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Flashback to 1985 -- last Bears Super Bowl appearance

Monday, January 22, 2007

The legendary 1985 Bears gave Chicago its last Super Bowl win. That's when Mikhail Gobachev became the leader of the Soviet Union. "New Coke" hit the market and the minimum wage was $3.35 an hour. ABC7's Ben Bradley has a look back at what life was like in our city back in 1985.

Harold Washington was mayor. Jim Thompson was governor. And even before the Bears got hot, there was plenty of news in Chicago.

In the mid-80's, the Chicago City Council was frequently more entertaining than a Monday matinee. "Council Wars" was in full bloom.

"I thought the mayor gave up smoking, but I want to know what he switched to because it's obvious he's still smoking something," said 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke in September of 1985.

As it turned out -- Mayor Harold Washington did find one way to strike a temporary truce on the council floor. That came when he served juice -- squeezed from California oranges he won when the Bears beat LA in the NFC Championship game.

Chicagoans remember the days of Washington well.

"We had a lot of confidence in him. We knew he could win. It was like a dream come true for blacks," said Beverly Catherine.

1985 was also the year Gary Dotson was set free. The woman who accused him of rape -- Katherine Crowell Webb -- said she made it all up. Later, Dotson would become the first man in America to be cleared by DNA.

"What else can I say? What else can I do? After all this time, all I can say to you is I'm innocent," said Dotson.

That year, pilots at United Airlines went on a 29-day strike. Arlington Race track burned to the ground. There was talk the track would move to Wisconsin.

But, by the end of the year, all anyone in Chicago was talking about was the "Shuffle."

While the players danced on TV, the "Refrigerettes" stole the show at City Hall. Mayor Washington loved every minute of it.

Mayor Harold Washington sang on the floor of the city council after the Bears won.

"Harold, he was a good singer. Harold was a very good singer. He could sing. I'm not going to sing!" said Mayor Daley.

1985 began with the lowest recorded temperature ever in Chicago. The thermometer read 27 degrees below zero. A year later, in January of '86, when the Bears came home to celebrate the Super Bowl win, fans stood on LaSalle to welcome them home as the thermometer struggled to make it above zero.

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