An era is coming to an end in Chicago: Mayor Richard M. Daley, the son the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, has decided to retire next April at the end of his term, having by then broken the record of his father for time in office!
On Christmas Eve this year, the younger Daley will tie his father for 21 years and 8 months in office, so by the time he leaves, he will have finished 22 complete years as Mayor!
His father served from 1955 to 1976, dying in office with the reputation of being the last of the political bosses that for a long time influenced the Democratic Party! Daley was behind the nomination of John F. Kennedy in 1960, and it is believed helped Kennedy win Illinois by having the “cemetery vote” come out in Chicago early and often! 🙂
Daley was also behind the nomination of Hubert H. Humphrey in 1968, but also called out the police then to beat up anti Vietnam War demonstrators at the Chicago Democratic convention, which ultimately doomed Humphrey’s Presidential candidacy, which was already burdened by the war, and the candidacy of George Wallace on a third party line, leading up to the loss to Richard Nixon!
Son Richard M. has been Mayor for what will be 22 years when he leaves office, the longest lasting mayor of any city, much hailed as his father was for what was said to be “efficiency” in running the third largest city in America, and yet, as with his father, always a tone of corruption and malfeasance which never, somehow, came to the door of the Mayor, but led to criminal prosecutions for people around both Mayors!
So the Daleys leave a mixed legacy, with the son presiding over a city which has seen record numbers of black youths murdered, more in one month this summer than in Iraq over eight months of 2010! 🙁
Overall, it is good to see change coming to Chicago, as the Daley Era soon is truly part of American history, and will be much researched and written about in future years! It will also have an effect on the history of the Obama Presidency, since Obama came from Chicago politics!