Rod Blagojevich recalls his father’s laundromat in Austin

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Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich talked about many things Thursday when he took the witness stand to defend himself on federal corruption charges.

From playing baseball as a kid to his “disco” style in college, Blagojevich spent hours reminiscing about his upbringing in Chicago.

At one point, he mentioned the laundromat his dad operated near the corner of Madison Street and Central Avenue for a few years in the late 1960s. Blagojevich said both he and his older brother Robert worked at the laundromat, which was a few miles from the family’s apartment at Cicero and Armitage avenues.

“It was a neighborhood that was changing racially at a very turbulent time,” the ex-governor said, noting Austin had been mostly Italian but was becoming predominantly African-American.

Blagojevich said he remembered standing outside his father’s business two days after Martin Luther King Jr. died – he would have been 11 – watching the fire engines go by on their way to put out the fires that erupted after the assassination.

The former governor returns to the witness stand today. To read more details about Thursday’s testimony, click here.

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