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Know Your Mayors

A short history of New York City mayors who ran for President of the United States

Last week former mayor Michael Bloomberg very unofficially — and somewhat belatedly — entered the 2020 presidential race by filing paperwork for next year’s Alabama primary. This over a month after current New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio entered and dropped out of the race this year, never catching fire with the Democratic electorate. […]

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Know Your Mayors

100 years ago today, somebody tried to murder the mayor

John Purroy Mitchel in front of City Hall, one month after the assassination attempt (May 11, 1914, courtesy Library of Congress) It was an pleasant early afternoon one hundred years ago today when Mayor John Purroy Mitchel boarded an automobile on Park Row carrying other members of his staff, including police commissioner Arthur H. Woods, […]

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Know Your Mayors

The mayoral inauguration 100 years ago was quite a headache — “the Most Cheerless Day Ever Known at City Hall”

On Wednesday, January 1, 2014, Bill de Blasio will be inaugurated at City Hall to become the 109th Mayor of New York City, sworn in by President Bill Clinton.  Mayoral inaugurations are never very exciting, but they’re often reflected upon later as setting the tone for an administration, a clue to a possible style of […]

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Know Your Mayors

New York’s first mayoral election in 1834: Riots, chaos and the election of New York’s ‘crying congressman’

New York in 1834, looking up Broadway from Bowling Green (NYPL) New Yorkers will go to the polls today to elect another mayor of New York City.  This ritual has occurred over seventy times (give or take) since the charter of New York was changed to allow for direct election of its mayors in 1834. […]

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Know Your Mayors

The Boy Mayor of New York: John Purroy Mitchel and a series of unfortunate events shake up a New York election

John Purroy Mitchel, the ‘boy mayor’, after his resounding victory. (LOC)PODCAST As New York City enters the final stages of this year’s mayoral election, let’s look back on a decidedly more unusual contest 100 years ago, pitting Tammany Hall and their estranged ally (Mayor William Jay Gaynor) up against a baby-faced newcomer, the (second) youngest […]

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Know Your Mayors

One hundred years ago today, the mayor of New York died

Mayor William Jay Gaynor’s final appearance at City Hall was at a notification rally, declaring his independent candidacy.  He brandishes a shovel as a symbol of a new era of subway construction (the eventual fruits of the so-called ‘dual contracts’ which had finally be agreed to earlier that year.) Today’s mayoral primary falls on a […]

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Know Your Mayors

Meet Andrew H. Mickle, perhaps the least qualified man to ever serve as the mayor of New York City

New York City Hall and its brand new water fountain, in 1846, courtesy Currier and Ives (LOC)KNOW YOUR MAYORS A modest little series about some of the greatest, notorious, most important, even most useless, mayors of New York City. Other entrants in the Bowery Boys mayoral survey can be found here.Mayor Andrew H. MickleIn office: 1846-1847 […]

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Know Your Mayors

George Opdyke: The mayor during the Civil War Draft Riots and his unsavory connection to New York’s fashion industry

KNOW YOUR MAYORS A modest little series about some of the greatest, notorious, most important, even most useless, mayors of New York City. Other entrants in the Bowery Boys mayoral survey can be found here.Mayor George OpdykeIn office: 1862-1863 The wealthy merchant and politician George Opdyke died on June 12, 1880, attended to by his family from […]

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Know Your Mayors

Ed Koch, the 105th Mayor of New York, 1924-2013

Koch in 2004 at the Republican National Convention which was held in New York City. Photo by Joe Cavaretta, courtesy the Associated PressDid you know Koch already had his gravesite already picked out (at Trinity Church Cemetery) and had even erected the tombstone? More info in my 2011 article on where all the New York […]

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Know Your Mayors

Where are New York’s mayors buried? An (almost) complete list

Koch’s tombstone, bearing the inscription: “‘My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish.’ (Daniel Pearl, 2002, just before he was beheaded by a Muslim terrorist.)” Ed Koch likes to get a jump on things. The former mayor, who served as mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989, went ahead a […]

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Know Your Mayors

Know Your Mayors: George B. McClellan Jr.

Our modest little series about some of the greatest, notorious, most important, even most useless, mayors of New York City. Other entrants in our mayoral survey can be found here. Perhaps no mayor of New York City this side of Fiorello Laguardia has ever overseen so drastic a change to the landscape of the city […]

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Know Your Mayors

Hey kids! Wanna be president? Don’t be New York mayor.

(This story was originally published in June 25, 2008) Yesterday was the opening of Campaigning For President at the Museum of the City of New York, a look at the city’s participation in some of the most famous and contentious presidential elections in history. The exhibit will focus on the city’s role in deciding the […]