Springfield, IL – The Illinois AFL-CIO will hold a virtual dedication of its renovated Labor Memorial Plaza in front of its Springfield office on S. 2nd Street across from the Illinois Capitol at 10 a.m. on Oct. 7.
The plaza features a centerpiece bronze statue of Reuben Soderstrom, who served as president of the Illinois AFL-CIO for 40 years, from 1930 to 1970, years of phenomenal growth for the group, both in membership and influence. The statue, with his finger in the air, is based on his “Progress!” speech, given in 1920 on the back of a flatbed truck alongside future president Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Mendota, Ill.
At the plaza, digital signposts measuring 8 feet by 11 feet are mounted at each end of the plaza to communicate Labor’s rich history. Flag poles, several plaques and brick memorial pavers have also been installed.
Guests at the event will include Secretary of State Jesse White, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, Soderstrom’s grandson Carl Soderstrom and great-grandson Robert Soderstrom.
It was also on Oct. 7 in 1965 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. joined with Soderstrom to speak to the delegates of the 8th annual Illinois AFL-CIO convention in Springfield.
“The Labor Memorial Plaza will serve as a grand entrance to the house of Labor in Springfield,” Illinois AFL-CIO President Tim Drea said.
Those interested in attending by Zoom may go to firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the necessary information.