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 60s, 40% of the population was Jewish, the largest percent of any Chicago suburb. In recent years, however, Skokie's population has become significantly more diverse and several Jewish synagogues and schools have closed. Nevertheless, it was considered the logical location for the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, which opened in northwest Skokie in 2009.
Skokie has received national attention twice for court cases decided by the United States Supreme Court. In the mid-1970s, Skokie was at the center of a case concerning the First Amendment right to assemble and the National Socialist Party of America, a neo-Nazi group. Skokie ultimately lost that case. In 2001, although Skokie was not a direct party to the case, a decision by the Village regarding land use led the Court to reduce the power of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The Village of Skokie has a total area of 10.0 square miles (26.0 km²), all land. The village is bordered by Evanston, Chicago, Lincolnwood, Niles, Morton Grove, Glenview, and Wilmette.