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Mayor Malcolm E. Nichols collection

Identifier: 0239.001

Scope and Contents note

A majority of the documents in this collection, in particular the correspondence, are from the years after Nichols served as mayor. Many of the documents are speeches written by Nichols for radio addresses to the public as well as general addresses, lectures, and commencements. There are two photographs in this collection and two books. One book contains circulars, newspaper clippings, and campaign ephemera, all from 1925. The second book, titled "The Standard Diary 1933" contains Nichols handwritten day planner for the year 1933. The file "Campaign Material - Nichols" is of interest due to containing pamphlets and hand-outs for a multitude of candidates (Nichols, Joseph J. Mulhern, William M. Butler, Frederick W. Mansfield, and James M. Curley) while running for his first term as mayor and attempting for a second. Additionally, in this file, is a hand drawn design for a Nichols campaign button.


  • Creation: circa 1926-1929


Biographical Note

As Boston's mayor from 1926-1929, Malcolm E. Nichols brought about numerous municipal and economic changes to the city. His political career began shortly after graduating Harvard in 1899, when he was elected onto the City Council in 1905. Following this Nichols served three years as a state representative, six years as a state senator, chairman of the legislative committee on taxation, and helped enact the state income tax law in 1916. He continued his political career on the Boston Schoolhouse Commission in 1919, and shortly after transferred to the Transit Commission. In 1921 President Harding appointed him as Collector of Internal Revenue, and two years later he was chosen as the president of the Boston Federal Business Association.

Once elected mayor, Nichols began to focus on improving the Greater Boston area, as he believed it was vital in keeping Boston at the forefront of the region. He focused on increasing municipal services, building the physical plant, and increasing city worker salaries by almost $3 million. Additionally he was responsible for directing the building of 197 new streets, two dozen schools, repair work on the Central Library, and establishing the Boston Traffic Commission and Boston Port Authority. The work of Nichols' administration saw a building boom that resulted in the 1928 pyramidal building statute, which allowed for more flexibility in skyscraper construction. His career continued until 1929 where he was unable, by law, to run for a second term. Nichols passed away at the age of 73 on February 7, 1951, 21 years after leaving Old City Hall.


1.0 Cubic feet

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Repository Details

Part of the City of Boston Archives Repository

201 Rivermoor St.
West Roxbury MA 02132 United States
617-635-1194 (Fax)