Chronology of Events :
Events Related to the Proposed Nazi March


1976

1976   (October 4)     Frank Collin, leader of a band of Nazi sympathizers from Chicago's South side, sends a letter to Daniel D. Brown, Director of Parks and Recreation, Skokie Park District, requesting that his group be permitted to march in Skokie's "Birch Park" on November 6, 1976. (Letter from Frank Collin to Skokie Park District dtd October 4, 1976, Archives, Skokie Park District / Minutes of the Board Meeting of October 25, 1976, Skokie Park District Board of Park Commissioners, Archives, Skokie Park District).

October 25     At its regular meeting, the Board of Commissioners of the Skokie Park District direct Daniel D. Brown, Director of Parks and Recreation, to respond to Mr. Collin of the Nationalist Socialist Party that Skokie has no "Birch Park". In addition, the Board passes an ordinance relating to "Parades and Public Assemblies" which required that prospective marchers to 1) obtain a permit at least thirty days in advance of the parade date and 2) post an insurance bond equal to $350,000.00. (Minutes of the Board Meeting of October 25, 1976, Skokie Park District Board of Park Commissioners (Ordinance attached), Archives, Skokie Park District)

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1977

1977   (April 28)     Judge Joseph Wosik, a judge in the Chancery Department of the Circuit Court of Cook County, in a suit filed by the Village of Skokie against the Nationalist Socialist party, issues a preliminary injunction prohibiting members of the Nationalist Socialist party from marching in Skokie. In this suit, the Village asserts, as a matter of fact, that the Jewish population is approximately 40,000 out of a total population of 70,000. (Defending my enemy: American Nazis, the Skokie Case and the Risks of Freedom. Aryeh Neier, E.P. Dutton, N.Y., N.Y., 1979, p. 44).

May 2     The Skokie Village Board, in response to a request from Nationalist Socialist party for a permit to march in front of Skokie Village Hall, passes three ordinances which 1) require a $350,000.00 indemnity bond to be posted in advance of any march (V.O. 77-5-N-994) 2) prohibits the distribution of printed material which promotes hatred of groups of people (V.O. 77-5-N-995) and 3) prohibits demonstrations by individuals wearing military style uniforms (V.O. 77-5-N-996). (Skokie Life, October 27, 1977, p. 1 / Opinion, U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Cir., Collin v. Smith, et.al, Nos. 78-1381 & 78-1385, Issued May 22, 1978, Archives, Skokie Historical Society).

June 22     Frank Collin and his band of Nazis apply to Skokie officials for a permit to march in Skokie. (Letter from Nationalist Socialist Party of America to John N. Matzer, Jr., Manager, Village of Skokie, dtd June 22, 1977, Archives, Skokie Historical Society).

June 24     The Village of Skokie denies the Nazis the right to a permit to march in military style uniforms. (Letter from John N. Matzer, Jr., Manager, Village of Skokie to Frank Collin, National Socialist Party, dtd June 24, 1977, Archives, Skokie Historical Society).

October 21     Judge Bernard Decker of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issues a preliminary injunction prohibiting the Village of Skokie from enforcing three ordinances aimed at preventing Frank Collin and his Nationalist Socialist party sympathizers from marching in Skokie. (Skokie Life, October 27, 1977, p. 1).

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1978

1978  (January 27)     The Illinois Supreme Court reverses the Illinois Appellate Court and the Circuit Court of Cook County's grant of Injunctive Relief in favor of the Village of Skokie and against the Nazi group headed by Frank Collin. The Nazis are free to March in Skokie pending resolution of the federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of the Nazis. (Case No. 49769, Illinois Supreme Court).

February 23     Judge Bernard Decker of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issues an order ruling that the three ordinances adopted by the Skokie Village Board aimed at preventing Frank Collin and his Nationalist Socialist party sympathizers from marching in Skokie are unconstitutional as violative of the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. (Skokie Life, April 9, 1978, p. 1).

