Archive for History

Evanston Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – January 14


On Saturday, January 14, at noon, all are invited to the City’s “Day of Celebration Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center. The event will pay tribute to Dr. King through music, dance and excerpts from his speeches. Admission is free and open to the public. See the City’s website for more events celebrating Dr. King this month.

FAN Event – Civil Rights Leader Rep. John Lewis – Mon. Aug. 29

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Andrew Aydin, co-authors of the March trilogy, Monday, August 29, 2016, 7:00 PM at Evanston Township High School Auditorium, 1600 Dodge Ave., Evanston, 60201. Free and open to the public, no RSVPs required. Suitable for youth ages 12+. INFO:

When John Lewis, the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th District and an American Icon known for his role in the civil rights movement, was a college student in Nashville, Tennessee, he attended a workshop on nonviolence that changed his life. Based on the principles of Gandhi and the recent Montgomery Bus Boycott, it also included a comic book — Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story — as a take-home study aid in nonviolent resistance. “That little book became like a Bible for us,” says Rep. Lewis. Fifty years later, he teamed with co-writer Andrew Aydin, his Congressional Digital Director and Policy Advisor, and artist Nate Powell to adapt his own incredible life story into a 3-part series of award-winning graphic novels, entitled March. The March series is a #1 New York Times-bestselling phenomenon, earning a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, becoming a popular selection for university reading programs, and prompting the Washington Post to write, “There is perhaps no more important modern book to be stocked in American school libraries than March.”

Rep. Lewis first joined the civil rights movement as a seminary student in Nashville, organizing sit-ins and participating in the first Freedom Rides, which challenged illegal segregation at bus stations across the South. He soon became the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and one of the “Big Six” national leaders of the movement, alongside such figures as Martin Luther King, Jr. and A. Philip Randolph. As SNCC chairman, Lewis was an architect of, and the youngest featured speaker at, the historic 1963 March on Washington, and was a key figure in the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer. Together with Hosea Williams, he led the landmark “Bloody Sunday” March in Selma, Alabama, where police brutality spurred national outrage and hastened passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Despite physical attacks, serious injuries, and more than 40 arrests, John Lewis has remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. His subsequent career has included voter registration activism, service on the Atlanta City Council, and over 25 years in Congress. Lewis was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2011, and was the first recipient of the John F. Kennedy “Profile in Courage” Lifetime Achievement Award.

EHC’s Annual Ice Cream Social – Sat. July 23

Join us for an afternoon of summer fun! Come listen to music on the grounds of the Dawes House (225 Greenwood Street, Evanston, IL), watch Kevin Kelly’s hilarious and entertaining magic show, enjoy a serving of Andy’s Frozen Custard, and enjoy free admission to the Dawes House! This is a summer favorite for kids and adults and it is entirely free!

Event Schedule:

The Ridgeville Band, 1-2 pm
Kevin Kelly’s Magic Show, 2-3 pm
Face Painting for Kids, 1-4 pm
Dawes house Open for self-guided tours of house and viewing of exhibits, 1-4 pm
Plus: Kids’ Games, Popcorn, Lemonade, and Andy’s Frozen Custard
Don’t forget to download the free Pokemon Go app so you can enjoy the Pokestop and Gym at the EHC.
If you have any questions about our Ice Cream Social you can email Grace Lehner or call 847-475-3410.
Saturday, July 23, 2016 (rain or shine)
Evanston History Center,
225 Greenwood Street, Evanston
1:00 – 4:00 pm
Admission: Free and open to the public!

The Evanston History Many Don’t Know – Thurs. March 10

The PTA Council’s Navigating Real Life Diversity With Our Kids

The Evanston History Many Don’t Know
Facilitated by Local Historian Dino Robinson of Shorefront Legacy Center

Thursday, March 10, 6:308:30 p.m.
Evanston Public Library, Community Room

Free child care and Spanish translation provided.
All ages are welcome at this session

Hear stories covering the rich history of Evanston’s Black Community from 1850 to today. The North Shore’s history of the African American presence dates back more than 150 years. Throughout this history, events, institutions, and its people have played a role in this complicated American history of Evanston and the North Shore. This presentation will take you on a historic tour of influences that have impacted the greater community often overlooked in historical settings.

