April 4, 1989: Elected mayor over Timothy Evans with 55.4 percent of the vote.
April 24, 1989: Inaugurated as Chicago's 45th mayor, Daley pledges in his inaugural address to justify voters' confidence in his "common sense" style of leadership. He also invokes his father. "You don't hand down policies from generation to generation. But you do hand down values. As I take the oath my father took before me, I carry with me a love for our city and a zest for public service. These were his values; the values he instilled in his children."
April 26, 1989: Demonstrating an early mastery over the City Council at his first meeting, Daley gains approval of measures to overhaul the makeup of council committees and increase water and sewer bills. Also in his first week on the job, he sells the mayor's armored $50,000 stretch limousine, ordered by his predecessor.
Feb. 15, 1990: Daley unveils plans for a $5 billion airport near Lake Calumet on the city's Southeast Side. While the ambitious plan involved rerouting the Calumet River and razing almost all of the homes in the Hegewisch neighborhood, the mayor insists it's not "pie in the sky." It was.
April 2, 1991: Re-elected to a four-year term with 70.7 percent of the vote over R. Eugene Pincham.
March 2, 1992: Daley sobs at a City Hall news conference while discussing his teenage son's role in a brawl at the Daley family's lakeside home in Michigan. "I am very disappointed, as any parent would be, after his son held a party in their home while his parents were away," says the mayor, pale and perspiring. "I am more deeply distressed for the welfare of the young man who was injured in this fight." His naked emotion connects with voters, as it will countless times during his reign.
April 13, 1992: Underground tunnels in the Loop flood with water after a rupture along the Chicago River. Asked if city workers, who had known about the breach and were planning repairs, had failed, Daley replies, "Individuals did, not the city." The mayor asks for the resignation of the head of the department blamed for failing to repair the leak.
June 2, 1993: Daley presents state lawmakers with an $800 million development proposal that includes up to five gambling boats moored in the Chicago River. "I have the right, just as any mayor, to propose things," he says, declaring his casino plan "a win-win situation for everyone in Illinois." The plan fails to win approval from the General Assembly.
April 4, 1995: Re-elected with 60.1 percent of the vote over Roland Burris.
May 24, 1995: The Republican-led Illinois General Assembly grants Daley's request and puts him in control of Chicago Public Schools. The fortunes of the schools and student test scores become a constant measuring stick for Daley throughout his time in office.
July 12, 1995: Daley is joined by Gov. Jim Edgar in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $200 million Navy Pier renovation. The once-derelict pier is festooned with carnival rides, restaurants, stages and beer gardens, becoming the city's biggest tourist attraction for years to come.
July 1995: Amid a heat wave that is later blamed for more than 700 deaths, Daley accuses Cook County Medical Examiner Edmund Donoghue of fanning the crisis and inflating the number of fatalities by including people who would have died regardless of the high temperatures.
August 1996: Chicago hosts the Democratic National Convention. It plays out as a peaceful summertime party in stark contrast to the riot-marred 1968 convention that forever tarnished his father's mayoral tenure. Daley gets emotional during a news conference at the end of the convention: "As the president flew in, the backdrop of Chicago, the skyline, I told them my brother Bill was holding up the moon to keep it there. And the beautiful moon overlooking the lake. I thought of my father. I thought of my father in the way that he knew Chicago was a great city, and he knew that all of us loved this city, and I had great pride in thinking about my father during this convention at all times."
October 1997: The first major scandal of the Daley administration. The mayor's City Council floor leader, Patrick Huels of the 11th Ward, resigns in disgrace amid allegations he used his aldermanic office to benefit his private security firm, which got a loan from city contractor and close Daley friend Michael Tadin. Daley says Huels "did the right thing resigning." He also claims no knowledge of Huels' business dealings. "I don't get into people's private lives. I am not into that."
June 4, 1998: Daley dedicates the new museum campus on the lakefront, made possible by the westward shift of Lake Shore Drive. "To think about the whole lakefront, all the way from Evanston to Indiana, my dream is that it belongs to the people of the city of Chicago," Daley says. "I'm sure, somewhere, Daniel Burnham is smiling down on us and nodding his head in approval."
Feb. 23, 1999: Daley garners 68.9 percent of the vote, besting Bobby Rush.
July 1999: A Tribune investigation reveals that the well-connected Duff family, which held fundraisers for Daley, has secured nearly $100 million from city-related contracts, partly by running a firm falsely listed as woman-owned. Daley denies steering any money to the Duffs, whose members had been linked to organized crime, and promises to "look into" issues raised by the investigation. Federal investigators mount a more serious probe that results in a Duff family member pleading guilty to racketeering, fraud and other charges.
