Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum MORE

Foods of the 1893 World’s Fair

Chicago has undoubtedly become one of the culinary epicenters of the world. The city’s location in the middle of the country and its diverse communities make it easy to find memorable bites in every neighborhood. The city’s culinary prowess took root at the end of the nineteenth century when Chicago was at the forefront of More

“What shall I wear at the World’s Fair in Chicago?”

CHM research and insights analyst Marissa Croft writes about the gap in experience between high society dress and visitors to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition who traveled in from all over the world to attend. If you’re taking a trip to an unfamiliar place, one of the first questions you might ask yourself is “What More

John Kikulski and the Labor Movement

To mark Labor Day 2023, CHM editor Heidi Samuelson writes about Polish-born John Kikulski, a Chicago labor leader in the early twentieth century. You can see more about Kikulski in our exhibition Back Home: Polish Chicago. Labor Party candidates palm card, Chicago, 1919; CHM, ICHi-182716-001 John Kikulski was born in the village of Okinin in More

CHM Staff Spotlight: Lesley Martin

After nearly three decades with the Chicago History Museum, CHM reference librarian Lesley Martin is retiring this October. In this special staff spotlight, she reflects on her time as an editor and librarian at CHM. CHM reference librarian Lesley Martin (right) with patrons in the Abakanowicz Research Center, 2015. All photographs by CHM staff.   How More

Summer of ’69: Young Lords in Lincoln Park

CHM curator of civic engagement and social justice Elena Gonzales writes about when the the Young Lords Organization took a stand in Chicago for community self-determination. At the Chicago History Museum (CHM), the history of multiethnic, multiracial collaboration to stand up against white supremacy and colonialism surrounds us. CHM is located in beautiful, wealthy Lincoln More

Celebrating Obon in Chicago

Celebration of Obon, 1963. CHM, ICHi-037492; Albert M. Hayashi, photographer In 2023, the multiday Japanese holiday of Obon or Bon takes place August 13-16. This festival is a time to honor and remember the spirits of the deceased, including family members and ancestors. Though believed to have origins in the Buddhist All Souls Day, Obon More

Commemorating 130 Years of the Parliament of the World’s Religions

Next week, Chicago welcomes the convening of the Parliament of the World’s Religions at McCormick Place from August 14–18, 2023. CHM curator of religion and community history Rebekah Coffman writes about the event’s origins and its legacy as the genesis of the interfaith movement. Group photo of scene at one of the sessions of the Parliament from More

Soccer (or football, Fußball, fútbol) in Chicago

On August 2, 2023, two of Europe’s biggest soccer clubs—Chelsea Football Club of England and Borussia Dortmund of Germany—will face off at Soldier Field. The two clubs have played in Chicago in the past, with Dortmund playing Plymouth Argyle FC of England on May 7, 1954, and Chelsea playing an MLS All-Stars team on August More

Poland’s Independent Presence at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition

At the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition (WCE), Polish Chicagoans supported their homeland‘s participation despite colonizing empires, mainly Russia and Germany, resisting an independent Polish presence. Polish artists, musicians, and industrialists still displayed and performed for an international audience. World’s Columbian Exposition Polish Day ribbon, Chicago, 1893. Collection of the Chicago History Museum, X.3005.2005 At the More

The First Mass Murderer: Richard Speck in Chicago

Content warning: This blog post contains text and images about violence and sexual assault that may be traumatizing to some audiences. Reader discretion is advised. Every July 13 marks a grim anniversary in Chicago’s history. On an otherwise normal Wednesday night, Jeffery Manor, in South Deering on the Far South Side witnessed what would later More