Labor DayYes, and it’s called Pullman National Monument. While Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Acadia National Parks might solicit fond memories of summer activities coming to an end, you might now have to add Chicago to that list.

Billed as Pullman National Monument, it is the site of the first Black private-sector union – The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters aka BSCP- founded in 1925 by A. Phillip Randolph, in New York City. Interestingly, A. Phillip Randolph was editor of the New York monthly paper called the Messenger. He used his skills to influence the Pullman company to enter into agreements with the BSCP and won considerable concessions for the group amid formidable circumstances.

Pullman Porters were instrumental in facilitating the Great Migration which brought masses of Blacks from the south to the northern cities like Chicago and this year is a historic marker for the event.

But, the very first union that ever occurred at the Pullman factory was the American Railway Union formed in 1893. According to the Library of Congress records, it’s president, Eugene V. Debs favored mediation over strikes but nothing could prepare him for what was about to happen the following year in the strike of 1894.

Designated a National Monument in 2015, this National Park has several claims to fame and deserves a closer look from locals. The best part of all, it’s free and you don’t have to travel out-of-state. But hurry, activities kick off at 10 AM and last until 2 PM. For more information, visit their website: https://www.nps.gov/pull/index.htm

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