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MICHIGAN HISTORY July 22, 1930 – KKK-Backed Detroit Mayor gets the Boot

Alex Constantine - August 2, 2009

BY Zlati Meyer
July 19, 2009

Detroit Mayor Charles Bowles was recalled on July 22, 1930 -- the first time a big-city mayor was booted.

It took close to 31,000 votes to bounce him from the post the reportedly corrupt politician had held for only eight months.

Bowles' plan to reduce crime? Let the local gangs take each other out.

Detroiters also were upset when Bowles -- whose campaign was backed by the Ku Klux Klan -- fired the police commissioner and raised streetcar fares.

The night after Bowles' recall, Jerry Buckley, who had used his radio show to campaign for Bowles' recall, was fatally shot at the La Salle Hotel at Adelaide and Woodward.

The only recalled mayor in Detroit history died in 1957.


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