News and Research Funds
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.
Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, and most of his children, attended De La Salle Institute.
Richard J. Daley served the public in a number of positions, including clerk of Cook County. Daley held that position from 1950 until 1955, when he became mayor of Chicago.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts. After the astronauts’ return to earth, Chicago honored them with a parade downtown.
As many as two million spectators may have witnessed it, according to Police Superintendent James B. Conlisk.
Michael Kilian and John MacLean, of the Chicago Tribune, described the parade:
It was more than a parade, it was glory. The brilliant blue sky was filled with ticker tape that seemed without source, streets and avenues were no longer thorofares [sic] but masses of humanity, and the cheers, the sirens, the ringing bells created so great a din that no other sound could be heard.
Michael Kilian and John Maclean, “Wild Acclaim for Heroes,” Chicago Tribune, August 14, 1969, p. N1.
The painting depicted in this image is part of the Richard J. Daley collection at the University of Illinois at Chicago Library. To learn more about the collection, please see the Daley Family Collections research guide, or Ask a Librarian. Also, check out the 2018 blog post Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Chicago sixty years ago on July 6, 1959.
UIC library has opened a new exhibit to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s visit. It is located on the second floor of the Richard J. Daley Library, and will be open to the public until September:
Today marks the 30th anniversary of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s first appearance at the city’s annual Taste of Chicago event.
The event had begun in 1980 under Mayor Jane Byrne and at that time had featured more than forty Chicago-area restaurants and lasted one day. By 1989, when Daley became mayor, seventy-seven restaurants were represented, and the event itself ran from June 27 through July 4.
On the day of the event, Mayor Daley said:
I can’t think of any other place I’d rather be than here at our great Taste of Chicago food fair. There’s music, fu, an dmore than 70 restaurants are here to take your order! We expect more than a milion people to come out Monday for our special Fourth of July fireworks display and concert featuring the Grant Park Symphony.
Lewis, Antoine. “Taste also whets the other senses.” Chicago Tribune. June 28, 1989, p. 3.
“Remarks: Mayor Daley Opens Taste of Chicago,” Richard M. Daley papers, University of Illinois at Chicago, series 3, box 3-2, folder 10.
Tackett, Michael. “Du Jour.” Chicago Tribune. June 30, 1989, p. C1.
Vettel, Phil. “Taste if full of don’t-miss eating delights.” Chicago Tribune. June 28, 1989, p. 20.
Thirty years ago today, on June 25, 1989, and only two months after being sworn in as mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley led the city’s gay pride parade. He was not the first Chicago mayor to participate, as Harold Washington (1983-1987) had attended while he was mayor. However, the local newspapers credited Mayor Daley as being the first to actually lead the parade.
Griffin, Jean Latz. “Mayoral Hopefuls Support Gay Voters.” Chicago Tribune. February 5, 1987, page 1.
Page, Clarence. “Dealing with Gay Parades.” Chicago Tribune. July 7, 1985, page 3.
Rotenberk, Lori. “Daley is first mayor to lead gays’ parade.” Chicago Sun-Times. June 26, 1989, page 3. Newsbank. <https://infoweb.newsbank.com/apps/news/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.882004&rft_id=info%3Asid/infoweb.newsbank.com&svc_dat=AWNB&req_dat=0FD3D1C913B1A06F&rft_val_format=info%3Aofi/fmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Actx&rft_dat=document_id%3Anews%252F0EB36E660D6EB884> Paywall may apply. Accessed May 17, 2019.
Seigel, Jessica. “Daley’s support is inspiration to gay pride parade.” Chicago Tribune. June 26, 1989, page D1 and D3.
Today, June 16, 2019, marks the 100th anniversary of Richard J. Daley’s graduation from his high school, De La Salle Institute. Daley later went on to become Chicago’s second longest-serving mayor, from 1955 to 1976. His record was surpassed only by his son, Richard M. Daley, who served from 1989 to 2011.
Leaving for Europe
Fifty-five years ago this month, in May 1964, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and his wife, Eleanor “Sis” Daley, visited Europe. They accompanied other American politicians on parts of this visit, including Wisconsin Governor John Reynolds and Minnesota Governor Karl H. Rolvaag. They left for Copenhagen, Denmark on the inaugural Scandinavian Airlines direct flight from Chicago, arriving May 1.
The grand tour (selected images)
Eleanor “Sis” Daley and Mayor Richard J. Daley visit the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes, France, 1964. RJD_04_01_0023_0005_016
Last stop: “Ireland, of course”
Chicago’s director of special events, Colonel “Jack” Reilly, accompanied Mayor and Mrs. Daley on the trip to Europe. When a reporter for the Chicago Tribune asked where the the Mayor’s last stop would be, Reilly answered, “Heaven.” He clarified: “Ireland, of course.”
Relatives of late United States President John F. Kennedy
Mayor Daley’s paternal and maternal ancestors had hailed from County Waterford. In the section of Waterford called Old Parish, Mayor and Mrs. Daley received a warm welcome.
Local officials unveiled this plaque:
This plantation containing ten acres was financed by the contributions of some friends and associates of Richard J. Daley Mayor of Chicago, to whose honour it is dedicated. A.D. 1959
More photographsSee more images from Mayor Richard J. Daley’s 1964 trip to Europe
These photographs come from the Richard J. Daley Collection, housed in the Special Collections and University Archives of the University of Illinois at Chicago Library. Most of the photographs in this collection have been digitized and are available online in the Richard J. Daley Era Photograph Collection. For questions about the photographs or about making an appointment to visit UIC Special Collections, feel free to Ask a Librarian.
“Newspaper Clippings–Trip to Ireland, 1964,” box SVB17, folder 4. Richard J. Daley Collection, University of Illinois at Chicago Library.
Doyle, James. “5,000 Cheer Daleys in Ancestral Home,” Chicago Tribune, May 19, 1964, p. 9.
Morgan, Gwen. “Daley Pleads for Home Rule from London!” Chicago Tribune, May 16, 1964, p. 2.
Richard J. Daley collection, University of Illinois at Chicago Library.
Thirty years ago today, on April 24, 1989, Richard M. Daley was sworn in as Chicago’s mayor for the first of what would be six terms in office. This photograph comes from the Richard M. Daley papers, the processed portions of which are open to researchers. Please see the Daley Family research guide for more information.
Today marks Mayor Richard J. Daley’s first re-election as mayor on April 7, 1959.
Daley’s victory was huge. He garnered more than 777,000 votes while his Republican opponent, Tim Sheehan, polled only around 312,000.
Tagge, George. “Daley Elected by 465,000,” Chicago Tribune, April 8, 1959, p. 1.
On this date in 1989, Richard M. Daley won election as Chicago’s 54th mayor. He went on to serve a total of six terms, stepping down in 2011.
This photograph comes from the Richard M. Daley Papers, the processed portions of which are open to the public. For more information on doing research in the Richard M. Daley Papers, the Richard J. Daley Collection, and related collections, please see our research guide for the Daley Family Collections.