20th & 21st century

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20th & 21st century

Post  kosovohp on Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:54 am

The 1920s brought notoriety to Chicago as gangsters, including the notorious Al Capone, battled each other and law enforcement on the city streets during the Prohibition era. Chicago had over 1,000 gangs in the 1920s.[31] The 1920s also saw a major expansion in industry. The availability of jobs attracted African Americans from the South. Between 1910 and 1930, the black population of Chicago increased from 44,103 to 233,903.[32] Arriving in the hundreds of thousands during the Great Migration, the newcomers had an immense cultural impact. It was during this wave that Chicago became a center for jazz, with King Oliver leading the way.[33] In 1933, Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was fatally wounded in Miami during a failed assassination attempt on President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt.
At 110 stories, Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower, was completed in 1973, and stands as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

On December 2, 1942, physicist Enrico Fermi conducted the world's first controlled nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project.

Mayor Richard J. Daley was elected in 1955, in the era of machine politics. Starting in the 1960s, many residents, as in most American cities, left the city for the suburbs. Structural changes in industry caused heavy losses of jobs for lower skilled workers. In 1966 James Bevel, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Albert Raby led the Chicago Open Housing Movement, which culminated in agreements between Mayor Richard J. Daley and the movement leaders. Two years later, the city hosted the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention, which featured physical confrontations both inside and outside the convention hall, including full-scale riots, or in some cases police riots, in city streets. Major construction projects, including Willis Tower also known as the Sears Tower (which in 1974 became the world's tallest building), University of Illinois at Chicago, McCormick Place, and O'Hare International Airport, were undertaken during Richard J. Daley's tenure. When Richard J. Daley died, Michael Anthony Bilandic served as mayor for three years. Bilandic's subsequent loss in a primary election has been attributed to the city's inability to properly plow city streets during a heavy snowstorm. In 1979, Jane Byrne, the city's first female mayor, was elected. She popularized the city as a movie location and tourist destination.

In 1983, Harold Washington became the first African American to be elected to the office of mayor, in one of the closest mayoral elections in Chicago. After Washington won the Democratic primary, racial motivations caused a few Democratic alderman and ward committeemen to back the Republican candidate Bernard Epton, who ran on the race-baiting slogan Before it's too late.[34] Washington's term in office saw new attention given to poor and minority neighborhoods. Washington died in office of a heart attack in 1987, shortly after being elected to a second term. Current mayor Richard M. Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, was elected in 1989. He has led many progressive changes to the city, including improving parks; creating incentives for sustainable development, including green roofs; and major new developments. Some neighborhoods have undergone gentrification in which some lower class areas have been transformed to high priced and middle-class neighborhoods.

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