Sid Davidoff was administrative assistant to Mayor John V. Lindsay for seven years.  Jay Kriegel was Lindsay’s Chief of Staff and Special Counsel.  They were widely considered two of the Mayor’s top personal aides.  In this oral history, Davidoff and Kriegel reveal the inside story of the great snowstorm of 1969.  It was one of the biggest snowfalls of the 20th century in New York City.  When Mayor Lindsay went to visit Queens after the snowfall he was confronted with impassable streets and angry residents.  The city’s failure to clear the streets in Queens convinced many middle class white New Yorkers in the outer boroughs that the mayor was not interested in them or their problems.  Davidoff explains that sanitation workers (who are also responsible for clearing the snow in New York), still angry with Mayor Lindsay over the sanitation strike the year before, purposefully left the snow unplowed in parts of Queens.  Kriegel explores practical failures of the city’s response and how the storm transformed snow from a weather event to a political issue for mayors of New York ever since.  

LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College/ CUNY
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