- Associated Press - Saturday, August 9, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is appealing to President Barack Obama for help in granting National Park status to Chicago’s Pullman Historic District.

Durbin said in a letter sent Friday to Obama that the area is significant for its place in revolutionizing the railroad industry and its contributions to the labor movement.

He urged Obama to use his authority under the Antiquities Act to declare part of the park a unit of the National Park System.

Industrialist George Pullman founded what was then a separate town in 1880.

It was known for manufacturing Pullman Palace Sleeper Cars, considered the most luxurious railcar for almost a century.

The neighborhood also was the birthplace of the African-American labor movement. Disgruntled Pullman porters organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters union in the 1920s.

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