April 4, 1989: Elected mayor over Timothy Evans with 55.4 percent of the vote.
April 24, 1989: Inaugurated as Chicago's 45th mayor, Daley pledges in his inaugural address to justify voters' confidence in his "common sense" style of leadership. He also invokes his father. "You don't hand down policies from generation to generation. But you do hand down values. As I take the oath my father took before me, I carry with me a love for our city and a zest for public service. These were his values; the values he instilled in his children."
Feb. 15, 1990: Daley unveils plans for a $5 billion airport near Lake Calumet on the city's Southeast Side. While the ambitious plan involved rerouting the Calumet River and razing almost all of the homes in the Hegewisch neighborhood, the mayor insists it's not "pie in the sky." It was.
April 2, 1991: Re-elected to a four-year term with 70.7 percent of the vote over R. Eugene Pincham.
March 2, 1992: Daley sobs at a City Hall news conference while discussing his teenage son's role in a brawl at the Daley family's lakeside home in Michigan. "I am very disappointed, as any parent would be, after his son held a party in their home while his parents were away," says the mayor, pale and perspiring. "I am more deeply distressed for the welfare of the young man who was injured in this fight." His naked emotion connects with voters, as it will countless times during his reign.
April 13, 1992: Underground tunnels in the Loop flood with water after a rupture along the Chicago River. Asked if city workers, who had known about the breach and were planning repairs, had failed, Daley replies, "Individuals did, not the city." The mayor asks for the resignation of the head of the department blamed for failing to repair the leak.
June 2, 1993: Daley presents state lawmakers with an $800 million development proposal that includes up to five gambling boats moored in the Chicago River. "I have the right, just as any mayor, to propose things," he says, declaring his casino plan "a win-win situation for everyone in Illinois." The plan fails to win approval from the General Assembly.
April 4, 1995: Re-elected with 60.1 percent of the vote over Roland Burris.
May 24, 1995: The Republican-led Illinois General Assembly grants Daley's request and puts him in control of Chicago Public Schools. The fortunes of the schools and student test scores become a constant measuring stick for Daley throughout his time in office.
July 12, 1995: Daley is joined by Gov. Jim Edgar in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $200 million Navy Pier renovation. The once-derelict pier is festooned with carnival rides, restaurants, stages and beer gardens, becoming the city's biggest tourist attraction for years to come.
July 1995: Amid a heat wave that is later blamed for more than 700 deaths, Daley accuses Cook County Medical Examiner Edmund Donoghue of fanning the crisis and inflating the number of fatalities by including people who would have died regardless of the high temperatures.
August 1996: Chicago hosts the Democratic National Convention. It plays out as a peaceful summertime party in stark contrast to the riot-marred 1968 convention that forever tarnished his father's mayoral tenure. Daley gets emotional during a news conference at the end of the convention: "As the president flew in, the backdrop of Chicago, the skyline, I told them my brother Bill was holding up the moon to keep it there. And the beautiful moon overlooking the lake. I thought of my father. I thought of my father in the way that he knew Chicago was a great city, and he knew that all of us loved this city, and I had great pride in thinking about my father during this convention at all times."
October 1997: The first major scandal of the Daley administration. The mayor's City Council floor leader, Patrick Huels of the 11th Ward, resigns in disgrace amid allegations he used his aldermanic office to benefit his private security firm, which got a loan from city contractor and close Daley friend Michael Tadin. Daley says Huels "did the right thing resigning." He also claims no knowledge of Huels' business dealings. "I don't get into people's private lives. I am not into that."
June 4, 1998: Daley dedicates the new museum campus on the lakefront, made possible by the westward shift of Lake Shore Drive. "To think about the whole lakefront, all the way from Evanston to Indiana, my dream is that it belongs to the people of the city of Chicago," Daley says. "I'm sure, somewhere, Daniel Burnham is smiling down on us and nodding his head in approval."
Feb. 23, 1999: Daley garners 68.9 percent of the vote, besting Bobby Rush.
July 1999: A Tribune investigation reveals that the well-connected Duff family, which held fundraisers for Daley, has secured nearly $100 million from city-related contracts, partly by running a firm falsely listed as woman-owned. Daley denies steering any money to the Duffs, whose members had been linked to organized crime, and promises to "look into" issues raised by the investigation. Federal investigators mount a more serious probe that results in a Duff family member pleading guilty to racketeering, fraud and other charges.
Sept. 30, 1999: Four months after Daley takes control of the CHA, the agency announces a 10-year plan to tear down most of its high-rise buildings and rehab or replace its remaining housing stock. The wall of high-rises along the Dan Ryan Expressway falls to the wrecking ball, as does Cabrini-Green on the Near North Side.
Sept. 20, 2000: Groundbreaking is held for a rooftop garden atop City Hall, the latest of Daley's many green initiatives that also include planting thousands of trees and flowers, and creating miles of bicycle lanes. The rooftop project, designed to lower energy bills, cost nearly $1.5 million, double the initial budget estimate.