Save the Date:
March 22:
Practical Tips for Ally Development

“Adoption and Identity Intertwined” – Thurs. Feb. 25

“Adoption and Identity Intertwined”
Film Screening and Discussion with Mei Kelly

Thursday, February 25, 2016
Reception at 6:30 pm, lecture at 7pm
This event is at the Evanston History Center
225 Greenwood St., Evanston, IL
Admission: $10, EHC members are free
Click here to make a reservation

Join us for a screening of Mei Kelly’s short documentary, “Adoption and Identity Intertwined.” (22min.) Adopted at nine months old from Southern China, Kelly uses her film to tell the stories of adopted teens today and to explore a range of issues related to adoption. The film was sponsored by The Beat, a subsection of the Cradle, an adoption agency in Evanston, whose early supporters included Caro Blymer Dawes. A discussion with Kelly and filmmaker Susan Hope Engel, who mentored Kelly on the film, follows the film screening.

Admission: $10. EHC members are free. Admission payable at the door.
Advance reservations are encouraged.
Click to Make a Reservation Here
or email

This is a “Year of Dawes” event. The YOD events of 2016 will take a look at a variety of themes related to Dawes’ life and career.

Learn More

Black History Month Kickoff – Sat. Feb. 6

Winter Break Camps

Winter BreakThere are a variety of options available around town for kids during the winter break:

Ice Cream Social at the Dawes House – Sat. July 25

Join us for an afternoon of summer fun! Come listen to music on the grounds of the Dawes House, watch Kevin Kelly’s hilarious and entertaining magic show, enjoy a serving of Andy’s Frozen Custard, and enjoy free admission to the Dawes House and “Evanston Ties the Knot,” an exhibit of Wedding Fashions and Customs, and much more! This is a summer favorite for kids and adults and
it is entirely free!

Event Schedule:
The Ridgeville Band, 1:00-2:00pm
Kevin Kelly’s Magic Show, 2:00-3:00pm
Face Painting for Kids, 1:00-4:00pm
Dawes House Open for self-guided tours of house and exhibits, 1:00-4:00pm

Plus: Games for Kids, Popcorn, Lemonade, Andy’s Frozen Custard.

Saturday, July 25
1:00-4:00pm (Rain or Shine)
225 Greenwood St.

This event is free

If you have any questions about our Ice Cream Social you can contact us by email, by clicking here.

Presented in Partnership with the Evanston Public Library. The EHC gratefully acknowledges Andy’s Frozen Custard

4th of July Activities

The Evanston 4th of July Association has planned a terrific Independence Day celebration for Saturday, July 4, with fun activities all day and evening.

Playground Activities
Events will begin at 9 a.m. with roller skating and refreshments at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, located at 1655 Foster St., and family playground activities at seven Evanston locations: Lincolnwood School, 2600 Colfax St.; Willard School, 2700 Hurd Ave.; Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St.; Kamen Park, South Blvd. and Barton Ave.; Baker Park, Forest Ave. and Keeney St.; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Literary and Fine Arts School, 2424 Lake St.; and Raymond Park, Chicago Ave. and Lake St. Playground activities include Frisbee, 25-, 40- and 60-yard races, jump rope competitions, sack races, pie eating contests, and more. More information >>>

North Evanston will be home to a Fun Run, tennis tournament finals, and the award-winning Evanston 4th of July Parade.

Fun Run
Children age 12 years and younger are invited to take part in the half-mile Kids Fun Run. Participants can register online or on race day from noon to 12:30 p.m. The run begins at 12:45 p.m. at Ackerman Park, located at Central St. and McDaniel Ave. The $10 registration fee includes a t-shirt plus finish line refreshments. All proceeds benefit the Evanston 4th of July Association.

Tennis Tournament
The finals of the citywide tennis tournament managed by the Evanston Tennis Association will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ackerman Park.

The award-winning Evanston 4th of July Parade begins at 2 p.m. on Central St. at Central Park Ave. and travels east to Ryan Field. Lawn chairs may be placed along Central St. beginning at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1, in accordance with City ordinance. The 2015 parade theme is “Tree City – Green City.”

Concert & Fireworks
The Palatine Concert Band will perform from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Dawes Park, located at Sheridan Rd. and Church St.

Lakefront fireworks set to music will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m.; tune in to FM 90.5. Fireworks are visible from most lakefront parks.

Free parking will be available in downtown Evanston public parking lots.

