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Ninety years ago a Czech native became the Mayor of Chicago

Anton Cermak, a native of Kladno, Czech Republic, became the first mayor of Chicago on April 7, 1931, who was not born in the United States and was not of Anglo-Saxon descent.

Anton Cermak was born on May 9, 1873 in Kladno, then Austria-Hungary, now Czech Republic.  A year later, the Cermak family moved to America and settled in a mining town where young Anton and his father worked as miners. Anton was not very happy with his miner's life, so he devoted all his free time to education. A few years later, he moved to Chicago and established a carriage business.

He entered the world politics at the turn of the 20th century as a member of the Democratic Party. 1931 is the most important year of his career, becoming the mayor of Chicago on April 7. During his office, Cermak had to deal with many complex problems that were taking place in the USA at that time. Above all, it was Al Capone and many other other gangsters, bthat gave Chicago  a reputation of a criminal city. Cermak spoke harshly against the mafia.

On November 8, 1932, presidential elections were held in the United States. Democratic candidate Franklin Delano Roosevelt won when he defeated the Republican  President Herbert Hoover. He had a long-standing friendship with Anton Cermak.  Cermak also supported Roosevelt in the election campaign.

Anton Cermak was seriously injured on February 15, 1933 in Miami during the assassination of President Roosevelt. He died in hospital on March 6, 1933. He is buried in a tomb at the Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago.

This important anniversary is also commemorated by the US Embassy in Prague, as well as Cermak's hometown of Kladno.


Výročí Anton Cermak