based design firm that specialized in Arts and Crafts–style products. It has a pyramid-cut amethyst in a silver Celtic knot–style setting, a motif that appeared frequently in their work. On the back is the word “STERLING” and the Carence Crafters mark of two interlocking Cs in a square. Prior to World War I and the development of the wristwatch, most watches designed for men had to be carried in a pocket. The wearer would have attached his watch to the latch and let the amethyst hang out of his pocket. See more accessories: https://bit.ly/2YllrjJ #MuseumFromHome

02/25/2021
Giving Day 2021

Today, we reopen to the public. As the city’s longest-serving cultural institution, we've had many reopenings throughout our long history. This year, as we work to come back from a tumultuous 2020, we need your support as we uphold our mission to share Chicago stories. Please donate on or before March 4 as part of our second annual #CHMGivingDay. With your help, we can meet our goal to raise $50,000 in one day! https://donate.onecause.com/chmgivingday

Click here to donate to our Giving Day 2021 Campaign: https://donate.onecause.com/chmgivingdayMarch 4 is Chicago’s incorporation day, and the Chicago History...

This #BlackHistoryMonth we recognize Omar Northern, a Chicago native and Sufi, who is featured in our exhibition America...
02/24/2021

This #BlackHistoryMonth we recognize Omar Northern, a Chicago native and Sufi, who is featured in our exhibition American Medina: Stories of Muslim Chicago. Northern makes turbans for the men of Masjid (Mosque) Al-Hafeez, of which he is a member. As a young man, Northern “really wanted to know more about the history of people of African descent,” which led him to meet Shaykh Abdur Rashied, leader of Masjid Al-Hafeez on Chicago’s South Side. The mosque's members are deeply involved with the local community, from running summer camps to helping families build generational wealth through financial investment. Through training and intense study, Northern developed this turban design for the mosque members. The cone (taj) is cotton velveteen while the wrap consists of a fabric from India called voile that is several feet long and ends in a tail (tasween). The Arabic reads “In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful” using a calligraphy style once popular in the Ottoman Empire. Men of African descent in this Naqshbandi Sufi order typically wear red turbans like this one. Red represents the blood shed for righteousness and love for Allah (God). During ritual prayer (thikr), Sufis seek personal connections with the divine while a sufi’s turban protects the spiritual center located in his head. Listen to Omar Northern's oral history: https://bit.ly/3qSuipN #MuseumFromHome

February is both #BlackHistoryMonth and American #HeartMonth. The latter was established in 1964 to urge people to recog...
02/22/2021

February is both #BlackHistoryMonth and American #HeartMonth. The latter was established in 1964 to urge people to recognize the nationwide problem of heart and blood vessel diseases. One of the first documented successful pericardium (the sac covering the heart) surgeries to treat a wound was performed in 1893 by Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, an African American surgeon at Provident Hospital in Chicago, founded in 1891 as the first Black owned and operated hospital in the US. Read more about Provident Hospital on our blog: https://bit.ly/2P5OXc1 #MuseumFromHome

#OnThisDay in 1911, Chicago’s garment workers’ strike ended. Beginning in the fall, more than 40,000 workers, half of th...
02/18/2021

#OnThisDay in 1911, Chicago’s garment workers’ strike ended. Beginning in the fall, more than 40,000 workers, half of them women, protested wage cuts and unfair working conditions. The picketing workers faced harsh treatment, including the use of private police forces against them. Amid the struggle to secure women’s voting rights in the early 20th century, wage-earning women faced unequal pay, long hours, and harsh conditions. Many of these women saw the vote as a tool that could help working women. Learn more about Chicago’s women labor activists in “Underpaid, Undervalued,” the latest episode of our online experience, #DemocracyLimited: Chicago Women and the Vote. https://bit.ly/3s4ESKr // Women picketing during the garment workers’ strike in Chicago, December 11, 1910. DN-0056264, Chicago Daily News collection, CHM #MuseumFromHome

“Visitors are going to come, and they’re going to see themselves, if they’re from Chicago. And if they’re not from Chica...
02/16/2021
Chicago History Museum names native Chicagoan Donald Lassere its new CEO

“Visitors are going to come, and they’re going to see themselves, if they’re from Chicago. And if they’re not from Chicago, they’re going to learn what makes Chicago a great city.”

We’re thrilled to welcome Donald Lassere to CHM as our new president and CEO, starting April 12. Donald discussed his hopes for the Museum with Chicago Tribune’s Steve Johnson.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/museums/ct-ent-new-chicago-history-museum-ceo-chicagoan-donald-lassere-0217-20210216-dkdvy2w5mvbn5egjeqqobyzou4-story.html

The former head of Louisville's Muhammad Ali Center said he wants to make sure the Chicago museum reflects the history of all of its people.

CHM manager of education and public programs Erica Griffin is one of the panelists on 2/18 discussing the events in the ...
02/15/2021

CHM manager of education and public programs Erica Griffin is one of the panelists on 2/18 discussing the events in the film "Judas and the Black Messiah" and how they resonate today with leaders, activists, and archivists in Cook County.

Join us for a screening of director Shaka King's new feature film, JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH. The film is inspired by the powerful story of the assassination of Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya), Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, and William O'Neal (LaKeith Stanfield), the undercover FBI informant who betrays him. The screening will take place on Tuesday, February 16 at 6pm CST. RSVP for the screening at wbtickets.com/JATBMcookcounty.

On Thursday, February 18, join us for a live panel discussion on the events in the film and how they resonate today with leaders, activists, and archivists in Cook County. The panel will be moderated by Denise Barreto, Cook County's Director of Equity and Inclusion.

