How have I spent the past 46 years (minus a few) in Brooklyn and never noticed the sign on this building? It was actually my husband who noticed while driving down Bedford near Flatbush. Upon further investigation on The Internets, it turns out that Fading Ad Blog spotted it about 3 months ago. Actually, there was another sign covering Lindsay all this time, so I’m not so unobservant after all.
John Lindsay served 8 years as Mayor of New York City back when I was too young to take interest. I did find some interesting facts about the his term and the political environment 40 something years ago that are still pertinent to today.
Lindsay inherited serious fiscal problems from outgoing Mayor Robert Wagner (not the actor). With manufacturing jobs disappearing, white flight to the suburbs and new unions taking shape, it was tough to get the city back on it’s feet.
On his first day in office, there was a transit strike. During his term there was also a teacher’s strike, a sanitation strike and sewage and drawbridge worker’s strike.
In 1969, NYC was hit with 15 inches of snow. Fourteen people died and 68 were injured.Within a day, the mayor was criticized for giving special treatment to Manhattan while the other boroughs were left hanging. Sound familiar?
1970 brought the Hard Hat Riot. Two hundred construction workers attacked students protesting the Kent State shootings and Vietnam War. Here’s where it gets interesting. Who tried to protect those students? Wall street bankers and attorneys. The cops stood by and did nothing. When the Mayor criticized the NYPD, he was called “the red mayor, a “traitor,” “Commy rat” and “bum.”
By 1971, Lindsay switched parties from Republican to Democrat. “…This step recognizes the failure of 20 years in progressive Republican politics…” He actually ran for President but as we know, he didn’t get very far.
Later in his life, after Parkinson’s Disease, heart attacks and stroke depleted Lindsay’s finances, he found himself without health insurance. In 1996 Mayor Giuliani appointed Lindsay to two largely ceremonial posts to make him eligible for municipal health insurance coverage.
All facts came from Wikipedia, so don’t blame me if they’re wrong. Thankfully, I’m too young to remember.