Anton Cermak in Ellis Island Era Immigration
Anton Cermak (1873-1933) was a Czech immigrant and Chicago Democrat who was elected mayor of the city in 1931. After less than two years in office, Cermak was assassinated while making an appearance with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Miami. While observers initially believed that Cermak had been the accidental victim of an assassination attempt against the president, it later seemed likely that Cermak himself had been targeted by Chicagoland gangsters who were angered by his attempts to clean up organized crime in the city.
Anton Cermak came to America with his parents at the age of one and became the first "new immigrant" to be elected mayor of a major American city. When his opponent in the 1931 election mocked his name and ethnicity, Cermak replied: "He doesn't like my name... Of course we couldn't all come over on the Mayflower... But I got here as soon as I could."2