When I was a kid growing up in Chicago I discovered a terrific free museum near the Intersections of Clark Street and North Avenue. This was The Chicago Historical Society. Over decades I would spend countless hours inside viewing incredible exhibits that covered every American war, The Fort Dearborn Massacre, The Chicago Fire, The Haymarket Riot and so much more.
There was a jewel. That was the Lincoln exhibit containing the actual furnishings, including the very same bed that Abe Lincoln died in along with all the other furniture. They recreated that boarding house room to every detail. (The actual linens and bloody pillow are preserved at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC where they recreated the missing furniture.) This was also the place to learn how and why Chicago became the city it is today.
This museum boasted the finest gun collection found anywhere in the country. Examples of every kind of firearm could be seen here until guns were demonized in 1968. During the 1970s, as fast as the liberal gun haters on the board of directors could, that fabulous gun collection disappeared and dwindled to just a few. The museum was a victim of political correctness and an insidious form of censorship. I can’t help but reason that the Museum’s board became a tool for revisionist history with that move.
Over a year ago the museum closed for retooling and remodeling. With that came a name change to satisfy the lowbrow inhabitants of Chicago. It will be reopened as, The Chicago History Museum. I will visit the new institution on my very next trip to Chicago. I will reserve my opinion of the changes until I’ve seen them with my own eyes. Yes I’m suspicious and distrusting about more revisions to Chicago’s history.
There are few signs of any of the exhibits that captivated me as a child and young adult on the museum’s website. I can only hope that have not destroyed more history in the name of political correctness.