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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200177 Find in a Library
Title: Lunatics and Anarchists: Political Homicide in Chicago
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:92  Issue:3/4  Dated:Spring/Summer 2002  Pages:791-808
Author(s): Edward M. Burke
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 18
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper describes the events surrounding the assassinations of two Chicago mayors -- Carter Harrison I in 1894 and Anton Cermak in 1933 -- noting the historical forces of these periods and the political aftermaths of the assassinations.
Abstract: On October 28, 1893, Carter Harrison I, the popular and well-respected mayor of Chicago, was slain in his home by Eugene Patrick Prendergast, a 25-year-old struggling Irish immigrant who worked as a newspaper delivery man. Prendergast said he had shot the mayor because he had refused to appoint him to the office of Corporation Counsel, a job for which he had no training. In spite of defense claims of insanity, Prendergast was found guilty and hanged on July 13, 1894. Some speculate that had Carter Harrison I not died in 1894, he, not William Jennings Bryan, would have been the Democratic candidate for president in 1896. His achievements as a tested big city mayor and his family's presidential pedigree (great grandfather Benjamin Harrison and grand uncle William Henry Harrison) might have been enough to give him the edge over William McKinley. One can only speculate again how this might have altered subsequent American history. Anton Cermak was killed in Miami at an event with president-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 15, 1933, when Giuseppi Zangara, an Italian immigrant and admitted anarchist, shot Cermak in what was believed to be an assassination attempt on Roosevelt. The assassination of Cermak brought its own widespread change to both Chicago and national politics. In the aftermath of his death, local Chicago Democrats chose the Sanitary District's Ed Kelly to succeed as mayor. This began the long line of Bridgeport Irish mayors from the 11th Ward and launched the Chicago Kelly-Nash machine. In addition, Kelly was responsible for helping to put Roosevelt in the White House for a historical third term in 1940. In 1944 Kelly was part of the inside circle who convinced Roosevelt to dump Vice President Henry Wallace and make the obscure Missouri Senator Harry S. Truman the party Vice-Presidential nominee. A 69-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Assassination; Illinois; Political influences; Trial procedures
Note: For other documents related to this study, see NCJ-200171-76 and 200178-82.
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