In the 1980s, the Wall Street Journal dubbed the US’ third largest city ‘Beirut-on-the-lake’ thanks in part to the political crises that engulfed the mayor’s office:
The late Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko correctly predicted what would happen after the city’s first Mayor Daley died of a heart attack in office a few days before Christmas in 1976.
A similar scenario began to unfold after Mayor Richard M. Daley this week told the third-largest U.S. city that he wouldn’t seek a seventh term, creating a void that Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, has said he’d love to fill. Politicians, business leaders and residents expressed hope that this latest Daley departure won’t create political chaos.
A Daley has run Chicago for 42 of the past 55 years. Younger voters have never known a mayor by another name. The period when a Daley wasn’t at the helm during the past half century was marked by political turmoil and racial tension. Seven years after the elder Daley’s death, the city entered a time residents called the Council Wars. The Wall Street Journal dubbed the city “Beirut on the Lake,” a reference to the political infighting in a city that sits on Lake Michigan.
Yeah, compared to Lebanon’s “Beirut on the sea” where it coincidently resides. Not sure who at the newspaper came up with it but nevertheless, I’ll be sending the entire organization a certificate despite the comment being about 20 years old.