The Evanston 4th of July Celebration is organized by the Evanston 4th of July Association, a private, volunteer group. All aspects of the celebration are funded by voluntary contributions from businesses and individuals. For more information, visit

Summer Activities at the Mitchell Museum

This summer the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian is expanding its activity offerings for the whole family. In addition to their regular weekend craft schedule, they are offering bi-weekly tours of our Ho-Chunk ciporoke lodge, Sunday trivia, and a weekday DIY craft program August 18-21 to fill the void between camps and the start of the school year. Activities are free with regular admission.

Thirty minute tours of the ciporoke will be held every Wednesday at 4pm and every Saturday at 1:30pm.

On Sundays from 2-2:30pm, visitors can test their knowledge on facts and figures about American Indian history, art and culture with a staff lead Native trivia game.

Kid’s crafts are offered Saturdays 11:00 am-noon and Sundays 12:30-1:30 pm, as well as all day during regular business hours the week of Aug. 18-21. Kids can make simple versions of traditional Native American items including Talking Feathers, Button Blankets, Quill Boxes, and more.

The complete summer Craft Program Schedule is as follows:


6-7 Woven Wall Hanging
13-14 Talking Feathers
20-21 Moccasins
27-28 Cherokee Book of Words
31 Bolo Ties


5 Button Blankets
11-12 Snow Goggles
18-19 Zuni Fetish Statues
25-26 Plains Parfleche


1-2 Quill Boxes
8-9 Concho Belts
15-16 Coyote Crafts
22-23 Seminole Patchwork
29-30 Lakota Star Quilts

ALL DAY DIY CRAFTS: August 18-21

Kid’s craft activities are recommended for children ages 5 and up, but there is no minimum age requirement. Participants must be accompanied by an adult. No pre-registration is necessary.

For more information about The Mitchell Museum of The American Indian, visit or call 847-475-1030. The museum is open Tuesday- Wednesday 10 am- 5 pm, Thursday 10 am-8 pm, Friday- Saturday 10 am-5 pm and Sunday noon to 4 pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and children and FREE for Mitchell Museum members and Tribal members.

Juneteenth Celebrations – Thurs. June 19

Juneteenth Celebration final

Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-Off – Sunday, Sept. 15

The City of Evanston kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month with a celebration of Hispanic culture at Robert Crown Center. Experience Hispanic art, music, food, and dancing in observance of the 2013 Hispanic Heritage Month national theme, “Serving and Leading Our Nation with Pride and Honor.”

Entertainment scheduled to run from noon to 5pm

  • 12pm Banda Nueva Generación
  • 12:30pm Ballet Folklorico
  • 1pm – Invocation by Father Bob Oldershaw
  • 1:10pm – Welcome by the Mayor
  • 1:20pm – Reflections from Washington School Principal Kate Ellison
  • 1:30pm – Keynote Speaker, Henry Godinez
  • 1:45pm – Awards/Reflections from Dr. Witherspoon
  • 2:00pm – Hermanos Salcedos performance
  • 2:30pm – Zumba Session (Mariela Rojas)
  • 3:00pm – 3:30pm DanceMates Salsa dance lessons
  • 3:30pm – 4:30pm Dance Contest/Dancing (DJ salsa music)
  • 4:30pm – 5:00pm Arnulfo Cardenas Mariachi Singer

Other Activities:

  • Reflections from Washington School Principal Kate Ellison
  • Hispanic Heritage Awards Presentations – Dr. Witherspoon, Aracely Canchola, Seth Green (Y.O.U.)

Location: Robert Crown Center
Day/Date/Time: Sunday, September 15, Entertainment is scheduled noon – 5pm
Admission: FREE

2013 Celebración del Inicio del Mes de la Herencia Hispana

La ciudad de Evanston comienza el mes de la Herencia Hispana con una celebración de la cultura Latina en Robert Crown Center. Disfrute arte, música, comida y baile de Latinoamérica en conmemoración del tema nacional del Mes de la Herencia Hispana 2013, “Sirviendo y Liderando Nuestra Nación con Orgullo y Honor.”  Destacados incluyen: El orador principal, Henry Godinez, Ballet Folklorico, Cantante de Mariachi, Hermanos Salcedo, Concurso de Baile con premios en efectivo y mucho más.

