To many Chicagoans who loved, respected and admired the late Mayor Harold Washington, Chicago’s first Black chief executive, it’s still hard to believe that he died of a fatal heart attack the day before Thanksgiving, thirty-two (32) years ago this month on November 25, 1987 in his City Hall office.
It seems like yesterday. Even now, the pride in his achievements, as well as the painful memories surrounding the end of this historic ‘Mayoral Miracle’, which began with his monumental election on the date of April 12, 1983 remain fresh in the minds of many inter-generational activists and admirers.
In honor of the late Mayor Harold Washington, a diverse multi-ethnic coalition of current and former local officials and civic, community and religious leaders will join members of the Mayor Harold Washington Legacy Committee (MHWLC), in hosting the Annual Mayor Harold Washington Remembrance & Recognition Wreath Laying Ceremony at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 25, 2019 at Oak Woods Cemetery, 1035 East 67th Street in Chicago, where such Black notables as Olympian Jesse Owens, prominent journalist, abolitionist and activist Ida B. Wells–Barnett, Ebony/Jet magazine publishing company founder John H. Johnson, the father of Black gospel music Thomas A. Dorsey and the late Mayor Harold Washington, Chicago’s 51st Mayor, among others are buried.
This November 25th ceremony occasion will celebrate and explore the life and legacy of Mayor Washington, the city’s first African-American Mayor, featuring multi generational speakers, a TAPS wreath ceremony and a youth ROTC brigade. The public is cordially invited to attend.
“The legacy of Mayor Washington remains socially and politically relevant, alive and well for today and the future,” says Josie Childs, President of the Chicago-based nonprofit MHWLC organization. “Our mission is to reignite the progressive spirit of unity and keep alive the essential purposeful philosophies of inclusion and dedicated service embodied by Mayor Washington during his life.”