Fri, 20 September 2013
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 man to eventually become the mayor of New York City.
John Purroy Mitchel, the Bronx-born grandson of an Irish revolutionary, was a rising star in New York, aggressively sweeping away incompetence and snipping away at government excess. Under his watch, two of New York's borough presidents were fired, just for being ineffectual! Mitchel made an ideal candidate for mayor in an era where Tammany Hall cronyism still dominated the nature of the five boroughs.
Nobody could predict the strange events which befell the city during the election of 1913, unfortunate and even bizarre incidents which catapulted this young man to City Hall and gave him the nickname the Boy Mayor of New York.
But things did not turn out as planned. He won his election with the greatest victory margin in New York City history. He left office four years later with an equally large margin of defeat. Tune in to our tale of this oft-ignored figure in New York City history, an example of good intentions gone wrong and -- due to his tragic end -- the only mayor honored with a memorial in Central Park.