Ubicación: Robert Crown Center
Día / Fecha / Hora: Domingo, 15 de septiembre de 12:00- 5:00pm
Admisión: GRATIS

Shorefront Seeking Local African-American History

Did you grow up on the North Shore? You know, anywhere from Evanston north through Lake Forest? Shorefront is looking for your films capturing African American lives, activities, events, miscellaneous moving pictures depicting every day life for transferring and archiving. Think about all of the formats you may have — VHS, Super VHS, BETA, Super Beta, 8mm Tape, Hi-8, DIGITAL 8, Mini DV Tape, 8mm Film, Super 8 Film, 16mm Film — all may be hiding in your closets, attics and basement.

These films are a piece of a bigger puzzle in documenting the African American experience on the North Shore. Shorefront hopes you will consider donating or lending for transfer, your families home movies for use in telling the whole story of our local history.

Shorefront is located at 2010 Dewey Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. Contact us at or 847-864-7467.

Celebrate Evanston’s 150th Birthday – Sat. July 27

Happy Birthday Evanston! Two celebrations will take place on Saturday afternoon, July 27.

The Evanston Art Center will place 150 candles out on the front lawn. Thanks to Home Depot for donating all of our 150 lawn candles and to the businesses, organizations and individuals that have generouly purchased a candle. Join them for cupcakes and other artful activities from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday the 27th.

The Evanston History Center will also have their ice cream social from 1pm to 4pm on July 27. Free popcorn, lemonade and Andy’s Frozen Custard will be served along with games for kids, face painting, music and plenty of time to simply lounge on the lawn at the Dawes House.

Both events are a wonderful way to be part of Evanston’s 150 celebration.

Evanston History Center Ice Cream Social – Sat. July 27

The Evanston History Center holds its annual Ice Cream Social from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at the Dawes House, 225 Greenwood St.

The event — to be held rain or shine — is free and open to everyone.

The program features face-painting for kids, Andy’s Frozen Custard, popcorn, lemonade, treats from Whole Foods Market and tours of the Dawes House through the afternoon plus the following scheduled events:

  • The Ridgeville Band at 1 p.m.
  • Kevin Kelly’s Magic Show at 2 p.m.
  • LakeDance Performance at 3:30 p.m.

Evanston History Center
225 Greenwood St.
Evanston, IL 60201

Mitchell Museum Offers Summer Activities

The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston will offer special activities for youngsters June 11-14 during the first week of summer break for students in Evanston/Skokie School District 65.

During the museum’s “School’s Out Family Fun Week,” kids can engage in do-it-yourself craft projects making simple versions of traditional Native American items including Southwest woven rugs, Northwest Coast masks, Plains shields, and Lakota star quilts. The crafts are recommended for children ages 5 and older. Participants must be accompanied by an adult.

Native American stories will be read each afternoon at 2 p.m. in the museum’s teaching lodge.

The “school’s out” activities are included with the price of museum admission. Regular museum hours will be in effect.

Kids Craft Morning Programs

The museum will also offer its “Kids Craft Morning” programs on Saturdays and Sundays in June, July, and August.

Mitchell staffers and volunteers lead the informal, one-hour sessions where children learn to construct simple versions of traditional Native American objects using everyday craft materials.

Kids will make corn husk dolls out of corn husks and twine; porcupine quill boxes out of colored toothpicks and cardboard; woven baskets of yarn applied to drinking cups; Northwest Coast button blankets of plastic buttons glued to felt; Northwest Coast rattles of dry corn kernels sandwiched between paper plates; bolo ties of nylon cord, cardboard, and colored mosaic tiles; beaded key chains of hemp cord, beads, and metal key rings; beaded bracelets and headbands of cord and beads made on a cardboard loom; Plains ledger drawings sketched on columnar accounting paper; Seminole patchwork of fabric pieces glued onto cloth; God’s eyes of colored yarn and craft sticks; and a Cherokee syllabary, a booklet using written symbols to represent syllables of the Cherokee language.

Workshop dates, times, and themes are as follows:

