How did politicians get elected in Rogers Park in the late twentieth century?

Pre-College Summer Scholars at Loyola University Chicago sought answers to this question by exploring a collection of historical political materials housed at the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society. As part of a week-long course on public history, students analyzed dozens of primary sources and organized them into a digital exhibit. Follow the links below to join the scholars in uncovering the changing influence of Chicago’s Democratic Machine over time and discover Rogers Park’s robust legacy of political activism.


The election of 1979 was shaped by the divide between politicians who supported the Democratic Machine and those who challenged it.

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Opposition to the Democratic Machine gained momentum in 1983 with the election of Harold Washington and re-election of David Orr.

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The year 1987 held surprises for the 49th ward in the aftermath of both a citywide mayoral election and a local aldermanic election.

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The election of 1991 between Joe Moore and Bob Clarke revealed the declining power of the Democratic Machine.

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Pre-College Summer Scholars: Jesus Alfaro, Alyssa Cantrell, Izzy Colón, Catherine deJesus, Amanda Didier, Lazaro Guerrero, Madeline Kirch, Emma Stockman, Allison Szywala, Caroline Uhlig
Instructor: Rachel Boyle