Growing up with Hillary

Hillary Clinton speaking
Hillary Clinton presentation

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was a special guest of the Park Ridge Historical Society on October 11, 2019 for the premiere of the documentary “Dare to Dream”, produced by the Historical Society as part of an upcoming exhibit “Trailblazing Women of Park Ridge”. The event was held at the historic Pickwick Theater where student journalists from Maine South and Maine East, interviewed the former First Lady, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State and Presidential candidate, with an audience largely comprised of students from middle and high schools in the community. Other guests included childhood friends and classmates along with members of the Historical Society. Following the event at the Pickwick Theater friends and guests enjoyed lunch with Secretary Clinton at a local restaurant.

In 2015, Park Ridge Historical Society Vice President John Murphy approached Betsy Johnson Ebeling, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton’s best friend with an idea to interview Hillary’s classmates about what it was like “Growing up with Hillary”. With Betsy’s help, student volunteers from Maine East and Maine South High School interviewed thirteen classmates in 2016 and 2017. Based on these interviews, the Society produced the documentary “Dare to Dream”. The documentary chronicles Clinton’s experiences in Park Ridge—as a child, a student, a teenager and young adult is told through the stories of classmates who grew up with her at Field, Emerson, Maine East and South High Schools. “Dare to Dream” takes viewers on a journey of how a young suburban girl of the 1950s and 60s overcame gender barriers and challenges with the help of family, friends and the community.

The “Trailblazing Women of Park Ridge” exhibit that is coming to the Park Ridge History Center in the spring of 2020 will examine the local roots and upbringing of four remarkable women: Clinton; Clara Barck Welles, founder of the Kalo Arts Crafts Community House in Park Ridge and the first President of the 20th Century Club of Park Ridge; Hannah Solomon, an ardent advocate of women’s suffrage, founder and first President of the National Council of Jewish Women and president of the Illinois Industrial School for Girls; and Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, also called Mother Cabrini, founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

To view “Dare to Dream”, photos, interviews and the recording of the October 11 event click on the links below.