Croatians of Chicagoland

by Maria Dugandzic-Pasic

Published by Arcadia Publishing, 2010

 

The first book to showcase more than 170 years since the first Croatians settled in the Chicagoland area.  Available in English only.  

 

Chicago was once known as the “2nd Croatian Capital”. Lured by economic, political and social freedoms, Croatians, like other immigrants, came to Chicago in search of the American dream. The first documented groups settled mainly in Pilsen, Bridgeport and the South Side in the late 1800’s. By the turn of the century, these immigrants toiled in the steel mills, meat-packing plants and constructionsites of Chicago. They soon formed social groups, churches, schools, Croatian-language newspapers and other infrastructure needed to support the expanding community.

Today, there are more than 150,000 descendants of Croatian heritage in the Chicagoland area and many of the foundations built by the forefathers continue to service the community. Ivan Mestrovic’s “Indian” sculptures still adorn Congress Parkway and Michael Bilandic remains in the history books as the only Croatian Mayor of Chicago. Croatians of Chicagoland examines how this community and its leaders, clergy, laborers, politicians, athletes, benevolent societies and social organizations helped build and shape Chicago’s history.

 

Maria Dugandzic-Pasic was born in Chicago. Her mother was a first-generation Croatian whose parents emigrated in 1951. Her father arrived in the early 1960s from Bosnia-Hercegovina. Maria dedicates this book in honor of her grandparents who, like many immigrants, tackled the challenges of surviving in a new country while teaching us the importance of cultural preservation, identity, and the meaning of family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Premiere

Croatians of Chicagoland

May 17, 2010

Book Signing at Borders on State St.
Book Signing at Borders on State St.
Book Signing at Borders on State St.
Book Signing at Borders on State St.
Book Signing at Borders on State St.
Book Signing at Borders on State St.
Book Premiere: May 17th 2010
Book Premiere: May 17th 2010

Highlights from the book premiere including some of the winners of the 2010 Pleter Awards. (L to R) Chicago 11th Ward Alderman James Balcer, Croatian Ambassador to the U.S. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Toni Kukoč, Mayor of Chicago Richard M. Daley, CBS anchor Bill Kurtis, Acting Consul General Chicago Renee Pea, Chris Zorich, Gail Rancic/mother of Bill Rancic, Darlene Diehl/mother of NFL player David Diehl and John Vodopic/Pleter Awards announcer. (Photo courtesy: Diana-Soldo Massaro)

Bill Kurtis - you're Croatian?
Bill Kurtis - you're Croatian?

Chicago's CBS anchorman Bill Kurtis poses with members of local Chicago Croatian folklore group. (Photo courtesy Diana Soldo-Massaro)

Mother and Daughters
Mother and Daughters

Darlene Diehl, her mother and sister share their stories with the audience. (Photo courtesy: Diana Soldo-Massaro)

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

(photo courtesy: Diana-Soldo Massaro)

Former NFL player Chris Zorich
Former NFL player Chris Zorich

(photo courtesy: Diana-Soldo Massaro)

CBS Anchor Bill Kurtis
CBS Anchor Bill Kurtis

(photo courtesy: Diana-Soldo Massaro)

CROATIANS OF CHICAGOLAND

showcasing the past and present ​with a book, film, map and more...