Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Rep. Robin Kelly, joined by Senator Dick Durbin, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and Alderman Anthony Beale, held an event at Pullman National Historical Park to celebrate the re-designation of Pullman from a National Monument to National Historical Park. Teri Gage, Pullman National Historical Park Superintendent, gave introductory remarks.
The speaking program celebrated Pullman’s history 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 and spurred the first African American labor union headed by A. Phillip Randolph.
The fight to recognize Pullman as a National Historical Park began over a decade ago. Congresswoman Robin Kelly became a staunch advocate for Pullman as soon as she entered Congress in 2013. Pullman residents and community leaders worked tirelessly to revitalize Pullman economically and bring attention to the richness and vitality of its history. In 2015, President Obama designated Pullman as a National Monument. Finally, in 2022, Congress gave Pullman the pride of place among our nation’s greatest treasures by designating it as a National Historical Park.
“The story of Pullman is a testament to the power of community. Over a century after the historic Pullman strike, the residents of Pullman are still fiercely dedicated to preserving the history that this place represents,” said Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02). “I have the privilege of representing this community in Congress and it was an honor to lead the effort to designate Pullman as a National Historical Park. Places like Pullman are what built the American middle class, its resilience is a constant reminder that the fight for economic justice is never over. At a time when labor rights and civil rights are still under threat, Pullman is a reminder that when communities come together to make meaningful change – progress will follow. As a National Historical Park, Pullman will inspire families across the country to learn about the rich historical legacy that still lives on in Chicago and influences our nation to this day.”
“From Pullman workers fighting for fair labor conditions in the late 19th century, to Pullman porters helping advance our nation’s civil rights movement, this historic site certainly has an inspiring story to tell,” said Senator Durbin. “Pullman has made profound impacts on the community that are still felt to this day, which is why I worked to designate it as a National Park. As the Pullman National Historical Park continues to bring new investment to the south side, we must work to preserve its past and create a better future for the City of Chicago.”
“As a former industrial powerhouse and the backdrop of labor and civil rights movements here in Chicago, the Pullman community is deeply significant to our city’s and nation’s history,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “This redesignation will ensure that visitors coming to the Pullman National Historical Park understand and honor this important history, as well as help revitalize the surrounding community. I want to thank our federal partners for continuing to find ways to elevate Pullman to its full glory and recognizing the role it still has to this day.”
“The establishment of Pullman National Historical Park has long been a major part of the overall plan for the redevelopment of Pullman. From the moment President Obama declared it a National Monument, it has been a major factor in bringing in more than $500 million for new restaurants, housing, shopping, and visitors to our great community. Having it be the only National Historical Park in Illinois is a tribute to the people of this community and our leadership in Washington. This designation portends well for the future,” said Alderman Anthony Beale.
Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s Complete Remarks
This is news from the office of Congresswoman Robin Kelly.