A Chicago Mayor Dies and a President Lives

Anton Cermak, the 36th mayor of Chicago, died March 06, 1933, after being injured in an a assassination attempt on the life of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Cermak, who was in a Miami, Florida, park was shot on February 15, and uttered the famous words to Roosevelt as they were rushing towards the hospital: “I’m glad it was me instead of you.”

A Lawndale resident, Cermak was born in Bohemia, May 09, 1873, and is widely heralded as being responsible for building the Democrat Machine, which runs Chicago to this day.

He rose up through the ranks of the Machine and eventually won election against” Bill Bill” Thompson, the corrupt Mayor of Chicago during the 1920’s and into the 1930’s.

Cermak was no choir boy himself; it was thought that, in addition to his real estate holdings, he profited from the Prohibition of alcohol, which was in effect for many years prior to his becoming mayor.

There are some that believe that the assassin, Giuseppe Zangara, an Italian immigrant, was actually aiming not for Roosevelt, but for Cermak.

Justice was swift in the those days, and Zangara was executed March 20, 1933.

History would have been much different had Roosevelt been felled by Zangara.



Filed under: Chicago History

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