During Prohibition and after, Peoria became known as a town whose motto was “Sin Is Here To Stay”.
During WWII, Peoria became a city divided — between those who profited from organized vice and those who wished to stamp it out.
Urban reformers paved over one red light district and brought in the federal government to fight vice. But Sin City did not give up without a fight.
Peoria reclaimed itself as a clean, all-American city in the mid-'50s, but there were losses as well as gains.
An increasingly militant Civil Rights movement roiled Peoria in the mid-to-late 1960s.
The name “Peoria” still meant “the heartland,” but after the 1960s Peoria struggled to figure out the path forward.