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  New York Mayor John Lindsay. Remember Him?
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Last EditedCraverguy  May 30, 2010 04:55am
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AuthorPeter Osnos
News DateTuesday, May 25, 2010 04:10:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionBetween John F. Kennedy at the start of the decade and Bobby Kennedy towards its end, in the mid-1960s another charismatic young politician briefly brought energy and promise to public life. He was John V. Lindsay, the liberal Republican congressman from New York's Upper East Side who was elected mayor of New York in 1965. His appeal was forever captured in columnist Murray Kempton's characterization on the day Lindsay started his mayoral campaign: "He is fresh and everyone else is tired." Eight years later, at the end of his second term at City Hall and after a brief run as a Democrat for president in 1972, Lindsay retired. The New York Times Magazine featured his weary face on the cover, with crease lines highlighted by the crises he had encountered, including strikes by municipal workers, budgetary problems, middle-class flight, crime surges, interracial tension over schools and community control, welfare, and a prison riot.

Lindsay never again played a significant role in American politics and seems to have been largely forgotten, except by those in the Baby Boomer generation who were drawn to his vision for progressive urban leadership and those who remember his tenure as a time of social turmoil and challenges that overwhelmed whatever good intentions the mayor had for the city. Now spurred by the fundraising efforts of Jay Kriegel, who as a very young man was Lindsay's chief of staff and special counsel, his former aides and others in his administration have revived the era and the man at its center with an ambitious multimedia presentation notable for its range and candor about Lindsay's bold goals and the multiple obstacles he encountered in pursuit of them. About $850,000 was raised from 300 contributors to mount a fascinating exhibit at The Museum of the City of New York (until October 3) called "America's Mayor: John V. Lindsay and the Reinvention of New York," a companion book of essays by journalists and historians, edited by Sam Roberts of t
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