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Friday, 22 April 2016


King John granted the people of London the right to elect their mayor on May 9, 1215.

In September 1581, Sir Francis Drake became the Mayor of Plymouth.

Samuel Morse, who created the telegraph and Morse code, ran for mayor of New York with the slogan "No Immigrants, No Catholics."

Severiano de Heredia was a Cuban-born biracial politician, who was president of the municipal council of Paris from August 1, 1879 to February 12, 1880, making him the first mayor of African descent of a Western world capital.

Severiano de Heredia (1836-1901):

When Susanna Salter was elected mayor of Argonia, Kansas in 1887, she became the first woman mayor in the United States. Salter won by a two-thirds majority but didn't even know she was in the running until she went into the voting booth. A group of men nominated her as a joke intended to humiliate women, but instead the prank backfired when she was elected.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first woman in Britain to qualify as a physician, was elected mayor of Aldeburgh, on November 9, 1908. In doing so, she became the country’s first female mayor.

Garrett Anderson as mayor of Aldeburgh, November 1908

Seattle was the first major American city to have a female mayor. Bertha Knight Landes held the office from 1926 to 1928, and was notable for taking a hard line against corruption.

In 1967, an Ecuadorian foot powder company advertised its product, Pulvapies, as a mayoral candidate in the town of Picoazá. The foot powder won by a clear majority.

Carl B. Stokes was elected as Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio on November 7, 1967, becoming the first African American mayor of a major American city.  At the time of his election, Cleveland was a majority white city with a 37% black population. As mayor, Stokes opened city hall jobs to blacks and women and initiated Cleveland: Now!, a public and private funding program aimed at the revitalization of Cleveland neighborhoods. Stokes served a second two year term 1969-1971.

Carl Stokes

In 1967, Picoazá, Ecuador, elected a brand of foot deodorant as the town’s mayor.

In 1974, a performance artist disguised as Mr. Peanut ran for mayor of Vancouver and received 2685 ballots—3.4 percent of the vote.

In 1977, Jerry Springer was chosen to serve one year as the Democrat mayor by the Cincinnati City Council. He could only serve one year as mayor due to a political arrangement at the time.

Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California on April 8, 1986, with 72.5 % of the vote. As mayor Eastwood adopted a pro-business and tourism stance. He overturned, for instance, a local law banning the sale and consumption of ice cream on Carmel's streets.

In 1987 singer Sonny Bono announced he would run for mayor of Palm Springs, California, admitting,"I've never been qualified for anything I've done." He was elected and remained mayor for four years. Later, Bono was the congressman for California's 44th district from 1995 until his death in 1998.

In the elections for mayor of Rio de Janeiro in 1988 the population was so unhappy with politicians, that a well-known monkey of the local zoo received over 400,000 votes.

Sharon Pratt Dixon was sworn in as mayor of Washington, D.C. on January 2, 1991, thus becoming the first African American woman to lead a major American city. She served as the mayor of the District of Columbia for four years.

Photo of former Washington, DC, mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly

In August 2016, a dog was elected mayor of  the village of Cormorant, Minnesota, for its third term in a row. Duke, a nine-year-old Great Pyrenees,  won by a landslide election thanks to the "highest approval ratings in the country". There are only 12 voters in Cormorant where Duke is often seen eating hamburgers and chips in the local bar.

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