Sept. 30, 1999: Four months after Daley takes control of the CHA, the agency announces a 10-year plan to tear down most of its high-rise buildings and rehab or replace its remaining housing stock. The wall of high-rises along the Dan Ryan Expressway falls to the wrecking ball, as does Cabrini-Green on the Near North Side.
Sept. 20, 2000: Groundbreaking is held for a rooftop garden atop City Hall, the latest of Daley's many green initiatives that also include planting thousands of trees and flowers, and creating miles of bicycle lanes. The rooftop project, designed to lower energy bills, cost nearly $1.5 million, double the initial budget estimate.
Jan. 20, 2002: Renovation begins on Soldier Field in a $600 million-plus project that Daley helped orchestrate. While the result was decried as an architectural disaster, it solved the Bears' long-running stadium issue, for the time being.
June 7, 2002: The mayor's office announces that first lady Maggie Daley has breast cancer. The mayor, his voice quavering, asks that "in the days and weeks ahead our family privacy be maintained and that Maggie be allowed to deal with this (in) a private family way."
Feb. 26, 2003: Romps to a fifth term with 78.5 percent of the vote over Paul Jakes Jr.
March 30-31, 2003: Fresh off his huge electoral mandate, Daley orders demolition of the runway at Meigs Field. In the dead of night, city workers dig six huge X's in the runway, on Northerly Island. Daley justifies his stunning display of raw power as necessary to protect the city against terrorism. The maneuver abruptly ends years of debate over Meigs, and Daley gets his goal of another lakefront park.
January 2004: The Hired Truck scandal begins to roll out, and over the next year, City Hall is blasted with allegations of bribery and extortion. Among those who lose their jobs as a result of the revelations is a cousin of the mayor. Daley once again promises a cleanup of corruption. He never is able to answer the question of who hired Angelo Torres, who was in charge of the Hired Truck program.
July 16, 2004: After years of planning and construction during which the project grew in scope and its budget more than tripled to $475 million, Daley's vision of "the people's park" comes to life when the 24.5-acre Millennium Park opens. The park is funded largely by corporate interests, but despite Daley's pledge that no tax money would be used, almost $100 million from a downtown taxing district is also spent. Even so, the park is a hit. Anchored by the Frank Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavilion, it is lauded by design critics and becomes a front-yard showcase for Chicago.
Jan. 24, 2005: A joint-venture firm pays the city $1.83 billion and takes control of the Chicago Skyway, with rights to collect tolls for 99 years. The deal is the first of its kind in the U.S. "People can criticize the mayor," says former Daley chief of staff John Schmidt, who represented the city in negotiations. "Nobody can say he doesn't do things."
July 2006: Daley's longtime patronage chief Robert Sorich, whose father was Richard J. Daley's photographer, is convicted of scheming to reward political workers with city jobs. A fundraiser to help pay his legal bills is mounted in Bridgeport that August and attended by the mayor's brother John and former top mayoral aide Timothy Degnan, among others. "They're still friends of his," the mayor says. "You think someone makes one mistake that you would kick him all the way down the street? I doubt it."
Feb. 27, 2007: Coasts to a sixth term with 71 percent of the vote, trouncing Dorothy Brown
Dec. 4, 2008: Daley's proposal to lease the city's 36,000 parking spots to a private company for a one-time payment of $1.15 billion is hastily passed by aldermen, who quickly come to rue the decision. As parking rates go up and technical problems arise, Daley concedes that "the implementation was not good at all from the city's side."
Oct. 2, 2009: Daley's dream of hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic Games is dashed. In a stunning and embarrassing setback for the mayor, Chicago is the first of four finalists to be eliminated during selection ceremonies in Copenhagen. Daley had rallied the city and its corporate community around the Olympics' pitch for months, arguing that hosting was a way to ignite the economy. Many thought getting the games would be the capstone of his career. Instead, the mayor and his retinue leave Denmark, where Rio de Janeiro was announced as the 2016 host city, disappointed.
Jan. 7, 2010: Daley, known as a tough man to work for, names his 12th chief of staff, Raymond Orozco.
June 28, 2010: The city's gun ban, backed by Daley, is shot down by a 5-4 Supreme Court decision. Justices write that citizens have the right to protect themselves if public officials can't. "To suggest that Chicago's elected officials haven't done enough to protect our city residents shows that many of our highest-level officials don't understand that gun violence pervades America and not just Chicago," Daley responds.
Sept. 7, 2010: Daley stuns the city, announcing he will not seek re-election after 21 years in office.
May 16, 2011: Daley is scheduled to leave office, with the inauguration of Rahm Emanuel.
SOURCE: Tribune archivesCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun