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450 S Michigan Ave, AUD 1851
Chicago IL 60605
United States


Illinois Labor History Society

Past Events

Haymarket Memorial Dedicated

Webtrax Admin

Chicago's long awaited Haymarket Memorial sculpture was dedicated in a public ceremony attended by numerous union representatives and others on September 14, 2004. Located at Randolph and Desplaines Streets at the spot where the wagon used by the Haymarket speakers stood on the night of May 4, 1886, now rests a semi-abstract bronze monument to one of labor history's most tragic moments.

Speakers at the ceremony included Dennis Gannon, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor. Margaret Blackshere, president of the Illinois State AFL-CIO, was in the applauding crowd. Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, Lois Weisberg chaired the event and introduced Senator Emil Jones who sponsored legislation funding the project. Others on the official speakers list were Mark Donahue, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, and Nathan Mason, who directed the project.

It was noted that members of the Teamsters had volunteered to truck the sculpture from the foundry in Oregon, Illinois to its new site. The crowd also heard remarks from a member of the anarchist group. President Les Orear of the Illinois Labor History Society spoke of that organization's satisfaction at the realization of a goal it had set at its founding in 1969.

It is expected that the site will become a magnet to many foreign visitors, and to travelers from around the country familiar with the Haymarket story. Sculptor, Mary Brogger, told reporters that her piece was deliberately abstract, open to the interpretation of each viewer. To most union minded people, however, it will be seen as a symbol of freedom of speech and assembly under attack, and in the process of rejuvenation. The figure of The Speaker carries on.