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Fifty years ago today, on April 21, 1971, Richard J. Daley was inaugurated for his fifth term as mayor of Chicago.
Jane Byrne, who served as Chicago’s first female mayor from 1979 to 1983, got much of her experience in public service while working for Mayor Richard J. Daley. Among other positions, she served as commissioner for the Department of Consumer Affairs. She also was active in the Cook County Democratic Party.
The Laszlo Kondor photograph collection, housed at University of Illinois Chicago LIbrary, holds a number of photographs of Byrne from those years. Kondor was Mayor Daley’s official photographer from 1972 to 1976.
Sixty-one years ago today, on January 18, 1955, Richard J. Daley officially kicked off his first mayoral campaign.
The University of Illinois at Chicago Library has completed a two-year oral history project bout the life and career of Mayor Richard M. Daley.
The collection contains forty-five interviews with contemporaries of Daley. The interviewees include most of the mayor’s chiefs of staff, some of his deputy chiefs of staff, a number of his political advisors, and persons who headed city agencies during his tenure. Also included are family members, community leaders, some critics, and former United States Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Peter Cunningham, a friend of and former speechwriter for Mayor Daley, conducted the interviews.
The video and audio interviews, with related transcripts, can be found online at Richard M. Daley Oral Histories.
UIC Library also holds the Mayor Richard J. Daley Oral History collection. PDF transcripts from that collection can also be found online at Remembering Richard J. Daley Oral History Contributors.
In July,1952, Chicago hosted the Democratic National Convention. That convention nominated Adlai E. Stevenson II. Chicago again hosted the convention four years later, in 1956, and Stevenson was again nominated Each time, he lost to Dwight David Eisenhower.
Forty-five years ago this month, in July 1975, the Empress of Iran visited Chicago.
Paul Simon (1928-2003) held a number of public offices during his long political career. He was member of the Illinois House of Representatives, (1955-1963), an Illinois State Senator (1965-1969), Illinois Lieutenant Governor (1969-1973), member of the United States House of Representatives (1975-1985), and United States Senator (1985-1997).
During his time in the Illinois General Assembly, Simon sometimes voted differently from how Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley asked his fellow Illinois Democrats to vote. That practice earned Simon the reputation as an “independent Democrat.” He later recalled that
reporters often dubbed me an “anti-Daley Democrat.” I had no such goal. I simply voted for what I believed to be in the public interest, flawed as my judgment occasionally was, and sometimes that meant voting against the wishes of the Chicago mayor. That probably put me on his side 90 percent of the time….
Paul Simon, review of American Pharaoh Mayor Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago and the Nation, p. 124-5, 2001.
Despite the occasional differences, Simon and Daley collaborated often in public celebrations and campaign events.
The Richard J. Daley collection also contains a number of documents that relate to Simon. To learn more about using that collection, see UIC Library’s research guide for the Daley Family collections.
Long, Ray. “A Legacy of Honesty and Dignity,” Chicago Tribune, December 10, 2003.
Simon, Paul. Review of American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago and the Nation, by Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor. Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 94, (spring 2001): 124-7.
“U.S. Senator Paul Simon.” Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. <https://paulsimoninstitute.siu.edu/about/senator-paul-simon.php>. Accessed June 12, 2020.
A snapshot from Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley’s visit to Ireland in 1964. For more on Daley’s visit to Ireland–and much of the rest of Europe–that year, see Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley visits Europe (1964).
Fifty years ago today, on May 1, 1970, Mayor Richard J. Daley and the city of Chicago welcomed the crew of Apollo 13.
Apollo 13’s mission had been to land on the moon, but on its way, the an oxygen tank on the craft ruptured, endangering the crew. The crew and mission control worked hard finally returned safely to earth on April 17, 1970. Mayor Daley and the City of Chicago honored the Apollo 13 crew with a parade, a ceremony outside City Hall, and a Medal of Merit.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration. “NASA Commemorates 50th Anniversary of Apollo 13, ‘a successful failure.'” April 6, 2020, updated April 9, 2020. <https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-commemorates-50th-anniversary-of-apollo-13-a-successful-failure>. Accessed April 23, 2020.
Wolfe, Sheila. “Apollo 13 Astronauts Cheered by 500,000 in Triumphal City Visit.” Chicago Tribune, May 2, 1970.
Sixty-five years ago today, on April 5, 1955, Richard J. Daley won election as Chicago’s 48th mayor.
Forty years ago today, March 18, 1980, Richard M. Daley won the Democratic Party’ nomination for Cook County State’s Attorney. Daley had been serving as a senator in the Illinois legislature since 1973, and before that, he had served in the Illinois state constitutional convention, or “Con Con.”
For more information on Daley’s victory that day, see our earlier post, One step closer to the mayoralty.
Thirty years ago today, December 12, 1989, Mayor Richard M. Daley named Ed Bedore as Chicago’s Chief Financial Officer.
Bedore already had a long history of public service. He had advised Mayor Daley since April on budget-related concerns. Years before that, he had also served as budget director under Daley’s father, Mayor Richard J. Daley, and under Mayor Michael Bilandic.
