Subject Essays
Urban Planning History PDF Print E-mail

Sources and Ideas for History Fair Topics

D. Bradford Hunt, Roosevelt University
August 2, 2011

 

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Lesbian & Gay History PDF Print E-mail

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Since the 1920s, Chicago's lesbian and gay community has grown in size and political power. Chicago, in fact, is unique in that the first organization for homosexual rights in America was established here in 1924. Henry Gerber founded the "Society for Human Rights," modeling his organization on the homosexual rights movement in Germany. The "Society for Human Rights" focused on educating the heterosexual community about the nature of homosexuality and reforming the laws that criminalized homosexuality. However, after only a few months of meetings and the publication of two issues of the society's paper "Friendship and Freedom," Chicago authorities shut down Gerber's organization in 1924 because of the anti-homosexual sentiment of the time.

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African American History PDF Print E-mail

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"As long as I am firm and whole
And bright and clear and warm of soul
I think that I can reach my goal In shadows."


Gwendolyn Brooks "Shadows," Chicago Defender, May 11, 1935

Topic Questions:

I. Politics
II. Labor
III. Civil Rights
IV. The Law and the Illicit Economy
V. Culture and Leisure
VI. Housing, Neighborhoods and Communities
VII. Selective Bibliography

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Women's History PDF Print E-mail

This essay on women's history and Chicago is reprinted, with permission, from Women Building Chicago 1790-1990: A Biographical Dictionary, edited by Rima Lunin Schultz and Adele Hast (2001). The introduction by Dr. Schultz pulls together essential themes and topics that emerged from the 423 biographies of Chicago women that appear in this book – History Fair students will find inspiration for research projects and a wealth of information about both known and unknown women who made a difference to our city, and often the nation.

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Working Class History PDF Print E-mail

Chicago gained fame as the city of "broad shoulders" in honor of the working people whose labor built it into a world-class industrial city. Today, although many of the steel mills, factories, stockyards and packing houses that employed them have since shut down, the city's motto is still "the city that works." The kinds of jobs most wage-earning men and women do have changed, but labor is still central to who we are and what keeps the city going. It is the chance to earn a better living that draws people from across the world to Chicago, from Europe in earlier years to Latin America, Africa, and Asia today.

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