CHICAGO (CBS) — The late Mayor Harold Washington was honored Wednesday at Oak Woods Cemetery.
A wreath was laid for the late mayor at 1035 E. 67th St. in the Grand Crossing community, where Mayor Washington is buried.READ MORE: Teen, 15, Shot In The Loop
Thursday marks 34 years since Mayor Washington died after suffering a heart attack inside his City Hall office.
On Nov. 25, 1987 – the day before Thanksgiving that year – Washington was about seven months into his second term as mayor. He appeared early in the day at a groundbreaking at 46th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, raising a shovel with the local alderman, Tim Evans (4th) and other officials. A news conference had followed the event.
Afterward, Washington returned to City Hall, where he worked with his secretary and conducted the day’s business. Around 10:58 a.m., Washington was talking with his press secretary, Alton Miller, when he collapsed at his desk.
The mayor was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. His heart had stopped and his lungs had ceased to work, and he was unconscious as Miller rode the ambulance with him.READ MORE: CTA Bus Driver Beaten Near Millennium Park
For two hours behind the doors of the hospital emergency room, friends gathered – praying, consoling, and hoping the mayor would pull through the devastating cardiac arrest.
But the doctors – even with their state-of-the-art equipment in one of Chicago’s most modern hospitals – could not get the heart to resume pumping. He had been placed on life support in hopes that a “dramatic” form of CPR would reactivate his heart and brain, but that never happened, said attending physician John Sanders. At 1:36 p.m., Mayor Harold Washington passed away. He was 65.
CBS 2 Vault: Coverage Of Mayor Washington’s Death, With Bill Kurtis, Walter Jacobson, And Jim Avila
CBS 2 Vault: A Crowd Gathers In Daley Plaza To Mourn Mayor Washington
Ald. David Orr (49th) agreed to serve as interim mayor upon Mayor Washington’s death. Then, following a tumultuous and infamous City Council session, Ald. Eugene Sawyer (6th) was chosen to take over as acting mayor – a position he held until losing a bid for a full term to Richard M. Daley in 1989.MORE NEWS: Oak Park And River Forest High School Ban On Activities Due To COVID Outbreak Sparks Outrage
Mayor Washington is still regarded as a hero to people across Chicago. Former President Barack Obama also pointed out in his memoir, Dreams from My Father, that he first came to Chicago as a community organizer in the 1980s because he was inspired by Mayor Washington.