Type: SHEET MUSIC
Country of Origin: United States
Campaign Sheet Music CERMAK For Mayor 1931 CHICAGO POLITICS DEMOCRATS FDR Assassination Murder Mob Cook County Commissioner Oak Forest Illinois Czech Bohemian heritage Silvie Ferretti's Booster Club Big Bill Thompson Black Congressman William L. Dawson Racism Ethnic Slurs.
Words & Music by Casper Nathan, Published by Silvie Ferretti's Booster Club Chicago. Front cocer His Picture, 1 1/2 inch smudge to the bottom left of picture, 1 smaller 1/4 inch smudge to the right of his picture.
Back Cover: Facts Speak Louder Than Theories...(An Impressive Long Record as Commissioner including expanding rehabbing the Juvenile Home & Establishing the Borderline Children's School, both in Oak Forest). Chicago Demands A Mayor Who Knows How! CERMAK FOR MAYOR
Info on him:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Anton Joseph Cermak 44th Mayor of Chicago In office 1931 – 1933 until his assassination by Giuseppe Zangara in 1933.
Preceded by William Hale Thompson
Succeeded by Frank J. Corr
Czech heritage, one in the list of Assassinated American politicians.
Born April 1, 1873 Kladno, Bohemia
Died March 6, 1933 (aged 59)Miami, Fl Political party Democratic
Spouse Mary Horejs Cermak
Early life and career
Born in Kladno, Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic), Cermak emigrated with his parents to the United States in 1874. He began his political career as a precinct captain and in 1902 was elected to the Illinois state legislature. Seven years later, he would take his place as alderman of the 12th Ward (Bridgeport, the home base of future mayors Richard J. Daley, Michael Bilandic and Daley's son Richard M. Daley). Cermak was elected president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners in 1922-1931 (Preceded by Daniel Ryan & Succeeded by Emmett Whealan), chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party in 1928, and mayor of Chicago in 1931. In 1928 he ran for the United States Senate and was defeated by Republican Otis F. Glenn, receiving 46% of the vote.
Campaign for Mayor
His mayoral victory came in the wake of the Great Depression and the deep resentment many Chicagoans had of Prohibition and the increasing violence resulting from organized crime's control of Chicago, typified by the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
The many ethnic groups such as Poles, Czechs, Ukrainians, Jews, Italians, and African Americans began to settle in Chicago in the early 1900s and were mostly detached from the political system, due in part to lack of organization which led to underrepresentation in the City Council. As an immigrant himself, Cermak recognized Chicago's relatively-new immigrants as a significant population of disenfranchised voters and a large power base for Cermak and his local Democratic organization.
Before Cermak, the Democratic party in Cook County was run by the 'Lace Curtain' Irish, who generally despised everyone who wasn't 'Lace Curtain', including the Irish from the Back of the Yards and Bridgeport neighborhoods, who were commonly referred to as 'Pig Shit' Irish. As Cermak climbed the local political ladder, the resentment of the Lace Curtain group grew. When the bosses rejected his bid to become the mayoral candidate, Cermak swore revenge. That is when he formed his non-Irish political army and eventually wooed black politician William L. Dawson to switch from the Republican to the Democratic Party. Dawson would go on to become a US Congressman (from the 1st District) and soon the most powerful black politician in Illinois.
Cermak's political and organizational skills helped create one of the most powerful political organizations of his day, and Cermak is considered the father of Chicago's Democratic machine. With support from Franklin D. Roosevelt on the national level, Cermak gradually wooed members of Chicago's growing black community into the Democratic fold.
When Cermak challenged the incumbent 'Big Bill' Thompson in the 1931 mayor's race, Thompson, representative of Chicago's existing power structure, responded with ethnic slurs:
I won't take a back seat to that Bohunk, Chairmock, Chermack or whatever his name is.
Tony, Tony, where's your pushcart at?
Can you picture a World's Fair mayor?
With a name like that?
Cermak's reply, "He doesn't like my name... it's true I didn't come over on the Mayflower, but I came over as soon as I could." It was a sentiment to which ethnic Chicagoans could relate and Thompson's slur largely backfired.
The flamboyant Thompson's reputation as a buffoon and the voters' disgust with the corruption of his machine and his inability or unwillingness to clean up organized crime in Chicago were cited as major factors in Cermak capturing 58% of the vote in the mayoral election on April 6, 1931. Cermak's victory finished Thompson as a political power and largely ended the Republican Party's power in Chicago – no Republican has held the office of mayor of Chicago since Thompson's exit in 1931.
For nearly his entire administration, Cermak had to deal with a major tax revolt. From 1931 to 1933, the Association of Real Estate Taxpayers mounted a "tax strike." At its height, ARET, which was headed by John M. Pratt and James E. Bistor, had over thirty thousand members. Much to Cermak's dismay, it successfully slowed down the collection of real estate taxes through litigation and promoting refusal to pay. In the meantime, the city found it difficult to pay teachers and maintain services.
While shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt at Bayfront Park in Miami, Florida, on February 15, 1933, Cermak was shot in the lung and seriously wounded when Giuseppe Zangara, who attempted to assassinate Roosevelt, hit Cermak instead.
Later, rumors circulated that Cermak, not Roosevelt, had been the intended target, as his promise to clean up Chicago's rampant lawlessness posed a threat to Al Capone and the Chicago organized crime syndicate. According to Roosevelt biographer Jean Edward Smith, there is no proof for this theory. One of the first people to suggest the organized crime theory was reporter Walter Winchell, who happened to be in Miami the evening of the shooting. At the critical moment, Lilian Cross, a doctor's wife, hit Zangara's arm with her purse and spoiled his aim. In addition to Cermak, Zangara hit four other people, one of whom, a woman, also died of her injuries. Zangara told the police that he hated rich and powerful people, but not Roosevelt personally. Cermak was quoted as saying "I'm glad it was me instead of you" to Roosevelt while headed to the hospital.
Long-time Chicago newsman Len O'Connor offers a different view of the events surrounding Cermak's death. He has written that aldermen "Paddy" Bauler and Charlie Weber informed him that relations between Cermak and FDR were strained because Cermak fought FDR's nomination at the Democratic convention in Chicago, and the legend that his last words were "I'm glad it was me instead of you" was, according to O'Connor, totally fabricated by Weber and Bauler.
Cermak died of his wounds on March 6 and was interred at Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago. The mayor's death was followed by a struggle for succession to his party chairmanship and to the mayor's office.
A plaque honoring Cermak still lies at the site of the assassination in Miami's Bayfront Park. It is inscribed with Cermak's words to FDR after he was shot, "I'm glad it was me instead of you."
Following Cermak's death, 22nd Street, a major east-west artery that traversed Chicago's West Side and the close-in suburbs of Cicero and Berwyn, areas with a significant Czech population, was renamed Cermak Road.
In 1943, a Liberty ship, the SS A. J. Cermak was named after Cermak. It was scrapped in 1964.
Cermak's son-in-law, Otto Kerner, Jr., was governor of Illinois and a federal circuit judge.
Relatives of Cermak still live in the Chicago area to this day.
In popular culture
A hastily produced movie about Cermak, The Man Who Dared, was released within months of his death. Further, there was a made for TV movie, The Gun of Zangara, about Cermak's assassination. It was originally a two-part episode of The Untouchables, where it had the title "The Unhired Assassin."