Newberry Library

Although the Chicago Public Library was founded in 1873, two years after the Great Chicago Fire, a wealthy Chicagoan named Walter L. Newberry decided to leave $2.2 million dollars upon his death to fund another free public library in Chicago.  That led to the creation of the Newberry Library in 1887.  This is not to…

Ten Historically Interesting Sites in Skokie, Illinois

In 1888, a village 12 miles northwest of downtown Chicago was incorporated as Niles Centre.  This swampy land was eventually renamed “Skokie” in 1940.  Skokie means “big swamp” in the language of the area’s former inhabitants, the Potawatomi tribe.  After World War II, Skokie’s population boomed, explaining why a large percentage of its homes were…

American Writers Museum

In 2017, the American Writers Museum opened in downtown Chicago.  Located in a section of a high-rise building, its goal is to teach visitors about famous writers from the United States.  I visited the museum in 2017, the same year that it first opened, so its exhibits may still be evolving. Overall, the museum is…

Jewish Museum of Maryland

Founded in 1729, the city of Baltimore, Maryland was established before the United States gained its independence from Great Britain in 1776, thus making it an old city according to U.S. standards.  Unsurprisingly, then, Baltimore has the third oldest surviving synagogue building in the United States.  Although the Lloyd St. Synagogue, located on Lloyd St….

Museokeskus Vapriikki

Tampere is a city in southern Finland that is approximately a two-hour drive north of Finland’s capital city of Helsinki.  The city was once home to numerous industries in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as can be attested by the presence of old factory buildings there.  Nevertheless, the buildings are well-kept and the city…

Irish American Heritage Center

Irish immigrants have been making Chicago their home since the 1830s, with the last large wave of Irish immigrants arriving in the 1980s.  Therefore, it is not surprising that twelve of Chicago’s mayors have been Irish, including Richard M. Daley, Chicago’s longest-running mayor (who served from 1989 to 2011).  Through the efforts of Chicago’s Irish…

The Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University

Founded in 1851 in Evanston, Illinois (a Chicago suburb), Northwestern University ranks among the top universities in the United States.  Therefore, unsurprisingly, it has its own museum on campus.  Mary and Leigh Block founded the Block Museum of Art in 1980 with the goal of educating both students and the public about art.  Although most…

National Postal Museum

If you live in the United States, you may have noticed mail taking longer than usual to arrive, or mail just getting completely lost.  As more people stayed home in 2020 because of COVID-19, they tended to do more online shopping, thus increasing our mail usage.  However, COVID-19 also meant that postal workers frequently got…

Fort Sumter

On December 20, 1860, the state of South Carolina seceded from the United States.  That led to a domino effect in which ten other states ultimately seceded from the Union as well.  For obvious reasons, the United States was not pleased with South Carolina’s behavior, so on December 26, 1860, it secretly sent soldiers, under…

Poetry Foundation Library

Although public libraries are obviously the most popular types of libraries, there are so many other types of unique libraries that exist.  Many of these are research libraries, which do not allow you to take their materials home, but do allow you to use their materials while inside the library.  The Poetry Foundation Library in…