March 17     Judge Bernard Decker grants the Village of Skokie's Motion to stay his order voiding the Skokie anti-Nazi ordinances so as to permit the Village to perfect an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. (Application for Stay of Mandate, Harvey Schwartz & Gilbert Gordon, filed in the United States Supreme Court, No. 77-1736, on behalf of the Village of Skokie, p. 2 / Archives, Skokie Historical Society.)

April 6     The United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, sitting en banc, vacates all previous "stay orders" and orders an expedited briefing schedule. (Application for Stay of Mandate, Harvey Schwartz & Gilbert Gordon, filed in the United States Supreme Court, No. 77-1736, on behalf of the Village of Skokie, p. 2 /Archives, Skokie Historical Society).

April 11    Frank Collin and his band of Nazis apply to the Village of Skokie for a permit to conduct a demonstration in front of Skokie's Village Hall on Sunday, June 25, 1978. (Application for Stay of Mandate, Harvey Schwartz & Gilbert Gordon, filed in the United States Supreme Court, No. 77-1736, on behalf of the Village of Skokie, p. 2 / Archives, Skokie Historical Society).

May 22     The United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit affirms Judge Decker's February 23, 1978 ruling that the three ordinances adopted by the Skokie Village Board aimed at preventing Frank Collin and his Nationalist Socialist party sympathizers from marching in Skokie are unconstitutional as violative of the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. (Opinion, U.S. Court of Appeals, Nos. 78-1381 & 78-1385, Judges Pell, Sprecher (concurring in part and dissenting in part) and Wood, Archives, Skokie Historical Society).

May 25    The Village of Skokie issues a permit allowing Frank Collin and his band of Nazi sympathizers to demonstrate in front of Skokie's Village Hall on Sunday, June 25, 1978. (Application for Stay of Mandate, Harvey Schwartz & Gilbert Gordon, filed in the United States Supreme Court, No. 77-1736, on behalf of the Village of Skokie, p. 2 / Archives, Skokie Historical Society).

June 2    The United States Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, enters an order denying the Village of Skokie's request for a stay of mandate. Application for Stay of Mandate, Harvey Schwartz & Gilbert Gordon, filed in the United States Supreme Court, No. 77-1736, on behalf of the Village of Skokie, p. 3 / Archives, Skokie Historical Society).

June 5     The Village of Skokie files its Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court requesting review of the opinion of the United States Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, rendered in the Nazi case. (Application for Stay of Mandate, Harvey Schwartz & Gilbert Gordon, filed in the United States Supreme Court, No. 77-1736, on behalf of the Village of Skokie, p. 3).

June 22     Skokie Police Chief Kenneth Chamberlain issues a directive that the area bounded by Edens Highway, Howard Street, Skokie Blvd. and Main Street will be cordoned off to vehicular traffic on June 25. Only residents may enter into the cordoned off area. All vehicles will be subject to cursory searches for weapons. (Archives, Skokie Historical Society, 1983.36.4).

June 23    Frank Collin and his band of Nazi sympathizers cancel their planned demonstration in Skokie scheduled for June 25. (Statement by Mayor Albert J. Smith dtd June 23, 1978, Archives, Skokie Historical Society).

June 25     The date on which Frank Collin and his band of Nazi sympathizers are to march in front of Skokie's Village Hall. The march is called off when the City of Chicago relents and permits the group to march in Marquette Park on July 9. (Skokie Life, February 12, 1981, Sec. 1-B, p. 3 / Archives, Skokie Historical Society).

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1981

1981   (November 17)     The made for TV film "Skokie", based upon the Village's fight to keep the Nazis from marching in Skokie in 1977 & 1978, airs on WBBM at 7:00 pm. Actor Ed Flanders portrays Mayor Smith and Eli Wallach portrays Harvey Schwartz. Danny Kaye portrays the fictional "Max Feldman", a Holocaust survivor. (Viewers Guide to "Skokie", Archives, Skokie Historical Society).


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