In 2015, I visited the Chicago Museum of Art, which has been commemorated as the “number one museum in the world.” Tucked away in a corner of the museum is the small but well-maintained Fullerton Hall. It was here that the great Indian mystic, Swami Vivekananda, stood at the now-hallowed delivered his electrifying speech at the World Parliament of Religions on September 11, 1893. A plaque marks the site, and leaflets are available that contain an introduction to Swamiji as well as the full text of his speech. The flyer further mentions that “Passionately and eloquently, Vivekananda called for the end of religious bigotry and intolerance…” It was a speech that still has significance in today’s world.
Five years later, the original auditorium was replaced by Fullerton Hall. However, a museum employee told us that the existing dais was the same one used by Vivekananda. And yes…the name of the street where the museum is located is “Honorary Swami Vivekananda way.” As an Indian, I felt proud and appreciative of the respect accorded by America to Swami Vivekananda.