The Changing Landscape of Opportunity

By the early 1980s, many industries closed their doors permanently, or greatly reduced their number of workers due to automation and overseas competition. Despite such extreme changes to the employment landscape, residents of the region continue to create new ways to make a living and maintain quality-of-life, often building on their heritage for the futureContinue reading “The Changing Landscape of Opportunity”

Taking a Stand for Civil Rights

In this photo, heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis (left) enjoys a round of golf at Gary’s North Gleason Park. One of Louis’s motives for golfing in Gary was to draw attention to, and protest, the disparity between the nine-hole North Gleason course and the whites-only, 18-hole South Gleason course. Joe Louis golfing with the Par-Makers1948CalumetContinue reading “Taking a Stand for Civil Rights”

Changing and Expanding Social Opportunity

Where to live, what school to go to, who to marry? The objects and stories displayed here show how residents answered these kinds of questions, sometimes pushing boundaries and sometimes not, as they made the most of the opportunities available to them. The need to house huge numbers of new industrial workers quickly posed aContinue reading “Changing and Expanding Social Opportunity”

Social Opportunity: Introduction

As industry grew, so did the cultural diversity and the breadth of opportunity outside of the workplace. Even as population numbers exploded, people often stayed within the boundaries of neighborhood, race and ethnicity, or religion. Still, urban life afforded new options in education, community, and achievement. People took advantage of these new possibilities and atContinue reading “Social Opportunity: Introduction”