ILLINOIS: Rags & Riches

When the Illinois legislature, two years ago, voted $24,000 for a guy named Joe, everybody around Chicago felt pretty good. Joe's last name was Majczek. Not all Chicagoans knew how to pronounce it (it rhymes with paycheck), but they all knew his story. Joe had had a tough time. He had spent twelve years in prison for a murder which he had not committed. His mother had scrubbed floors to get the money to help clear him. When he was pardoned (TIME, Aug. 27, 1945), curly-haired, good-looking Joe Majczek became the hero of every Pole in town.

No one had...

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