Cicero, Illinois facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Cicero, Illinois
Town
The last vestige of the Hawthorne Works, which at its peak in the early 20th century employed over 40,000 workers
The last vestige of the Hawthorne Works, which at its peak in the early 20th century employed over 40,000 workers
Location in Cook County and the state of Illinois.
Location in Cook County and the state of Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Country  United States
State Illinois
County Cook
Township Cicero
Incorporated February 28, 1867 (1867-02-28)
Area
 • Total 5.87 sq mi (15.2 km2)
 • Land 5.87 sq mi (15.2 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation 607 ft (185 m)
Population (2013)
 • Total 84,103
 • Density 14,303.7/sq mi (5,522.7/km2)
  Up 0.3% from 2010
Standard of living (2011)
 • Per capita income $14,539
 • Median home value $157,500
ZIP code(s) 60804
Area code(s) 708
Geocode 17-14351
Website www.thetownofcicero.com

Cicero, a suburb of Chicago, is an incorporated town in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 83,891 at the 2010 census. As of 2013, the town had a total population of 84,103, making it the tenth-largest municipality in Illinois. Cicero is named for the town of Cicero, New York, which in turn was named for Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman statesman and orator.

History

Originally, Cicero Township occupied six times its current territory. Weak political leadership and town services resulted in cities such as Oak Park and Berwyn voting to split off from Cicero, and other portions such as Austin were annexed into the city of Chicago.

Al Capone built his criminal empire in Chicago before moving to Cicero to escape the reach of Chicago police.

On July 11–12, 1951, a race riot erupted in Cicero when a mob of around 4,000 attacked and burned an apartment building at 6139 W. 19th Street that housed the African-American family of Harvey Clark Jr., a Chicago Transit Authority bus driver who had relocated to the then-all-white city. Governor Adlai E. Stevenson was forced to call out the Illinois National Guard. The Clarks moved away, and the building had to be boarded up. The Cicero riot received worldwide condemnation.

The 1980s and 1990s saw a heavy influx of Hispanic (mostly Mexican and Central American) residents to Cicero. Once considered mainly a Czech or Bohemian town on 22nd Street (now Cermak Road), most of the European-style restaurants and shops have been replaced by Spanish-titled businesses. In addition, Cicero has a small black community.

Cicero has seen a revival in its commercial sector, with many new mini-malls and large retail stores. New condominiums are also being built in the city.

Cicero has long had a reputation of government scandal. Most recently, Town President Betty Loren-Maltese was sent to federal prison for misappropriating $12 million in funds. She was well liked by retired, long-term Cicero residents but was continually challenged by younger Hispanic opponents before her indictment, and she had strong ties to members of the Chicago Outfit, which included her deceased husband.

Cicero was taken up and abandoned several times as site for a civil rights march in the mid-1960s. The American Friends Service Committee, Martin Luther King, Jr., and many affiliated organizations, including churches, were conducting marches against housing and school de facto segregation and inequality in Chicago and several suburbs, but the leaders feared too violent a response in Chicago Lawn and Cicero. Eventually, a substantial march (met by catcalls, flying bottles and bricks) was conducted in Chicago Lawn, but only a splinter group, led by Jesse Jackson, marched in Cicero. The marches in the Chicago suburbs helped galvanize support for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 in 1968, extending federal prohibitions against discrimination to private housing. The act also created the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, which enforces the law.

Geography

According to the 2010 census, Cicero has a total area of 5.86 square miles (15.18 km2), all land. Cicero formerly ran from Harlem Avenue to Western Avenue and Pershing Road to North Avenue; however, much of this area was annexed by Chicago.

