Chicago Lawn remained mostly farmland until the 1920s when stockyard workers moved into the area. The next decade marked an influx of ethnic groups leaving Back of the Yards and Englewood, including immigrants of German, Irish, Polish, Bohemian, and Lithuanian backgrounds. During this time, the population jumped from 14,000 to 47,000.
The Lithuanians, in particular, established several institutions in the area and became a prominent identity within Chicago Lawn. During the 1960s the area became a hotspot for racial tension often leading to violence. A march led in 1966 by Martin Luther King, Jr. along with Gage Park High Schools’ attempt at racial integration both spurred racial violence.
Aiming to escalate racial tension, the American Nazi Party also set up headquarters in Chicago Lawn, although short-lived. The racial population of Chicago Lawn continued to fluctuate. Various groups currently work diligently to keep this ethnically diverse neighborhood both economically healthy and racially peaceful.
information courtesy of Moody Publishers
"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig
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