Chicago Park District approves Douglas Park name change to honor Frederick Douglass

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Park District has approved a proposal to rename Douglas Park after a backlash over its namesake's ties to slavery.

Douglas Park was named after slave owner Stephen Douglas in 1869. He was a U.S. senator from Illinois who lost the presidential election to Abraham Lincoln in 1860. He died in 1861.

The West Side park is situated in a largely Black neighborhood, and proponents have pushed for the name change for years.

Wednesday the Chicago Park District Board voted to officially remove the park name Stephen A. Douglas, and in a separate vote initiated the 45-day notice to rename the park Anna and Frederick Douglass Park.

During the 45-day notice period, the public can submit their support or disapproval for the board names.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.