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  • Collection ID ARCHIVES H00030
  • Creator Names Washington, Harold, 1922-1987.
  • Title Pre-Mayoral Records. Mayoral Campaign Records, 1966-1983 (Bulk dates 1982-1983)
  • Physical description 28.5 linear feet
  • Collection arrangement To assist researchers the records have been arranged into six series: Central Office Personnel; Central Office Activities; Press and Publicity; Elections; Administrative; and Transition.
  • Access and usage restrictions Researchers, please request this material 24 hours in advance of use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to satisfy all copyright and privacy laws when copying or using material found in this collection. Some files marked with an asterisk have been redacted or separated for privacy reasons. Please see the archivist on duty for access.
  • Collection summary Harold Washington became the first African American mayor of Chicago in 1983. The Mayoral Campaign Records were created during Harold Washington's run for Mayor of Chicago and provide tremendous insight into both the primary and general elections in 1983, and Washington's journey to get there. The earlier records in the collection document Washington's fundraising and support-building activities during his tenure as U.S. Congressman, and there is significant information about the transition period following his success at the polls. Of particular note is the Press and Publicity Series which gives a sense of how racially charged the election became, and where many of Washington's speeches are arranged. Also of note is the Elections Series where allegations of voting irregularities can be found. For photographs, please see the Pre-Mayoral Photograph Collection.
  • Biographical or Historical Note Harold Washington was the first African American mayor of Chicago, elected in 1983. He died in office on November 25, 1987, not long after beginning his second term. Before agreeing to run, Washington insisted on a massive voter registration drive to secure at least 50,000 new African American voters, which he knew would be needed if he were to have a chance of winning. By November 1982 that number had almost doubled. Washington won the Democratic nomination in the primary election on February 22, 1983, defeating incumbent Mayor Jane Byrne and Cook County State's Attorney Richard M. Daley. In one of Chicago's most racially divided elections, Washington drew support not only from a broad and powerful African American base, but also from a sizable number of liberal white and Hispanic voters. Harold Washington became the first African American mayor of Chicago on April 12, 1983 when he defeated Bernard E. Upton (Republican) and Ed Warren (Socialist Workers).
  • Finding Aids Note Finding aid available in the Reading Room of the Special Collections and Preservation Division and on the library's web site.
  • Acquisition information The records were acquired by the Chicago Public Library after Harold Washington's death.
  • Names
    • Washington, Harold, 1922-1987 Archives.
    • Byrne, Jane, 1933-2014.
    • Chandler, Chris.
    • Daley, Richard M. (Richard Michael), 1942-
    • Potter, Dave.
    • Raby, Al.
    • Ware, William.
    • Wynn, Christopher.
  • Subjects
    • African Americans Illinois Chicago Politics and government 20th century.
    • Elections Illinois Chicago.
    • Mayors Illinois Chicago Election.
    • Voter registration Illinois Chicago.
  • Geographic coverage Chicago (Ill.) Race relations.
  • Finding aid URL http://www.chipublib.org/fa-harold-washington-archives-collections-mayoral-campaign-records/