With the onset of prohibition in 1919, West Hammond/Calumet City quickly became known for something other than its patriotism. Bootleggers found local officials and police willing to turn a blind eye, and the town became a magnet for speakeasies and gambling. A multitude of illegal nightclubs sprang up throughout the town, and were particularly concentrated on a stretch of State Street that quickly became known regionally and, eventually, nationally as "The Strip," just as Calumet City was dubbed the original American "Sin City." With the repeal of the Volstead Act and the return of legal liquor in 1933, Calumet City's speakeasies converted into lawful nightclubs, many of them owned or influenced by organized crime elements from Chicago (including Al Capone, who owned a "getaway" home in Calumet City).
A notable landmark and point of pride among Cal City residents is their two large water towers painted like the popular "Have a Nice Day" smiley faces. See information to the left.
"The Story Behind the Smile"
Some huge smiles have been shedding a positive light on Calumet City since 1973.
The lemon-yellow Smiley Face water towers were an idea suggested by Kim Fornero. She appealed to then Mayor Robert Stefaniak, and he and the city council agreed to have the towers painted.
Source: Compilation from Wikipedia
Other sites you may be interested in:
Thumbtack Collection of USA Water Towers
Canadian Water Towers and Standpipes
Magnetic Hills in the United States of America
The History of the Christian Fish Symbol