Pullman monument named national park, honoring labor and civil rights history

Jessica D'Onofrio Image
Thursday, January 19, 2023
Pullman monument named national park
Robin Kelly, Dick Durbin, Lori Lightfoot and Anthony Beale attended a ceremony celebrating the Pullman, Chicago monument being named a national park.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The fight to recognize Pullman as a national park began over a decade ago.

Since then, residents and politicians have worked tirelessly to make it happen. On Thursday morning, many gathered to celebrate the re-designation of Pullman from a national monument to a national historical park.

The park, located on Chicago's Far South Side, takes its place as a key part of America's labor and civil rights history.

One of the first factory towns, Pullman was the site of a historic strike for better wages among rail workers. It also spurred the first African-American labor union.

On Thursday morning, U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Alderman Anthony Beale participated in an event to mark the re-designation.

In 2015, President Barack Obama designated Pullman as a national monument. Kelly and Durbin then led the preservation effort in Washington, D.C to designate it as a national historical park.

Congress enacted legislation to re-designate the site just before the New Year. The hope is that it will continue to bring visitors and new investment to the South Side.