See this wonderful post by DasFort below:
Several things come to mind when one hears “BAALS.” Fort Wayne residents may recall the famed mayor Harry William Baals who served 3.5 terms (the longest serving mayor of the Fort thus far) before passing away while in office, May 1954, or perhaps the commemorative plaque under the Calhoun Street bridge or even the H.W. Baals Drive through Johnny Appleseed Park.
The rest of the nation most likely recalls the Jimmy Kimmel skits mocking both the city of Fort Wayne, and the revered mayor Baals. Harry Baals even made the number one spot on Google’s Hot Topics list in February 2011. The attention was sparked when thousands of people voted online to name the new city-county building in his honor. Although officials of the city rejected the idea in lieu of Citizens Square, Kimmel caught on to the story and would not let it rest, along with syndicated radio and other late night hosts, the national recognition was largely derisive.
This is exactly why the founders of local nonprofit A Better Fort wanted to take Baals by the horn and reinvent the perception of the underlying and symbolic meaning. “The objective is to take negative stereotypes and rhetoric, poke fun at them and embrace them, as something of the past and make it clear that this is a new day for Fort Wayne,” the official statement reads. “And to show the world that this city, in fact, has #Baals.” (See Full Post HERE)