A Newberry Library and Chicago Historical Society Exhibit: October 1, 2004, to January 15, 2005

Outspoken: Chicago's Free Speech Tradition
Chicago has been a beacon of freedom attracting migrants from the American countryside and immigrants from around the world. Struggling to fulfill the promise of American democracy, Chicagoans have fought each other and their government. They have marched in defiance of the law, and they have marched in defense of the law. They have joined together, and they have struggled alone.

The stories you will see here are part of a larger history of political, artistic, and social ferment in Chicago over more than 150 years. Throughout the 1800s, Chicagoans, like other Americans, struggled over definitions of democracy and citizenship. That debate was transformed as industrialization and mass migration in the twentieth century created a new context for free speech. And since 1950, Chicagoans have wrested with the legacy of racial segregation, the Cold War, and deindustrialization.

We hope Outspoken will encourage civic debate about the issues that have consumed Chicago in the past and that occupy our attention today.

Margaret Dreier Robins and Suffragists, 1912, The Chicago Historical Society WCFL program cover Dil Pickle Lending Library

 Example for citing images found on our website: Speech of John Hossack, Convicted of Violation of the Fugitive Slave Law: Before Judge Drummond, of the U.S. District Court of Chicago. The Newberry Library. Image, http://www.newberry.org/outspoken.html (accessed July 5, 2005).

This exhibit has been organized by the Newberry Library's Dr. William M. Scholl Center for Family and Community History and the Chicago Historical Society. It has been made possible with major funding provided in part by The Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning. Generous support also provided by The Chicago Reader and Dr. and Mrs. Tapas K. Das Gupta.
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