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Washington: In His Own Words

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On April 12, 1983, Democrat Harold Washington won election as the first African American mayor of the City of Chicago. The victory was a slim one over the Republican candidate Bernard Epton. The election brought out a record number of voters and highlighted racial divisions in the city and its politics. In his victory speech that evening before a delighted crowd of thousands of supporters, Washington promised an administration of openness and inclusion. We bring you that speech as part of our series this week marking the late mayor’s life and the 20th anniversary of his death.

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