• AP
  • Mayor Richard J. Daley greets vice president Richard M. Nixon at the Palmer House in 1958, 11 years before Nixon became the most American of American presidents

“I believe Chicago is the most American of American cities, and Mayor Richard J. Daley is the most American of big city mayors,” the most Wilmette of Chicago mayors said Wednesday night, at the opening of an old man Daley research collection at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The most American of American cities. As opposed to the most American of Russian cities, which perhaps is Moscow.

Rahm Emanuel may be right that old man Daley was the most American mayor of the most American city, even though that’s a lot of American for one person. He certainly was the bossiest of big-city bosses, with a machine to end all machines.

The most American of American cities is also one of the most segregated, and the most American of big-city mayors had a thing or two to do with that.