PULLMAN — The neighborhood once hailed as “The World’s Most Perfect Town” will become America’s next national park.
Late Monday, the National Park Conservation Association sent word neighbors have longed to hear — after more than a year of lobbying, two stalled bills in Congress and months of nervous waiting, President Barack Obama will use his executive powers to mark railroad mogul George Pullman’s factory town a national monument.
“The people who are part of the Pullman legacy helped to shape America as we know it today. Pullman workers fought for fair labor conditions in the late 19th century, and the Pullman porters helped advance America’s civil rights movement,” association Midwest director Lynn McClure said.
“The designation of Pullman as a national monument will further showcase the commitment of President Obama to diversify our national parks and preserve the places that define who we are as a nation. Thanks to the president, Pullman’s story will soon be remembered and recounted for the millions of people that visit America’s national parks each year,” McClure said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office said early Tuesday that Obama — whose career as a community organizer started with coffee klatches at the Pullman McDonald's — will travel to Chicago on Feb. 19 to announce the historic South Side neighborhood’s new national park status.
It will become the city's first national park, the mayor's office said.
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