January 18 - 1990 - Marion Barry is Arrested for Possession of Crack Cocaine
When Marion Barry was arrested after being caught on videotape smoking crack in an undercover sting operation, he was also in his third term as the Mayor of Washington, D.C. He was arrested with a girlfriend who had asked him to come and persuaded him to smoke the crack she had brought. Still, Barry had been dogged by rumors of drug use and sexual scandals since he took office in 1979. As Mayor, Barry was more of a character than an effective reformer. A former civil rights advocate and City Council member, Barry's best attribute was simple politicking. After being reelected twice, the effects of his serious drug and alcohol addictions began to show, but Marion Barry managed to survive. In fact, his arrest didn't even end his career. The obvious entrapment meant Barry was only convicted on one earlier possession charge, which led to a 6 month sentence in Federal Prison. He would be out of jail in 1992, returning almost instantly to his position on the City Council. In 1994, he was elected to an unprecedented fourth term as Mayor. When that term was over, he would remain on the City Council until his death in 2014, but he would always be most famous as the Mayor caught smoking crack on videotape.