CHICAGO --President Barack Obama says protecting places of beauty and historical significance is an American ideal.
Obama was in Chicago on Thursday to designate the Pullman National Monument, honoring the historic South Side neighborhood where African-American railroad workers won a significant labor agreement in the 1930s.
Obama began his career as a community organizer nearby. He says it's where he learned so much, made lifelong friends and became a man.
The president also announced a program to offer fourth-graders and their families free admission to national parks.
Pullman workers played a major role in the rise of the black middle class.
President Obama also plans to stop at his home in the Kenwood neighborhood at some point.