Obama arrives in Chicago for Pullman designation

President Obama arrives in Chicago on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015.

President Barack Obama arrived in Chicago Thursday to discuss the designation of the Pullman Historic District as a national monument.

He's s expected to deliver remarks in the afternoon at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy.

The Pullman neighborhood on the city's South Side was built by industrialist George Pullman in the 19th century for workers at a factory to build luxurious railroad sleeping cars. The neighborhood was crucial in the African-American labor movement.

Pullman State Historic Site was designated as a national monument in 2015 by former Pres. Obama.



Designating part of the neighborhood a national monument makes it part of the National Park System.

The president's visit falls days before the municipal election, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel faces re-election. Emanuel is a former White House chief of staff.

The president will also name the Browns Canyon region in Colorado a national monument. The 21,000 acre site is a popular whitewater rafting area on the Arkansas River.

The president is also expected to announce a former Japanese internment camp in Hawaii will become a national monument.

Obama will also reportedly announce in Chicago that fourth graders across the country will get in free to national parks next year.

According to USA Today, President Obama will announce the "Every Kid in the Park" initiative Thursday in Chicago. Family admission to national parks usually costs $80 for an annual pass. However, starting in the fall, fourth graders and their families will get in free.

The funding for the initiative will come from the National Park Service's $20 million budget for youth engagement programs. Some schools will also receive money to pay for travel to national parks.

The National Parks Service celebrates its 100th anniversary next year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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