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Forty years ago, Chicago elected its first female mayor. We remember the historic victory of former Mayor Jane Byrne.

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Following a whopper of a blizzard in 1979, Sauganash native Jane Byrne narrowly upset Mayor Michael Bilandic for the Democratic mayoral nomination. Belly up to the bar and get a little taste of Chicago’s spirited history: a frosty milkshake spiked with whiskey and vodka.

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Dignitaries and politicians packed the church service for the funeral of former Mayor Jane Byrne.

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We look back at Mayor Jane Byrne's political career, her groundbreaking win against the Democratic machine, and her tenure as mayor.

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Watch an episode of Callaway Magazine with Jane Byrne from Nov. 4, 1983.

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Watch an episode of Callaway Interviews with Jane Byrne from Dec. 11, 1979.

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Watch a Feedback episode from Dec. 12, 1977 featuring Jane Byrne.

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Watch a Chicago Feedback episode from Dec. 9, 1980 featuring Jane Byrne.

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Former Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne died Friday morning at age 81. Byrne served from 1979 to 1983, and was Chicago's first and only female mayor.

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State and local officials comment on the death of former Chicago mayor Jane Byrne. The city’s first and only female mayor died Friday morning at the age of 81.

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It was 35 years ago that Jane Byrne pulled off the most stunning political upset in Chicago history.

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John Callaway moderates Round 3 of the 1983 mayoral debate between Harold Washington, Jane Byrne and Richard M. Daley.

 

Byrne Beats Bilandic

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In this special edition of Chicago Week in Review, Joel Weisman and his guests discuss Jane Byrne’s shocking victory over incumbent Mayor Michael Bilandic in the Democratic mayoral primary.

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