Directed cell migration is a property central to multiple basic biological processes. Here, we show that directed cell migration is associated with global changes in the chromatin fiber. Polarized posttranslational changes in histone H1 along with a transient decrease in H1 mobility were detected in cells facing the scratch in a wound healing assay. In parallel to the changes in H1, the levels of the heterochromatin marker histone H3 lysine 9 tri-methylation were elevated. Interestingly, reduction of the chromatin-binding affinity of H1 altered the cell migration rates. Moreover, migration-associated changes in histone H1 were observed during nuclear motility in the simple multicellular organism Neurospora crassa. Our studies suggest that dynamic reorganization of the chromatin fiber is an early event in the cellular response to migration cues.