Panelists include:
Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President
Skyla Hearn, Manager of Archives, Cook County Historic Archives and Records Office
Erica Griffin, Manager of Education and Public Programs, Chicago History Museum
Jahmal Cole, Founder, My Block, My Hood, My City

#BlackHistoryMonth #ChicagoHistory #BlackPanthers #JudasandtheBlackMessiah

Learn more about Thing magazine in our Google Arts & Culture exhibit "Thing: She Knows Who She Is": https://bit.ly/3aoY1...
02/15/2021

Learn more about Thing magazine in our Google Arts & Culture exhibit "Thing: She Knows Who She Is": https://bit.ly/3aoY1k4

(1/5) Celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth with the BMRC by getting exclusive looks into our members’ collections and taking our community survey for a chance to win 1 of 10 Archival Toolkits! Find the survey here: http://bit.ly/BMRCCNAA and click through the slides to find out more!

Our third collection feature comes from Chicago History Museum with photographs of the founders of the Thing Magazine. The creator of Thing Magazine, Robert T. Ford, published the magazine collection out of his own Chicago apartment, beginning 1989, along with the two other founders: Lawrence Warren and Trent Adkins. The creation of this magazine sprouted its use as a creative outlet, bringing in many LGBTQ+ individuals to subscribe to the zines. Thing Magazine featured art, music, activism, and social news within its pages until its last issue in the Summer of 1993.

Slide 1: All slides have pastel yellow backgrounds. Above is the BMRC logo & maroon/Black text that reads “Celebrate Black History Month with the Black Metropolis Research Consortium! The BMRC has 3 initiatives this month to promote Black History in Chicago: -See images from the Thing Magazine Collection! -Take our survey and enter to win 1 of 10 Archival Toolkits! -Participate in planning community archival workshops! Swipe to find out more.” See comments below for more image descriptions.

Address

1601 N Clark St
Chicago, IL
60614

CTA buses 11, 22, 36, 72, 73, 151, and 156 stop nearby. The Brown Line Sedgwick station and Red Line Clark/Division station are also located approximately one half-mile from the Museum.

Opening Hours

Tuesday 09:30 - 16:30
Wednesday 09:30 - 16:30
Thursday 09:30 - 16:30
Friday 09:30 - 16:30
Saturday 09:30 - 16:30
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(312) 642-4600

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When President Biden says he wants to pour trillions into infrastructure, what does that mean? For Abraham Lincoln, one of our greatest infrastructure advocates, that meant canals and railroads. Today, as it did in Lincoln’s time, it means economic progress. That’s one of the prime goals of infrastructure – to raise all boats. #Lincolnomicsjfw
SUNDAY, MARCH 14, 2021 AT 7 AM UTC+06
SUNDAY, MARCH 14, 2021 AT 7 AM UTC+06
Should Lincoln statues be moved from Chicago to downstate Lincoln? The president of Lincoln College has graciously offered to find a new home for the monuments if the city removes them. Let’s be serious. Not even the Great Emancipator had an unobscured 21st-century view on race relations. But his early legislative work did lead to the building of Chicago (I&M Canal, ICRR) and its creation as transportation hub of the continent. It’s still the case today. Honest Abe was one of our greatest builders. #Lincolnomicsjfw
Does anyone know if the museum is involved in this monuments project?
Would Lincoln have smiled upon President Biden’s massive, $2 trillion American Rescue Plan to heal the country during and after the pandemic? Although he was assassinated before Reconstruction began, Lincoln clearly thought about and planned for rebuilding the country. In 1863, he passed the National Banking Act, which created a standardized currency -- “the greenback” – that issued dollars backed by the Treasury. It funded the Union’s war efforts and Reconstruction. #Lincolnomicsjfw
There is an 1871 autograph album from Chicago High School for sale. It belonged to Irene Stoddard Capwell.
Should Lincoln statues in Chicago be taken down? That seems unconscionable given his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and his direction on the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. While his early views are certainly not entirely palatable through a 21st Century lens, his words and deeds to promote equality and progress have not been rivalled by any other president. I very rarely agree with Chicago Tribune editorials, but when it comes to Lincoln memorials, we’re on the same page: “Lincoln is a definite keeper. Do we even need to say so? Apparently, yes. His vision and resolve were critical not only in keeping the country together but in ending slavery. Whatever malignant ideas he may have had about race, he transcended to redeem himself.” #Lincolnomicsjfw
Black History and Vaccination: We have been at the leading edge on vaccine research. A black slave, Onesimus, brought vaccination to America!!! Read it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onesimus_(Bostonian). This MSNBC segment also used a clip of Dr. Corbett from her January 28, 2021 presentation at our Andrews University Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry webinar. Watch this segment and watch our webinar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JJu_lvP09k... Learn. Share.
Hello, Friends of the Chicago History Museum. I am looking for any information you or friends in the group may have to help locate the final destination, disposition and location, if they still exist, of artifacts, the Native American replica statutes, and other displays that were part of the 'Olson Rug Waterfall' attraction. It was last owned and operated by Marshall Fields, in 1978. I know it is a small part of the Fields history in Chicago as the property was sold to the Marshall Fields company in the 1960's, and later dismantled in 1978. As a lot of us will remember, the Olson Rug Waterfall /rock garden park was an iconic attraction and part of many Chicagoan's lives growing up on the Northwest Side, at Pulaski Rd., and Diversey Ave., in the 1950's, 60's, and 70's. If anyone knows where there may be records, company archivists, museums, auctions, newspaper reports, company newsletter, historical groups, Native American groups, or other sources you could refer me to help locate any remaining items from the Olson Rug Waterfall display that may still be out there, and available please contact me or post your information! Thank you all for taking the time to read this, respond and help! Thank you.