• Short Summary

    Richard Hatcher was inaugurated as the first Negro mayor of Gary, Indiana, Monday (Jan. 1).


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    Richard Hatcher was inaugurated as the first Negro mayor of Gary, Indiana, Monday (Jan. 1).

    Mr. Hatcher, a bachelor who doesn't drink or smoke and attends Baptist Church regularly, was sworn-in by U.S. Judge James Parsons, also a Negro, in the Gary Memorial Auditorium before a racially-mixed crowd of 2,500 persons. The planned outdoor ceremonies were forced indoors by near zero temperatures. Hatcher-supporters danced into the night at a huge inaugural ball.

    The 34-year-old attorney pledged in his inaugural speech that he would attempt to wipe out "seeds of discord" and "the poison of racism." He said, "Let it be known from this moment that there are some who are no longer welcome in Gary. Those who have made a profession of violating our laws are no longer welcome. He who would stick up our businessmen and rape our women is no longer welcome."
    The new mayor promised to give the city of 180,000 residents of which 55 percent are Negro, a new look. Gary, which is about 40 miles southeast of Chicago and is one of the leading steel-producing areas in the United States, has had an unsavoury reputation.

    Mr. Hatcher defeated Republican Joseph Radigan, a white businessman, and members of his own Democratic Party to win the November 7th election which resulted in several indictments for vote fraud. The new mayor began his clean-up move immediately by appointing as new police chief, the former head of the Gary narcotics squad who has a reputation as a hard-hitting investigator.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
    Black & White
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