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A Suffragist and Advocate for Educators

We are grateful to schoolteachers for adapting their plans so quickly to ensure that their students are learning while social distancing. Thank you all for caring about our kids, even as you may also be caring for your own families. Today, we celebrate teachers by featuring Margaret Haley, who was a teacher, suffragist, and activist for women’s and workers’ rights, going up against powerful opposition to change the education system in Chicago and the state of Illinois.

Born in Joliet in 1861, Haley began teaching at age 16 in a one-room school near Morris. Twenty-four years later, she became vice president of the Chicago Teachers’ Federation (CTF). In 1902, the CTF allied itself with the Chicago Federation of Labor—affirming that teachers, too, were workers and could benefit from progressive labor policies. Learn more about her life and work in our latest blog post.Read more about Haley.

Haley, in the plumed hat, in a women’s suffrage parade, c. 1911. ICHi-010601, CHM

The Museum’s blog is a space where we give you a look behind-the-scenes, highlight items in our collection, and share Chicago stories that you won’t see elsewhere. This post is part of a series in which we share the stories of local women who made history in anticipation of an exhibition about Chicago women and the vote.


Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories