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The Illinois Labor History Society Seeks to encourage the preservation and study of labor history materials of the Illinois Region, and to arouse public interest in the profound significance of the past to the present. Learn more>>

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This Father's Day, Sunday June 19, 9am-2pm Visit Pullman for a FREE Day of Fun for Dads and the entire Family!

Pullman National Monument Visitor Information Center 11141 South Cottage Grove

Get out the Vote for Pullman! In honor of the National Park Service’s Centennial. Partners in Preservation: National Parks will award $2 million in grants to historic sites in need of preservation support within national parks. The distribution of the grants will be decided by public vote, currently underway at VoteYourPark.orgHelp the Pullman National Monument win $250,000 for needed building restoration work. Show you have voted and win a prize.You can vote once every day, from now through July 5. 

Cars! From 9 am-Noon an Antique Auto Show will feature a wide range of automobiles from different times, styles and horse-power.  Automobiles, airplanes and the Interstate Highways System lead to the decline and end of The Pullman Company. Bring your dad with his special to car to Pullman. 

Jr. Rangers! "Visit with National Park Junior Ranger Aida Frye and her family who have visited 235 National Parks in 5 years. Aida and her family strongly believe in preserving the past so that future generations can visit these wonderful places. Aida is 15 years old and is an inspiration to all young persons and their families. Aida, the “Sweetheart of the National Parks” has also written her own book named “America, Can I Have Your Autograph, the Story of Junior Ranger Aida Frey”.

Trains! Chicago Land Lionel Model Railroad Club will exhibit a layout of some of their favorite Pullman cars and other types of cars that came in and out of Chicago, the railroad hub of the nation. In addition to its famous passenger cars, Pullman companies built over one million freights cars.

Union Pride! All labor union members are invited to bring their Local buttons and badges to donate for an exhibit at the Pullman National Monument Visitor Information Center.  Make sure your local number is represented now and in the future!

Art! Explore the town of Pullman and look for the unique "LaborPaste” exhibit, find images of iconic labor leaders positioned in and around the Pullman National Monument District. The “cutout” figures are from historic backgrounds and applied here, giving the historical figures a life-size presence as contemporary “citizens” throughout the community.  See if you can find Mother Jones, Eugene Debbs, and more!

Pullman Porter History! The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum exhibit will share the stories of the first national African American union to join the American Federation of Labor.

House Tours!   At 10 am and 1 pm take an exclusive, interior tour of an executive residence, the Thomas Dunbar House.  Mr. Dunbar was an immigrant carpenter that rose through the ranks of The Pullman Company to Vice President in charge of manufacturing. A special collection of rare Pullman drawings and railroad related objects from a private collection of two brothers that worked building Pullman cars for over forty years will be on display.  View the objects and hear their stories.

Visit the Factory! A Guided walking tour of the Pullman factory complex will be conducted at 11:30 AM by park rangers and Pullman State Historic Site volunteers. This is where the luxurious wood car were assemble in the 1880’s and 90’s in the original town. Exhibits at the Site include a wide range of items relating to Pullman passenger car development and operation, steel industry in the Chicago, and even a model of the tanks built by Pullman –Standard during World War II.


Show YOUR UNION Pride, Support the Pullman Campaign

Support Pullman and win a free walking tour of the historic labor history sites of the Pullman Neighborhood and Factory.  The Illinois Labor History Society will provide this tour to the one union organization, committee, caucus or local that shows the most creative support for the campaign for Pullman Fund Your Park.  Ideas include:


Take a photo with a sign reading vote Pullman wearing your union swag

Create a video or a vine to get out the vote for Pullman

Write a poem or a song about Pullman performed by your union members

Get creative and tell us why YOUR UNION thinks Pullman, America's labor history park, should win the Fund Your Park contest.  

And Don't Forget to VOTE.

Submit your union's entry to (if file is large, send an email and you will receive instructions on how to load into drop box or other means of delivery).  You can submit your union's entry any time, between May 25-and July 5.  The best entries will be featured online as part of the campaign to get out the vote for Pullman.  And the top entry will win a free tour of the Pullman National Monument.

Rules:  All entries will be judged by ILHS.  All decisions final.  Winner will have to provide their own transportation to Pullman site on day of tour.  Tour to be held in 2016.



To everyone at the Chicago Federation of Labor, Jobs with Justice, the Chicago Federation of Musicians and all who supported the May Day celebration and annual ILHS members meeting.

Photos courtesy of ILHS Vice President, Mike Matejka





Welcome to the NEW ILHS Website

We are very pleased to welcome you to the newly renovated ILHS website.  We invite you to explore the site.  It contains many of the same features and content that made our former website so popular, but it also has new additions:

Looking for a recommendation for a good labor book or CD?  Check out our new reviews section, with reviews of some of the latest labor history books and musical cds, written by ILHS Vice President Mike Matejka.

Hoping to attend an ILHS event? Check our our calendar for upcoming programs.

Needing a daily-dose of labor history?  Check out Labor History in 2:00 a two-minute daily history podcast created in partnership with the Rick Smith Radio Show.

Do you have suggestions or comments about our new site?  Contact ILHS







"The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voice you are throttling today." August Spies, 1855-1887

"And I long to see the day when Labor will have the destiny of the nation in her own hands and she will stand as a united force and show the world what the workers can do." Mary Harris 'Mother' Jones, 1830-1930

“What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures, to make manhood more noble, womanhood more beautiful, and childhood more happy and bright.." Samuel Gompers, 1850-1924 

“Freedom is never given it is won.”             A Philip Randolph, 1889-1979