Landmarks

  • St. Mary of Czestochowa, a Neo-Gothic church built in the so-called Polish Cathedral style along with the sculpture of Christ the King by famed sculptor Professor Czesław Dźwigaj, who also cast the monumental bronze doors at St. Hyacinth's Basilica in Chicago. The church's other claim to fame is as the site of Al Capone's sister Mafalda's wedding in 1930.
  • J. Sterling Morton High School, East Campus, also known as Morton East High School, was built in 1894. The original school was destroyed by fire in 1924, and the current building was constructed. Located at 2423 S. Austin Blvd, Morton East serves residents of Cicero.
  • Chodl Auditorium, located inside Morton East High School, was built in 1924 (completed 1927) to replace the 1,200-seat auditorium which was destroyed by fire. The auditorium was originally a dual-purpose room, serving as a gymnasium for students, and was originally built for this purpose. In 1967 the school stopped using the auditorium as a gymnasium. Chodl Auditorium is among the largest non-commercial proscenium theatres in the Chicago Metropolitan Area and is listed with the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Hawthorne Works Tower, one of the original towers of the enormous Western Electric manufacturing plant that once stood east of Cicero Avenue, is still located behind the Hawthorne Works Shopping Center near the corner of Cermak Road (22nd Street) and Cicero Avenue.
  • Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.

Racetracks

On the south side of Cicero, there were two racetracks. Hawthorne Race Course, located in Cicero and Stickney, is a horse racing track still in operation. Just north of it was Chicago Motor Speedway at Sportsman's Park, which was formerly Sportsman's Park Racetrack (for horse racing) for many years. This Sportsman's Park facility is now closed, acquired by the Town of Cicero, and has since been demolished. Facilities of the Wirtz Beverage Group have been built on the west half and a Wal-mart built on the east half.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,272
1870 1,545 21.5%
1880 5,182 235.4%
1890 10,204 96.9%
1900 16,310 59.8%
1910 14,557 −10.7%
1920 44,995 209.1%
1930 66,602 48.0%
1940 64,712 −2.8%
1950 67,544 4.4%
1960 69,130 2.3%
1970 67,058 −3.0%
1980 61,232 −8.7%
1990 67,436 10.1%
2000 85,616 27.0%
2010 83,895 −2.0%
Est. 2015 83,886 0.0%
U.S. Census Bureau
Demographics (2010)
White African American Asian
51.9% 3.8% 0.6%
Islander Native Other Hispanic
(any race)
0.1% 0.8% 42.8% 89.6%

As of the 2010 census, 83,891 people, 22,101 households, and 17,752 families resided in the town. The population density was 14,315.9 people per square mile (5,527.4/km²). There were 24,329 housing units at an average density of 4,151.7 per square mile (1,600.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 51.9% White (9.2% Non-Hispanic white), 3.8% African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander American, 39.3% some other race, and 3.5% from two or more races. 89.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race, with 80.2% of Mexican descent.

There were 22,101 households, out of which 57.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.3% were headed by married couples living together, 17.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.7% were non-families. 15.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.5% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.79, and the average family size was 4.19.

The age distribution at the 2010 census was 33.8% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 17.7% from 45 to 64, and 5.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27.8 years. For every 100 females there were 103.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.9 males. Of the total population, 50.9% are male and 49.1% are female.

As of the 2011 American Community Survey, the median income for a household in the town was $39,557, and the median income for a family was $42,235. Male full-time workers had a median income of $31,603 versus $31,117 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,339. About 15.6% of families and 18.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.9% of those under age 18 and 16.2% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2011, 52.5% of occupied housing units were owned properties, and 47.5% were rentals. There were 4,667 vacant housing units. The average age of home properties was greater than 66 years.

The top five non-Hispanic ancestries reported in Cicero as of the 2000 census were Polish (4.7%), Irish (3.7%), German (3.7%), Italian (3.0%) and Czech (2.3%).

Cicero is a factory town. As of 1999, about a quarter of the city contained one of the greatest industrial concentrations in the world. There were more than 150 factories in 2.8 km (1.75 miles), producing communications and electronic equipment, printing presses, steel castings, tool and die makers' supplies, forging and rubber goods.

In popular culture

  • Cicero is mentioned as the hometown of Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman in the Better Call Saul pilot episode "Uno".
  • JoBe Cerny, actor from Cicero, is the voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy.
  • The American Breed, a rock band known for its hit "Bend Me, Shape Me," originated in Cicero.

Cicero, Illinois Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.