Abendpost -- December 07, 1926German-Americans Usher in Campaign of "Big Bill" Thompson as Chicago's Next Mayor.
Three thousand German-Americans assembled yesterday in the Rainbow Garden, to usher in the campaign of William Hale Thompson, who is seeking the office of mayor. The arrangements were in the form of a banquet; it was a political meeting with a love-feast, followed by a ballet.
The president of the German-American William Hale Thompson for Mayor Boosters, George K. Schmidt, introduced Frank P. Vande Westelaken, president of the Germania Club, as toastmaster. Mr. Vande Westelaken, explained in a few words, the purpose of the meeting, spoke of Thompson's demeanor towards the Germans during the war, and then presented "Big Bill."2
The presentation was followed by a demonstration which lasted several minutes. Thompson then spoke about wartimes when they called him a traitor and "Emperor Bill." He emphasized, that he and the other opponents of the war, were only libeled, because they believed in the ideas of George Washington, and held fast to the principles of the Constitution. He holds fast even today to those principles, and consequently does not stand so much alone as in those days.
After a summary of the fight against the United States' joining the League of Nations and the World Court, the speaker turned to local affairs. He made a violent attack on the school superintendent, McAndrews, whom he described as a subject of King George of England, anda pro-British propagandist. He concluded this part of his speech with the words: "If I am elected mayor, McAndrews will fly."3
In the same sharp way, Thompson criticized the present police administration. He declared that 90 per cent of the policemen are used to carry out the prohibition laws, and that in the meantime the criminals can carry on their profession, and terrorize the citizens of the city. The speaker laid emphatic stress on the fact that the police should be employed to suppress crimes, and not in carrying out prohibition laws; and he promised his audience, that if elected, he would introduce such policies.
Stormy applause greeted by Thompson's declaration in favor of repealing the state laws for search and seizure and also the Volstead law. He added that, if under his administration, a policeman should enter the home of a citizen to search for spirituous drinks, he would discharge him on the spot.4
Thompson criticized the administration of Mayor Dever, and explained his own views about the local transportation question, also about navigation from Chicago to the Gulf.
Finally Thompson made the announcement, that he would officially declare his candidacy Friday, December 10th, in the large ballroom of the Hotel Sherman. He intends to become a candidate for mayor only if he receives the written agreement of 300,000 voters, to give him their votes. It is already certain that by Friday more than 300,000 promises will have been received.
"Big Bill" was in good form. He spiced his speech with sharp sarcasm and witty antitheses, and with force and pathos. No wonder, that his speech was continuously interrupted with stormy applause. The meeting came to an end with a patriotic tableau.
I F 2, I B 2, I F 1, I G, IV
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