New York's 103rd mayor, John V. Lindsay, took office full of promise and optimism. His agenda included many of the signature liberal policies of the day – support for civil rights, the war on poverty, mobilization of the power of government to build a better society.
Eight years later, Lindsay’s record was deeply disputed. He had initiated major new programs and had gained the trust of many in the minority communities, but he also left a city in many ways worse than he had found it – dirtier, more divided, and nearly broke. Observers disagreed as to whether these changes happened because of Lindsay or in spite of him.
On this site you can read about the Lindsay administration and its contested legacy, watch campaign commercials for New York’s first “television mayor,” view commentary about his life and times, and explore photo essays that help reveal the special character of the era.
This website is a companion to the exhibition America’s Mayor: John V. Lindsay and the Reinvention of New York on view at the Museum of the City of New York from May 5 through October 3, 2010. Also available are a companion book, and a documentary, Fun City Revisited: The Lindsay Years, produced by Thirteen for WNET.org.