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3.23 | “They have to admire my guts”

“I’ve got guts, and they have—even if they hate what I’m fighting for—they have to admire my guts.” Madalyn Murray O’Hair was a leading activist for atheism and separation of church and state. She founded American Atheists and is best known for the Murray v. Curlett lawsuit, which challenged the policy of mandatory prayers and Bible reading in Baltimore public schools. Ultimately, the United States Supreme Court, which ruled that officially sanctioned mandatory Bible-reading in American public schools was unconstitutional. Listen to Studs Terkel’s interview with Murray O’Hair as they discuss feminism, theology, and her family history. Listen here.

Studs Terkel Radio Archive

Launched in May 2018 on Studs Terkel’s 106th birthday, is a digital platform whereon, eventually, will live the majority of the 5,600 radio programs Terkel created during his career at WFMT in Chicago between 1952 and 1997 live. The radio archive is jointly managed by CHM and the WFMT Radio Network, a division of Window to the World Communication Inc. CHM has owned Terkel’s tapes since he retired from WFMT and became a staff member of CHM in 1997. Explore the archive.


The Chicago History Museum, a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history, is located at 1601 N. Clark Street. The Museum has dedicated more than a century to celebrating and sharing Chicago stories through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming. The Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents and images to help audiences connect to the city and its history. The Chicago History Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. The Chicago History Museum is a 2016 winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest award given to these institutions for their community engagement and having an impact on the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories