Just few people know that the name Pilsen is the German (American) translation of "Plzen" a Czech industrial town famed for its excellent beer and Skoda machine industry. Pilsner beer (plzenske pivo) is the "mother" and model of all pilsner beers around the world. In the 19th and first half of the 20th century many Czechs and Slovaks emigrated to America in hope of better life. In the 1930s abou 100 thousand Czechs lived in Chicago, most of them in the Pilsen neighbourhood, hence its name coming from the famous Czech town and beer. The best known Czech in America was Antonin (Anton) Cermak, who became mayor of Chicago in 1931 and a great fighter against the mafia represented by Al Capone. In 1933 Cermak was assassinated in Florida during his common trip with President F.D. Roosevelt. It is not clear who was the real target, whether Cermak or the President. The longest avenue in Chicago was named after Cermak. Those who want to visit the Czech quarter Pilsen will be disappointed because the whole neighbourhood is now Mexican, full of Mexican restaurants, nevertheless there are still many houses coming from the Czech era. Interesting is also the small Museum of Mexican art and especially the numerous colourful murals in the streets.
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