“Stormy Politics”

By Paul Derezotes, CCM – Chicago, Illinois

Published: February 13, 2023

During this intense political season, it is good to remember that weather has had an influence on politics. Those who lived in Chicago in the 1970’s and 1980’s will remember a winter storm with a big impact.

Chicago had a powerful political machine run by Richard M. Daley during the 1950’s and 1960’s. After his death in 1976, Michael Bilandic was picked to succeed him. The first woman mayor of Chicago, Jane Byrne, defeated him in a landslide after the city’s huge snow accumulation during January-February 1979. Bilandic failed to take the storms’ impact seriously.

Byrne deftly integrated into her political advertising imagery of residential streets and autos covered with feet of snow, and rapid transit rendered inoperable.

Chicago Tribune Photos - Stormy Politics - Chicago, Illinois
Figure 1: Photos from the ©Chicago Tribune
Photo on Left 1 -- Photo on Right 2