Those interested in learning more about Ed Bedore, especially his experiences working with the first Mayor Daley, can read the transcripts of two oral history interviews Bedore did for the University of Illinois at Chicago:
- Ed Bedore, interview transcript, May 18, 2009 [PDF]
- Ed Bedore, interview transcript, October 1, 2009 [PDF]
For other transcripts of oral interviews, please see the list of contributors to the Richard J. Daley Oral History collection.
“Daley announces chief financial officer, new budget head,” December 12, 1989. Richard M. Daley papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago. Box 3-4, folder 2.
Richard J. Daley Oral History collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Fifty years ago today, on November 18, 1969, Richard M. Daley won his first election–as delegate to the Illinois Constitutional Convention, or “Con-Con” for short. The convention drafted a new constitution for the state, and voters ratified it soon afterward. Daley went on to serve as senator in the state legislature (1973-1981), state’s attorney for Cook County (1981-1989), and mayor of Chicago (1989-2011).
Lech Walesa led Solidarity, a workers’ movement that resisted Poland’s Communist government. Solidarity’s success in securing freer elections contributed to ending the Cold War.
Thirty years ago this month, in November 1989, Walesa visited the United States. He stopped in Chicago, which has one of the world’s largest populations of Polish speakers. Mayor Richard M. Daley, Governor James R. Thompson, and other officials welcomed Walesa and held a luncheon in his honor.
A little more than a year after this visit, Walesa was elected president of Poland.
(Reposted from UICToday. “Daley: It’s ‘good business’ for business to be a good social partner“: October 28, 2019, updated October 29, 2019. For UIC’s announcement about the lecture, see “William ‘Bill’ Daley to discuss roles of corporations in society as he donates papers to UIC” To research the collection, please visit the finding aid (inventory list) for the William D. Daley papers)
Between the time that William “Bill” Daley served as President Bill Clinton’s secretary of commerce and when he served as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, the internet had taken over the world and completely changed the way business and politics were conducted.
Daley, who gave the Wiewel Lecture on Economic Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago on Oct. 23, tapped into his extensive background at the crossroads of business and politics to speak to about 100 people, including students, faculty, elected officials and family members.
In his lecture, “Corporations & Humanity: Why They Belong Together,” Daley focused on how the role of corporations had shifted because of technology and the rise in social media that made companies — as well as political leaders — more accountable more quickly.
Thirty years ago today, on October 26, 1989, Mayor Richard M. Daley announced Chicago’s new “GreenStreets” program. The goal of the program was to add a half million trees to what “Chicago’s urban forest.” On the day of the announcement, Daley chipped in, helping plant a tree on the 8100 south block of Marquette.
“Mayor Daley kicks off ‘GreenStreets,’ Chicago’s tree planting program,” October 26, 1989. Richard M. Daley papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago. Box 3-3, folder 24.
On October 14, 1963, Mayor Richard J. Daley dined with the prime minister of Ireland, Terence O’Neill. The inscription on the photograph, written by Bishop Cletus O’Donnell (seated at the left of the image) reads: “Your Honor – a remembrance of your grand party for the Prime Minister of Ireland on the evening of October 14, 1963.”
The Aon Center, originally called the Standard Oil building, is one of the tallest skyscrapers in Chicago.
Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley inspects the plans
Thirty years ago this month, from September 13 through September 25, 1989, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley visited the United Kingdom and to the Republic of Ireland.
The main purpose of this visit, the first of what was to be many international trips during his 22-year tenure as mayor, was to promote Chicago business.
Another reason for this trip was personal. Mayor Daley visited the homeland of his ancestors in Ireland.
This month, September 2019, marks the thirtieth anniversary of the “Public Information Audit for the City of Chicago,” a report commissioned by Mayor Richard M. Daley.
While campaigning for mayor, Daley had promised to “invite local businesses, universities and foundations with a commitment to Chicago to ‘loan’ their expertise to city government.” In an effort to fulfill that promise, Daley secured the help of the firm Jasculca/Terman and Associates, which agreed to donate its resources to study the public information functions of 45 city agencies and the mayor’s press office.
When the report was released, the mayor praised the Jasculca/Terman “for donating this valuable study.” He also stressed the importance of the city’s public information function:
Public information is among the most important services government provides. After all, the very best health care, education and police proteciton in the world will not be effective if the public doesn’t k now how to take advantage of it.
The executive summary:
The report found a number of inefficiencies in the city’s public information functions and made recommendations for fixing those inefficiencies.
The two excerpts below include the executive summary of the audit. Click on each page to magnify its contents.
The full audit may be viewed in the Special Collections and University Archives reading room at the Richard J. Daley Library, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ask a librarian for more information or to make an appointment.
Chicago. “Public Information Audit for the City of Chicago, prepared by Jasulca/Terman and Associates, Inc.,” 1989. Richard M. Daley papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago. Box 1-14, folder 3.
“Mayor’s remarks: Public Information Audit,” September 11, 1989. Richard M. Daley papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago. Box 3-2, folder 6.
“The Daley Agenda for Chicago’s Future,” circa 1988. Richard M. Daley papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago. Box 1-7, folder 1.