Chicago Tribune, February 16, 1933
BY JOHN BOETTIGER.
[Chicago Tribune Press Service.]
Miami, Fla., Feb. 15.-[Special.]-Mayor Cermak of Chicago was severely wounded tonight by Giuseppi Zangara, an anarchistic gunman, who was attempting to assassinate President Elect Roosevelt. His condition was so grave that an operation was planned to save his life.
Mr. Roosevelt was unharmed, but four bystanders were wounded. One of them, a woman, is not expected to recover.
Thousands of people, who had come to welcome the President elect on his return from a fishing trip in the Bahamas, saw the shooting, which occurred in a dense crowd at Biscayne park on the Miami water front.
Zangara was captured after people in the crowd had beaten him severely. At police headquarters he was found to be of maniacal anarchistic tendencies. He ranted, “I like Roosevelt, all right, but I don’t like presidents.”
Roosevelt Looks After Cermak.
President Elect Roosevelt, who had just completed a short talk to the crowd and who had tarried to greet Mayor Cermak, took Cermak in his own car to the hospital and remained there until he had full information of Cermak’s condition. As Mr. Roosevelt sat by the mayor’s side Cermak said:
I’m glad it was me instead of you.
Mr. Roosevelt canceled his plan to return to New York City by train tonight and returned for the night to Vincent Astor’s yacht Nourmahal, on which he had spent his fishing vacation. HIe plans to visit Cermak at the hospital again in the morning and may leave shortly thereafter for New York City.
Mayor Cermak, who did not lose consciousness during any of the time prior to being put on the operating table, was wounded by a single bullet which entered his back just above the right kidney.
Late tonight an X-ray located the bullet, but it was decided not to operate until tomorrow.
Ald. James Bowler of Chicago, who accompanied the mayor to the park and stood within five feet of him as he was.shot, stayed at the mayor s side during the night. He said that when he undressed Cermak a bullet dropped from his shirt. He thought that probably it was a stray bullet, as it had not inflicted a wound.
Names of Others Wounded.
Others wounded were:
MISS MARGARET KRUIS of Newark, N. J., shot through the hand.
RUSSELL CALDWELL, 22, of Miami, struck in the head.
MRS. JOSEPH GILL of Miami, shot in the abdomen.
WILLIAM SINNOTT, a New York police detective, critically wounded in the head.
The Nourmahal, carrying President Elect Roosevelt, had docked at the Miami pier early in the evening. Mr. Roosevelt had discussed his trip with newspaper men and had conferred with Prof. Raymond Moley, his economic adviser, on war debts.
At 9 o clock Mr. Roosevelt left the yacht and entered an automobile, an open touring car with the top down. Beside him in the car was Mayor R. B. Gautier of Miami. The two chatted animatedly as the car was driven off the dock to begin a parade through the downtown streets of Miami.
A dozen motorcycle policemen rode ahead of the parade. Secret service men rode, two of them in the car with the President elect and three others in another car following. The procession went with screaming sirens down Biscayne boulevard, with crowds cheering the President elect as they saw him pass. Mr. Roosevelt waved and smiled happily at their greeting.
Greeted by Cheering Crowd.
When the park was approached the President elect saw that a band shell had been converted into a platform on which a hundred or more distinguished guests had gathered. The Roosevelt car was driven up in front of the stand. Thousands packed in the park on all sides of the President elect greeted him vociferously as he lifted himself up, to the top of his seat so that the crowd could see him better.
Most of the people had crowded into the space in front of the band shell, the police having roped off a -space through which the President elect s car was driven.
Just at-that point, was acknowledging the plaudits of the crowd, Mr. Roosevelt noticed Mayor Cermak sitting up in the band shell. He called to him to come down to the car, but Mr. Cermak shook his head and said:
After the speech, Mr. President.
A microphone was brought up to the car in which Mr. Roosevelt’ was sitting, and he then delivered his few complimentary remarks, which were brought to the- crowd through loud speakers set up in the park. He said:
Mr. Mayor, my friends of Miami, I am not a stranger here because for a great many years I used to come down here. I haven’t been here for seven years, but I arn comi6g=back-I have firmly re- solved.-not to this the last time. I ihave had a very-wonderful rest awed we have-caught aE-great many fish.
I amn not going to attempt to tell you any fish stories and the only fly In the on my !has been that I have put on about 10 pounds. So that among other duties which I shall have to perform when I get north-is taking those 10 pounds off. I hopa much to come down here next winter and to see all of you and to have another wonderful 10 days or two weeks Ir Florida waters. Many thanks.
The audience roared its approval. Then Mr. Roosevelt beckoned again to Mayor Cermnak, who came down the steps of the shell to the car. They shook hands warmly.
① Stunned and wounded Cermak was aided by bystanders moment after being shot.
