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This week in history: Mobsters shoot, slug and kidnap at Cicero polls

The primary election of 1924 was certainly one for the books.

Al Capone, He regarded his headquarters town of Cicero as his own. He rode in an armored car. He had numerous picked gunmen as bodyguards.
Al Capone, He regarded his headquarters town of Cicero as his own. He rode in an armored car. He had numerous picked gunmen as bodyguards.
Sun-Times files

As reported by the Chicago Daily News, sister paper of the Chicago Sun-Times:

Chicagoans of 2020 braved infectious disease to vote. Their 1924 counterparts once faced beatings and kidnappings.

On April 1, 1924, Cicero voting precincts made the Chicago Daily News’ front page due to an unprecedented amount of violence at the polls.

“Cicero precinct workers in their first partisan contest in six years shot, clubbed and kidnapped one another at polling places today until County Judge Jarecki and Sheriff Hoffman moved in with more than a hundred armed deputies and chased the guerrillas off the field.”

When police arrived, “two poll workers had been wounded with bullets, a policeman on guard at a voting place beaten with revolvers and his partner and a citizen kidnapped.”

Unknown at the time, mobsters Al Capone, Johnny Torrio and the outfit had moved operations to Cicero to avoid Chicago’s reform movement.

The outfit’s soldiers targeted reform voters and “convinced” them to vote for Republican candidates, who were more lenient in allowing the outfit’s illegal operations.