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Mayor of Chicago

Mayor of Chicago

Czech born Anton Cermak (1873-1933) became the 44th Mayor of Chicago in 1931.  He was an opponent of the Prohibition and waged a battle against the mob. As Mayor, Cermak also traveled back to his native lands and met with Czechoslovak President T. G. Masaryk. Unfortunately, while shaking hands with U.S. President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) in Miami, Florida, on February 15, 1933, Cermak was fatally shot by assassin Joe Zangara. While on his deathbed, Cermak humbly told FDR, "I'm glad it was me instead of you." A plaque inscribed with these words to honor Cermak still lies at the site of the assassination in Miami's Bayfront Park. Cermak is buried in the Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago and has a major street in Chicago named after him. Still, it has never been determined who was the target of the assassination, if the bullet was meant for the President-elect or Cermak in retribution for ordering the shooting of gangster Frank Nitti.

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