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Intro to History

Patch of the old flag for Cicero.

Sounds kind of like the name of a college course. And here I am with no syllabus.

I wanted to put together an introduction to this section for a few reasons. You might think, “Hey, it’s history. We all understand what that is. Get on with it.” Which is pretty much what I thought when I first had the kernel of an idea for this website.

The thing is, after digging into the history of the town, I’m finding that it’s a hell of a lot more than I knew – which is good. I mean, if I’m just writing about stuff I already knew, it’s probably really not worth the web space. Generally, if you’re writing something, the subject is much wider than your own piece – you pick a topic and theme and concentrate on that. For instance, this history section could be devoted to political history, the history of gangs, the history of the working class, etc infinitum.

I could probably fill articles forever talking about one set topic, but it doesn’t paint the full picture. I could give you the working guy’s viewpoint, the kid’s eye view, stories about mobsters or stories about politicians… okay, those last two are almost redundant in some instances, but I’ll digress. I think I’d like to capture it all; or as much of it as possible.

I plan on throwing in at least a few articles about the early days of the area, before Cicero the town came into being. Topics such as our early years of township, various annexations, and large-scale, well-known events, such as the capsizing of the Eastland, will all be covered over the course of time.

Sources are a little more interesting than I would have imagined. I have several library documents that are pretty amazing and, for some ungodly reason, they didn’t cite their sources. Which means that I’ve been crosschecking sources… which gives me the urge to go back to my 8th grade English teacher and apologize for my lagging bibliographies that I thought she was just being picky about. Here’s the thing – my degree isn’t in history. It’s not what I do professionally. So, I’ll be as meticulous as possible but if you catch a mistake in any article on this site, please feel free to call me out. I welcome it. Send me an email or explain it in comments. I’ll be happy to amend any post with errors and give you the credit for historical sleuthing par excellence.

If you’re a big history buff and know a lot of great stuff about the area, we welcome submissions. I know there are a lot of people out there with fantastic photograph collections of the area through the years; we’d love to showcase anything you’ve got that helps tell the story. Check out our submissions page if you’re interested in writing for the site.

We also welcome lively discussion. Feel free to participate in the comments sections on any of our articles. We’d love to hear your stories.

2 Comments on Intro to History

  1. Arcadia publishing has three fantastic books: “Cicero: The First Suburb West”, “Cicero Revisited”, and “Hawthorne Works”. Also “Berwyn”.

    • Jodi P,
      The Images of America books by Arcadia Publishing (the book series you refer to) are nice pictorial histories of the area which I personally enjoyed reading also. I would also include Frank S. Magallon’s “Chicago’s Little Village: Lawndale – Crawford” from the same series published by Arcadia in that list, as well as some of their ethnic books such as “Czechs of Chicagoland” by Malynne Sternstein. We actually include Amazon links to several of these books on our Home Page. Thank you for following us and participating in the conversation.

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