Special Insert

[This text was originally published in AREA Chicago #6 in June 2008]

Design: Dave Pabellon; Research: Lauren Cumbia, Euan Hague, Micah Maidenberg, Aaron sarver, Daniel Tucker, Jerome Grand, Beth Gutelius

To accompany our Notes for a People’s Atlas of Chicago project, AREA is launching a historical research initiative so that we can collectively make sense of our city’s past.

Please join AREA to develop future articles, events and projects about our local history City As Lab Timeline June 2008.

This timeline is the work of many people. It is an attempt to provide a historical context for the labor and education policies that are discussed in AREA Chicago #6.

Please get in touch if you are interested in contributing to expanding this timeline and making future Notes for a People’s History of Chicago projects in the future.

  • 1871…. The Chicago Fire Population: 325,000
  • 1874…. Workingman’s Party of Illinois formed at Turner’s Hall in Pilsen
  • 1877…. Battle of the Viaduct at 16th and Halsted. Thirty workers killed and 100 wounded in a battle with police and federal troops.
  • 1886…. Police open fire on strikers at McCormick Reaper Works at 26th and Damen. Haymarket.
  • 1889…. Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr found the Hull House
  • 1892…. University of Chicago opens.
  • 1893…. Inland Steel opens in Chicago Heights. A stock market crash creates financial panic and economic depression which continues through 1898.
  • 1894…. Pullman Strike begins when company refuses to pay higher wages, lower rents, and not recognize a Union. John Dewey begins teaching at University of Chicago.
  • 1896…. Chicago Federation of Labor is founded. John Dewey’s Laboratory School is founded.
  • 1898…. DePaul University founded.
  • 1900…. Start of the 20th Century Population: 1,698,575
  • 1903…. Reform groups and labor unions work together to help pass a bill to limit child labor.
  • 1905…. Industrial Workers of the World founded at Brand’s Hall.
  • 1906…. US Steel (founded by JP Morgan in 1901) opens a steel mill in Gary, Indiana. At US Steel’s South Chicago plant, 46 workers are killed and 368 are permanently disabled. Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle is published.
  • 1909…. “Barber Shop Law” passed; Journeymen Barbers’ Union now effectively control who may legally cut hair in Chicago. Legislature passes “Health, Safety & Comfort Act” to encourage reduction of industrial accidents. Ella Flag Young, who worked with Dewey at the Lab School, becomes superintendent of schools in Chicago till 1915.
  • 1910…. 40,000 garment workers strike against Hart, Schaffner & Marx Co., who had annual sales of $15 million. Strike begins at 19th and Halsted. Illinois Occupational Disease Commission established.
  • 1911…. Illinois Workers Compensation Law passed. DePaul University admits women.
  • 1912…. The Chicago Public Schools introduces new curriculum requiring sixth graders to choose either an academic or industrial track.
  • 1914…. Loyola University admits women, but only on its downtown campus.
  • 1919…. Chicago Race Riot Population 2,701,705*

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