  • June 1, 11 a.m.–noon, woven baskets
  • June 2, 12:30–1:30 p.m., woven baskets
  • June 8, 11 a.m.–noon, Cherokee syllabary
  • June 9, 12:30–1:30 p.m., Cherokee syllabary
  • June 15, 11 a.m.–noon, Plains ledger drawings
  • June 16, 12:30–1:30 p.m., Plains ledger drawings
  • June 22, 11 a.m.–noon, God’s eyes
  • June 23, 12:30–1:30 p.m., God’s eyes
  • June 29, 11 a.m.–noon, bolo ties
  • June 30, 12:30–1:30 p.m., bolo ties
  • July 6, 11 a.m.–noon, Northwest Coast masks
  • July 7, 12:30–1:30 p.m., Northwest Coast masks
  • July 13, 11 a.m.–noon, corn husk dolls
  • July 14, 12:30–1:30 p.m., corn husk dolls
  • July 20, 11 a.m.–noon, button blankets
  • July 21, 12:30–1:30 p.m., button blankets
  • July 27, 11 a.m.–noon, beaded key chains
  • July 28, 12:30–1:30 p.m., beaded key chains
  • August 3, 11 a.m.–noon, Seminole patchwork
  • August 4, 12:30–1:30 p.m., Seminole patchwork
  • August 10, 11 a.m.–noon, God’s eyes
  • August 11, 12:30–1:30 p.m., God’s eyes
  • August 17, 11 a.m.–noon, Northwest Coast rattles
  • August 18, 12:30–1:30 p.m., Northwest Coast rattles
  • August 24, 11 a.m.–noon, loom beading
  • August 25, 12:30–1:30 p.m., loom beading
  • August 31, 11 a.m.–noon, quill boxes
  • September 1, 12:30–1:30 p.m., quill boxes.

The museum also makes available coloring projects and other simple craft activities on request at the workshops.

Offered year-round, the museum’s Kids Craft workshops are designed to introduce children to Native cultures of the U.S. and Canada, which are the focus of the Mitchell Museum’s collections and exhibits.

Workshop participants have the opportunity to view authentic examples of Native crafts from the Mitchell’s collection and illustrations of Native designs as models for their projects.

Kids Craft Morning activities are recommended for children ages 5 and up, but there is no minimum age requirement. Participants must be accompanied by an adult. No pre-registration is necessary.

Admission to Kids Craft Morning workshops is included with museum admission, which is $5 for adults, $3 for children (ages 1- 17), students (with ID), teachers (with ID), and seniors (age 65+). Admission is free for Mitchell Museum members and tribal members. Museum admission is also free for active-duty military personnel and their families through September 1 in conjunction with the national Blue Star Museums program.

The independent, nonprofit Mitchell Museum is located at 3001 Central St., Evanston. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; 10 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays.

For information, phone (847) 475-1030 or email


Compass and Map Skills Workshops at Evanston History Center

LL Bean EHC.pngThe Evanston History Center is pleased to partner with L.L. Bean Old Orchard and L.L. Bean Discovery Schools to offer one hour compass skills clinics on four Saturdays in 2013. Even in this high tech era, nothing can replace the value of a compass and paper map. L.L.Bean’s founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, once said, “If you get lost, just go straight back to camp.” If only it were that easy. How do you use a map and compass? Come to EHC and find out!

The 1/2 hour clinics will take place on Saturdays June 1, July 6, August 3 and September 7 at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. The workshops are $10, $5 for kids 12 and under, with a free tour of the Dawes and EHC exhibits included. Compasses will be provided. Currently on exhibit is EHC’s 150th Anniversary exhibit: Where are We? Mapping our Way Through Evanston History, featuring maps that tell the story of Evanston over time.

Reservations are required for the clinics as space is limited. Please call 847/475-3410 or email All workshops will take place at the Dawes House and will be outside, weather permitting.

For more information about the clinics, the Maps exhibit or other programs offered by EHC, visit or call 847/475-3410. The Evanston History Center is located in the Dawes House, 225 Greenwood Street, Evanston, Illinois, 60201.

Mother’s Day House Walk


Join the Evanston History Center in celebrating 38 years of Evanston’s history and architecture! In the 38 years since its inception, the Evanston History Center’s Mother’s Day House Walk has embodied the best of history and architecture. In honor of the 150th anniversary of Evanston, they will present stunning, private homes in southeast Evanston that represent the major styles of Evanston’s architectural history. The House Walk includes interior viewing of the houses. Your support of the House Walk benefits the EHC’s programs and their preservation of Evanston history.

Sunday, May 12, 2013
Houses will be open from 12:00 to 5:00pm.

Admission: $40 in advance, $45 on Mother’s Day. Evanston History Center members receive a $5 per ticket discount, regardless of purchase date.

Children 12 and over require a ticket. Tickets are not mailed; they may be picked up at the EHC, 225 Greenwood Street, Evanston, beginning at 11 am on May 12. Addresses are not available in advance. House Walk tickets are nonrefundable.

More information and to purchase tickets: