ili sims 112018On December 3, 1818, Illinois became the nation’s 21st state. As we come to our state’s 200th birthday, we asked senators to talk about people or places in their districts that represent the best of Illinois’ rich past and how that is shown in local history, tourism, culture or community impact.

The Pullman community in Chicago is the home of the Historic Pullman District National Monument, where thousands of sleeper rail cars were produced in the mid-to-late 19th century through the first half of the 20th century.

Pullman porters were men who worked on the railroads in those sleeping cars, and represent the first African-American labor union in the U.S. to win a collective bargaining agreement. Senator Elgie Sims visited the Pullman Porter Museum and learned about the men who made history in American labor and civil rights.