② After the shooting Guiseppe Zangara, the tiny anarchist would-be assassin was roughly handled and hauled to a Miami precinct house where he would not shut up. Here is is put on display for the press and the uniformed officer displays the pistol he used in the attack.
Shots Follow TheIr Greeting.
“Hello, there, Mr. Mayor. How are you?” Mr. Roosevelt called out, above the din. The two bent their heads together, to hold a few moments’ conversation.
Suddenly two shots rang out. L. L. Lee, city manager of Miami, who had his arm linked to Mayor Cermak’s at the moment, said the mayor sagged but he did not fall.
Mr. Cermak turned around slightly, looking, for AId. Bowller. Seeing him five feet, behind, he called out, “I’m bit, Jim.”
The President elect seemingly had not realized what had happened. A minute or two earlier the flashlights of news photographers had been hoom- lng. He may have thought the reports were more flashes. But when three more shots were fired he turned toward the would be assassin.
Mr. Roosevelt’s chauffeur started the car, slowly, intending to get out of range, but AId. Bowler called out: “Mr. Roosevelt, Mayor Cermak is shot. Wait.”
Take Cermak Into Auto.
The President elect ordered the drivel to stop the car. He called to City Manager Lee and Aid. Bowler to help Mayor Cermak into the car. The mayor was half dragged across the law feet and both the President elect and Mayor Gautier moved closely to- gether so that there would be room for Mayor Cermak to be seated beside them.
Then, with sirens screaming, but with a different purpose this time than to let people know their next President was approaching, the car sped about twenty blocks to the Jackson Memorial hospital.
Mr. Roosevelt Insisted on going with the Chicago mayor to a room.
Talk in Hospital. They conversed briefly.
Mayor Cermak said: “I wish you would be careful. The country needs you. You should not take any chances with the country in the frame of mind It is.”
Mr. Roosevelt replied:
We need you, and men like you, too .
After telling the mayor that he would return at eight o’clock tomorrow morning to see him, the President elect left the hospital.
The regular train to which Mr. Roosevelt’s two special cars had been attached was held up, but finally the cars were disconnected and the President elect went back to the yacht for the night.
President Elect Roosevelt, after going to the Nourmahal, issued the Mllowing statement:
I am deeply moved by the serious inflicted upon my friends tonight and I am remaining in Miami to !earn in the morning of their condition.
Tells of Seizing Gun.
During the excitement after the first shots, Mrs. W. F. Cross of Miami was the first to seize the assassin’s gun. She was standing in the crowd. she said later:
Suddenly, I saw a man right in front of me who pulled a pistol from his pocket and started aiming at the President elect. Mr. Roosevelt. It had just finished his speech and was turning his head at the call of the photographers.
I saw the man level the gun, It seemed to me, at Mr. Roosevelt’s head and he fired one shot. I grabbed his arm and pushed it up in the air and he fired three more shots while I was bolding his arm in the air.
At this time a policeman took a running jump at the man and he struck me and all three of us fell on the ground.
The gunman’s face was contorted as he struggled, to get his weapon leveled again. He forced it downward and fired three more shots. Seemingly all of them took effect. It would have been miraculous if any of them had not for he was aiming directly at the group surrounding Mr. Roosevelt’s car.
FDR in open car, moments before attempted assassination. FDR stands and waves, sits down, shakes hands. Police in crowd, seconds after bullet hits Cermak, CU Mayor Cermak. Giuseppe Zangara, questioned in Miami prison where he awaits sentence. When asked whether he would again shoot the President if he had a chance, he answers that he would.
Gunman Taken: Talks.
Men grabbed at the gunman, and forcing him to the ground, began beatng him about the head. A police. with a blackjack belabored the assassin unmercifully until it seemed he would be killed. But though covered with bruises and bloody, he never lost consciousness.
He was in a police car to police headquarters. There he revealed his name as Giuseppi Zangara. He told a disconnected tale of events leading to his attempt on President Elect Roosevelt’s life.
At the jail where Zangara was held a crowd gathered about, but it was peaceful, and no concerted threatening moves mere made. Earlier, while in the park, the cry came from many,
Kill him! Kill him!
For a time there were reports thal the gunman might have been a Chicago gangster sent down here to murder Mayor Cermak, but the subsequent developments showed that was not the case.
The reports gained some credence because Mayor Cermak arrived at Miami accompanied by a bodyguard of three Chicago detectives. This caused rumors that his life had been threatened by gambling and vice gang interests In Chicago.
Finger prints were to be sent to the Chicago police department for checking with the criminal identification records there.
Planned to See Farley.
Mayor Cermak came to Miami on Friday to confer with James A. Farley, chairman of the Democratic national committee, and to spend a vacation of several weeks. He was at his home during the day, and went with Aid. Bowler to the park about twenty minutes before Mr. Roosevelt’s arrival.
