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Politics & Protest | Remembering Chicago

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Politics & Protest | Remembering Chicago

Politics & Protest

As the harsh winds of change swept through the country in the late 1960s, they hit Chicago with such a force that it nearly knocked the city clear off its feet. Though many were left numb by the violent upheavals and the city’s continuous splintering, new sociopolitical movements began to emerge in the ’70s and people returned to the streets, calling for peace and equality.

And while Chicago’s mayoralty had not changed in close to twenty years, the passing of Mayor Richard J. Daley in 1976 opened up a space in the office that few were equipped to fill. The unexpected loss weighed heavy on the hearts of many Chicagoans as the city struggled to find a new day in politics. And pretty soon Chicago elected its first woman mayor, Jane Byrne, and its first African-American mayor, Harold Washington. Washington fought to enact change and empower minority communities, earning him the support of a city so often divided.

Photo credits:
Jesse Jackson - Credit: Chicago History Museum
Harold Washington - Credit: Sun-Times Media file photo
Council Wars - Credit: Chicago History Museum
First Gay Lib March - Credit: Richard Pfeiffer
Stop arms Race - Credit: Betsy Rubin
AIDS Activism - Credit: Lisa Howe-Ebright Photography
Michael Bilandic - Credit: Sun-Times Media file photo
Jane Byrne - Credit: Sun-Times Media file photo
Anita Bryant Protest - Credit: J.D. Doyle and Queer Music Heritage