Chicago polls have checkered past

Feb. 22, 2011 at 3:00 AM

CHICAGO, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Chicago's Tuesday mayoral election follows a tradition of campaigns and elections in the city featuring odd occurrences, including violence.

The Chicago Tribune said the campaign leading up to Tuesday's election for mayor and aldermen, which is notable for front-runner Rahm Emanuel being briefly removed from the ballot and another candidate being accused of smoking crack cocaine, was relatively tame in comparison to some historic elections in the city.

The Tribune said an April 8, 1896, headline read, "Only Two Politicians Are Shot," with the ensuing story explaining the "unusually peaceable" Election Day involved two activists being wounded at the polls.

The newspaper said the 1928 Republican primary for mayor was nicknamed the "Pineapple Primary" after the grenade-like devices used in the acts of violence surrounding the primary.

Supporters of Mayor William Hale "Big Bill" Thompson flocked to his Fish Fans Club boat, a mobile speakeasy, following his 1927 election, weighing the vessel down so much it sank into the Belmont Harbor mud, the Tribune said.

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