Cermak had planned no more than to say hello to the President elect, and expected to take a train to Key West tonight, to catch a boat for Havana tomorrow morning. Yesterday he had telephoned members of his family in Chicago to come down to Florida. He had planned to return after a day’s visit in Havana, to spend the rest of his vacation with his family here.
Edward J. Kelly, president of the south park board, was in Havana planning to be Joined by Mayor Cermak Friday. He telephoned to Miami to inquire about the shooting.
Chicago Tribune, March 6, 1933
Mayor Cermak Memorial Plate
Chicago Tribune, March 16, 1933
Name Street Cermak Road.
The council adopted the resolution of Ald. John Toman (23d) to change the name of 22d street to Cermak road. Ald. Toman said that Cicero, Berwyn and North Riverside also are ready to change the name of 22d street to Cermak road within their limits.
ACTING MAYOR SIGNS PAPERS RENAMING STREET IN CERMAK’S HONOR.
③ Left to right: Corporation Counsel Sexton, Ald. Henry Sonnenschcin, Acting Mayor Frank J. Corr, and Ald. John Toman, sponsor of resolution, as Corr signed documents changing 22d street into Cermak road.
④ A view on Cermak road, formerly 22d street, looking east from Marshall boulevard, which is 3000 west. Cicero, Berwyn, and North Riverside authorities have agreed to adopt the new name in their towns.
Chicago Tribune, March 21, 1933
ZANGARA DIES FOR MURDER OF MAYOR CERMAK
Giuseppi Zangara was strapped in the electric chair at 9:11 o’clock this morning, eastern standard time. Four minutes later Sheriff Dan Hardle of Dade county (Miami) pulled a switch that sent 2,300 volts of electricity through the assassin’s body. At 9:37 o’clock Zangara was pronounced dead.
Czech Radio, May 9, 2016
PRAGUE SCHOOL RENAMED IN HONOUR OF CHICAGO’S CZECH MAYOR
An elementary school in Prague now bears the name of the Czech-born former mayor of Chicago, Antonín Cermák. The renaming ceremony in his honour took place on Thursday, the 140th anniversary of his birth, and was attended, among other guests, by Cermák’s grandson.
The inscription Základní škola Anontína Cermáka, or The Antonín Cermák Elementary School, was unveiled on Thursday above the entrance to the school located in Dejvice, a residential area just north of Prague Castle. Formerly called the Interbrigades Elementary in honour of the international brigades fighting against Franco’s fascist troops in Spain, the school now bears the name of Antonín ?ermák, a Czech American who became the mayor of Chicago, and was assassinated in 1933, after only two years in office. Petr Karvánek is the school’s director.
We thought that the former name of our school, which in full was the Interbrigade Elementary School, 6 Antonína Cermáka street, was a little illogical. We first got the idea of renaming the school when we visited Chicago two years ago.
The street we are on was renamed after Antonín Cermák in 1994, at Václav Havel’s initiative, and we thought Antonín Cermák was such a significant personality in American and Czech history that he deserved to have a school named after him.
Antonín Cermák, or Anton Cermak as he was known in the US, was born in Kladno in 1873. His family left for the US when he was one year old. “I didn’t come on the Mayflower”, Anton Cermak later said, “but I came as soon as I could”.
From humble beginnings, Anton Cermak rose to hold important positions in the Democratic Party in Illinois, and was elected the mayor of Chicago in 1931. Although he himself had little formal education, his grandson Anton Kerner says that having a school named after him would have made him very proud.
“I don’t think there was anything in his life that could match this honour, including being elected to office. Knowing that children are having an opportunity to fulfil their dreams through education, that would be a most fulfilling thing to him.”
In a video message, the current mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, said he greatly valued Anton Cermak’s legacy.
“I use the same desk Mayor Cermak used at City Hall 80 years ago. And each day, I reflect on the legacy he left onto the city of Chicago. On the day Mayor Cermak was killed, he was on a mission for Chicago students. He was in Miami to ask for President Roosevelt’s support for our schools during the worst days of the Great Depression. So when I sit in my office, I share more than a desk with Mayor Cermak.”
Outside the school, its pupils gathered for the ceremony, and applauded when the school’s new name was unveiled. But it will take them some time to get used to it. One pupil said he was used to the old name while a girl from eighth grade said she would always think of it as Interbrigády school, adding this was not the first time the school got renamed. But we will get used to it, she said.
The unveiling of the new name.
The two times that Chicago held a world’s fair, both times the mayor was shot and killed.
Almost forty years previous an assassin’s bullets found their target in an incumbent of the mayor’s chair. The victim was genial, gray bearded Carter H. Harrison, Sr. On the evening of Oct. 28, 1893, Mayor Harrison returned to his home after speaking before a meeting of mayors attending the world’s fair. His doorbell was rung by Patrick Prendergast, a victim of persecution mania, who thought he should have been corporation counsel. As Prendergast was led into the dining room of his home he fired three shots into his victim and fled. The mayor died within 15minutes. His assassin was captured later and hanged,