1989 – David Dinkins was elected and become New York City’s first African-American mayor.

32392339708 d8626a56ce zFormer Mayor David Dinkins (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor’s Office)

On the night of November 7, 1989, then-Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins made history. With election night returns coming in, it became clear that Dinkins had narrowly defeated then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani and would become the first black mayor of New York City. It was the culmination of an arduous election cycle for Dinkins, having beaten incumbent Mayor Ed Koch in the Democratic primary two months earlier.