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Frequently Asked Questions

The ILHS staff and officers are resources for any news stories or documentaries in which a historical angle or history information is being sought on
  • labor issues
  • union histories
  • work/job histories

The ILHS office holds a vast library and mini-museum and archives that include primary sources (books, pamphlets, posters, recorded interviews, and artifacts) and secondary sources (books, journals, scholarly articles, interviews). Interviews are available, by appointment preferred.

Contact ILHS at 312-663-4107 or email us.  Also, get involved!

   
Organize for the present, educate on the past to keep unions strong now and and for future! By studying the rich legacy of the labor struggles that have gained the rights for working people, we keep alive the labor movement. That is why unions support the ILHS through memberships, attending our programs including the annual Union Hall of Honor, organizing labor history tours by ILHS staff and officers, and having ILHS introduce labor history to its apprentices and stewards as part of the union's training programs.

Unionists on the road in Illinois might want to take advantage of the labor monuments and historic sites throughout the state too.

ILHS also encourages union to consider doing their own local union's history by gathering the important documents and photographs that tell the local's history:

  • big struggles (organizing campaigns, strikes, etc.)
  • social and community-building events over the years
  • tools of the trade (the way the job has changed over the years
  • officers
  • Make an exhibit in the union hall or scan the important documents and create an on-line exhibit.

Check out your international's history too.

See also:
Bookstore
Resources
Get Involved

   
Why teach labor history? For the same reasons we teach history: we study the past to understand the present and shape the future. Although the labor history is both local and global, the story of workers is only touched upon in history textbooks. We need to teach ourselves and our students that working people have been and are the builders and maintainers of society: construction, manufacturing, service, and public sector workers are not footnotes of history, but the makers of history. The struggles of labor coincide with and are a part of the struggles among civil, economic, and gender movements to make this world a better place. Bringing the labor movement and work history into the curriculum not only touches students lives but helps them to become critical thinkers.

May is Labor History month in Illinois. The ILHS Labor History Curriculum not only gives teachers ideas to incorporate during the month, but can be used throughout the school year to integrate the story of working people into U.S. History. Our map of labor monuments and historic sites along with our sister site, the labortrail.org offer place-based histories in which you may discover history in your own backyards! The brief biographies of Labor Heroes and honorees from the Union Hall of Honor may be springboards for research projects too.

The ILHS office holds a vast library and mini-museum and archives that include primary sources (books, pamphlets, posters, recorded interviews, and artifacts) and secondary sources (books, journals, scholarly articles, interviews). We are strongest in history related to the Packinghouse Workers Union. Interviews are available, by appointment preferred.

See also:
History Fair
Bookstore
Resources
Get Involved

   
The ILHS staff and officers are resources for any news stories or documentaries in which a historical angle or history information is being sought on:
  • labor issues
  • union histories
  • work/job histories

The ILHS office holds a vast library and mini-museum and archives that include primary sources (books, pamphlets, posters, recorded interviews, and artifacts) and secondary sources (books, journals, scholarly articles, interviews). We are strongest in history related to the Packinghouse Workers Union. Interviews are available, by appointment preferred.

Contact ILHS at 312-663-4107 or email us.  Also, get involved!

   
Less than 100 years ago, children your age would have had to go to work all day rather than school. Kids had to stay outside all day no matter the weather selling newspapers to make pennies or worked in glass factories where the heat and glass were daily threats or worked in candy factories where even the smell of caramel would make a cry rather than smile. When they could attend school (it had been required since 18xx), children often collapsed in exhaustion.

Progressive reformers called for a "right to childhood"--yes, a right to go to school, to play, to explore. In 1903, the labor agitator Mother Jones even led of march of children who had to work in the mills to publicize their plight and to call on President Theodore Roosevelt (who refused to see them). It was not until the Fair Labor Standard Act became law in 1937 that most child labor was prohibited although children of farm workers still were not protected.

Discover the past! Child labor, the stockyards, Mother Jones, and other important labor people, and events such as Haymarket and Pullman.

The ILHS office holds a vast library and mini-museum and archives that include primary sources (books, pamphlets, posters, recorded interviews, and artifacts) and secondary sources (books, journals, scholarly articles, interviews). We are strongest in history related to the Packinghouse Workers Union. Interviews are available, by appointment preferred.

See also:
History Fair
Bookstore
Resources
Get Involved

   
"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
 

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ILHSlogoIllinois Labor History Society
430 S. Michigan Ave. Room AUD 1361
Chicago, IL, 60605
312-341-2247
ilhs@prodigy.net

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