Harold Washington: Fairer Than Fair Exhibit at HWLC

"I hope someday to be remembered by history as the mayor who cared about people and who was, above all, fair." —Harold Washington, First Inaugural Address, April 29, 1983 The Harold Washington: Fairer Than Fair exhibit runs through August 20 in Harold Washington Library Center's Congress Corridor on the ground floor. This exhibit captures the […]

Read More

#TBT, Happy Birthday, Harold Washington!

Harold Washington button

Saturday marks the 95th anniversary of Mayor Harold Washington's birth. The beloved Mayor of Chicago served the city from 1983 until his death in 1987, and made his mark on Chicago in multiple ways. Take some time to celebrate Harold's birthday by reading up on his legacy, or with a visit to the Special Collections and […]

Read More

Mayor Harold Washington: Irish for a Day

Chicago's first modern downtown St. Patrick's Day parade was in 1956, when Richard J. Daley was mayor. The Chicago River was first dyed green in 1962. Since then, each year, the downtown parade and river dyeing have become important milestones in Chicago's late winter, with many people celebrating a communal party in the Loop. 1987 was no different. Mayor Harold […]

Read More

Happy 25th, Harold Washington Library Center!

The first couple weeks of October boast a number of important anniversaries in Chicago and Chicago Public Library history. Following the Great Chicago Fire on October 8, 1871, the Chicago Public Library was founded. It bounced around among different locations for many years until October 11, 1897, when the Central Library (now the Chicago Cultural Center) […]

Read More

DIY: Mayor Harold Washington Bust

In honor of the Harold Washington Summit this Monday, May 9, we created a 3D scan of the late mayor in the Maker Lab. How We Made It Using photographs, 3D scanning technology and free CAD software, the Maker Lab team created a copy of the bust of Harold Washington that’s proudly displayed in the State […]

Read More

CPL Hosts Mayor Harold Washington Summit

featured image

In honor of the late Mayor Harold Washington, for whom the main library is named, Chicago Public Library will host the Mayor Harold Washington Summit on Monday, May 9. We'll celebrate and explore the life and legacy of Mayor Washington, the city’s first African-American mayor, during the daylong summit, highlighting the ways in which Mayor […]

Read More

What’s Pulaski Day All About?

For over 80 years, Chicagoans have been honoring Casimir Pulaski for his role in American history. And yet, it was just over thirty years ago that the City of Chicago declared it an official holiday. On February 26, 1986, Mayor Harold Washington introduced a resolution to designate the first Monday in March Casimir Pulaski Day, and the […]

Read More

Harold Washington Plaque

Portrait of Harold Washington

Harold Washington, Chicago’s first African American Mayor, was born on April 15, 1922 at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. To mark his birthday, a plaque paying tribute to Harold Washington has just been placed at the library’s State Street entrance beneath the arch with his name carved in stone. A graduate of DuSable High School, Roosevelt College and Northwestern […]

Read More

Guest Blog: Laura S. Washington on Mayor Harold Washington

Laura S Washington

As part of One Book, One Chicago, we're featuring a series of original essays titled Chicago Heroes: Real & Imagined! Each month through spring 2015, meet a local hero as introduced by a local author. Chicago authors will reflect on heroes from the past, present or even imagined in these new short essays. This essay is in […]

Read More

Martin Luther King Day’s Chicago Roots

Mayor Harold Washington with Coretta Scott King

In 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr.  was assassinated in Memphis while there to support sanitation workers striking for higher wages and better working conditions. Five years later, in 1973, Harold Washington, then an Illinois state representative, introduced a bill to make Martin Luther King's birthday a state holiday. The bill passed the Illinois House and Senate, and Washington […]

Read More