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More About Skokie, Illinois
Skokie (; formerly Niles Center) is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States, neighboring the City of Chicago’s northern border. Its population, according to the 2020 census, was 67,824. Skokie lies approximately 15 miles (24 km) north of Chicago’s downtown Loop. Its name comes from a Potawatomi word for “marsh.” For many years, Skokie promoted itself as “The World’s Largest Village.” Skokie’s streets, like that of many suburbs, are largely a continuation of the Chicago street grid, and the village is served by the Chicago Transit Authority, further cementing its connection to the city.
Skokie was originally a German-Luxembourger farming community, but was later settled by a sizeable Jewish population, especially after World War II. At its peak in the mid-1960s, 58% of the population was Jewish, the largest proportion of any Chicago suburb. Skokie still has many Jewish residents (now about 30% of the population) and over a dozen synagogues. It is home to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, which opened in northwest Skokie in 2009.
Skokie has twice received national attention for court cases decided by the United States Supreme Court. In the mid-1970s, it was at the center of National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, in which a Nazi group, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, invoked the First Amendment in an attempt to schedule a Nazi rally in Skokie. At the time, Skokie had a significant population of Holocaust survivors. Skokie ultimately lost that case, though the rally was never held. In 2001, although Skokie was not a direct party to the case, a decision by the village and 22 other area communities regarding land use led the court to reduce the power of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.