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James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.

Cicero

Illinois

Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
W. Chicago
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Surely
Was there an ordinance?
Sign?
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Probably

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

Main Ethnic Group(s)

Group(s) Excluded

Comments

At Cicero, IL, police at first prevented Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Clark from moving into an apartment building occupied by whites. When a Federal court intervened, a white mob formed and reduced the interior of the building to a shambles. Of the 120 mobsters arrested, two were convicted and fined 10 dollars each. A grand jury proceeded to indict the owner of the building, the rental agent, and the attorney of the victim. A year later, Cicero’s Chief of Police and two policemen were fined from 250 to 2,000 dollars, but the fines were rescinded another year later by the U.S. Court of Appeals. Eventually, the owner of the building, Mrs. Camille Derose, sued the Clarks and eleven other Negroes for $1,000,000, charging that they had conspired to defraud her and send her to prison and a mental institution (she was admitted to the latter). On 9/18/1951, a Cook County grand jury indicted the NAACP attorney defending the black family trying to move into Cicero, the landlady, and her rental agent, not the mob!

After the 1951 riot, Cicero whites were outraged that Gov Adlai Stevenson had called out the National Guard, so the town flipped and voted for Ike in 1952, has been Republican ever since.

In Cicero during an MLK march, in 1966, white counter-protestors physically assaulted King.

Cicero, Illinois: racially exclusionary policies made headlines during the Civil Rights Movement and were not amended as late as 1981. still the center of controversy over non white residents in 2000.