What Happened on May 4th – Riot in Haymarket Square

The Haymarket Riot

The Haymarket Riot

Throughout history, struggles over labor have often ignited into violence.  Such was the case on May 4, 1886.  In Haymarket Square in Chicago, Illinois, the police came to break up a labor demonstration and someone threw a bomb at the policemen.  The police responded with gunfire, killing several people in the crowd and injuring many more.

More than 1,500 Chicago workers came to the rally which was organized by German-born labor radicals.  They were protesting the killing of a striker by the Chicago police the day before. Due to rain, the crowd was thinning and a force of nearly 200 policemen arrived to disperse the workers. As the police advanced toward the 300 remaining protesters, an individual who was never positively identified threw a bomb at them. After the explosion and subsequent police gunfire, more than a dozen people lay dead or dying, and close to 100 were injured.

wo page spread from Frank Leslie’s illustrated Newspaper showing police charging rioters in Chicago’s Haymarket Square and bust portraits of seven policemen

wo page spread from Frank Leslie’s illustrated Newspaper showing police charging rioters in Chicago’s Haymarket Square and bust portraits of seven policemen

National xenophobia was the result.  The fear of anything foreign and hundreds of foreign-born radicals and labor leaders were rounded up in Chicago and elsewhere. A grand jury eventually indicted 31 suspected labor radicals in connection with the bombing, and eight men were convicted in a sensational and controversial trial. Judge Joseph E. Gary imposed the death sentence on seven of the men, and the eighth was sentenced to 15 years in prison. On November 11, 1887, Samuel Fielden, Adolph Fischer, August Spies, and Albert Parson were executed.

Of the three others sentenced to death, one committed suicide on the eve of his execution and the other two had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment by Illinois Governor Richard J. Oglesby. Governor Oglesby was reacting to widespread public questioning of their guilt, which later led his successor, Governor John P. Altgeld, to pardon fully the three activists still living in 1893.

What Happened on May 3rd – MADD @MADDOnline

MADD

What must it be like to lose your child to a drunk driver.  So many have.  On May 3, 1980, 13-year-old Cari Lightner was walking along the road to attend a church carnival when a car swerved out of control, struck and killed her.  Cari’s tragic death compelled her mother, Candy Lightner, to found the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which would grow into one of the country’s most influential non-profit organizations.

 

Candy Lightner, president of MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, holds a picture of her late daughter inside her office in Sacramento, Calif., on Feb. 26, 1981. Lightner's daughter was killed by a drunk driver. (AP Photo)

Candy Lightner, president of MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, holds a picture of her late daughter inside her office in Sacramento, Calif., on Feb. 26, 1981. Lightner’s daughter was killed by a drunk driver. (AP Photo)

When police arrested Clarence Busch, the driver who hit Cari, they found that he had a record of arrests for intoxication, and had in fact been arrested on another hit-and-run drunk-driving charge less than a week earlier. Candy Lightner learned from a policeman that drunk driving was rarely prosecuted harshly, and that Busch was unlikely to spend significant time behind bars. Furious, Lightner decided to take action against what she later called “the only socially accepted form of homicide.” MADD was the result. (Charged with vehicular homicide, Busch did eventually serve 21 months in jail.)

  • In 1980 some 27,000 alcohol-related traffic fatalities occurred in the United States, including 2,500 in California alone.
  • Lightner began lobbying California’s governor, Jerry Brown, to set up a state task force to investigate drunk driving.
  • Brown eventually agreed, making her the task force’s first member.
  • In 1981, California passed a law imposing minimum fines of $375 for drunk drivers and mandatory imprisonment of up to four years for repeat offenders.
  • President Ronald Reagan soon asked Lightner to serve on the National Commission on Drunk Driving, which recommended raising the minimum drinking age to 21 and revoking the licenses of those arrested for drunk driving.
  • In July 1984, she stood next to Reagan as he signed a law reducing federal highway grants to any state that failed to raise its drinking age to 21.
Since that time, the 21 minimum drinking age law has saved about 900 lives per year as estimated by the National Traffic Highway Administration (NHTSA).

Since that time, the 21 minimum drinking age law has saved about 900 lives per year as estimated by the National Traffic Highway Administration (NHTSA).

  • The following year, all 50 states had tightened their drunk-driving laws.
  • By 1985, MADD had expanded to some 320 chapters and 600,000 volunteers and donors nationwide
  • MADD went on to wage a campaign to lower the nation’s legal blood alcohol content from 0.1 percent to 0.08.
  • The group won a major victory in 2000, when the Clinton administration passed a law tying federal highway funds to states’ adoption of the 0.08 standard.
US President Bill Clinton applauds Millie Webb (L), National President of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), 23 October 2000 at the White House

US President Bill Clinton applauds Millie Webb (L), National President of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), 23 October 2000 at the White House

  • By that year–the 20th anniversary of MADD’s founding–alcohol-related fatalities had dropped some 40 percent over two decades, and states with the toughest drunk-driving laws were beginning to treat alcohol-related fatalities as murder.

What Happened on May 2nd – Lou Gehrig Benches Himself @alsassociation

The Yankee duo reunited – Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939. Within a decade a similar testimonial would honor Ruth, who died from cancer in 1948. Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth (right) on "Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day" (July 4, 1939) at Yankee Stadium, following Gehrig's retirement.

The Yankee duo reunited – Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939. Within a decade a similar testimonial would honor Ruth, who died from cancer in 1948.
Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth (right) on “Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day” (July 4, 1939) at Yankee Stadium, following Gehrig’s retirement.

Probably one of the greatest players to ever walk onto a baseball diamond, Lou Gehrig put down his bat on May 2, 1939.  He benched himself for a poor play and ended his record of 13 consecutive years of never missing a game.  That is 2,130 games.  As the world knows, it was more than a bad play.  Lou Gehrig developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease and he would never play again. Gehrig began to experience symptoms of ALS during the 1938 season, but doctors initially struggled to diagnose him.

How great was Lou Gehrig?  His offensive output was as extraordinary as his consecutive games streak. The left-handed slugger led the American League in RBIs five times, driving in at least 100 runs 13 years in a row. He led the American League (AL) in home runs three times, led in runs four times and led the league in hitting once. In the Yankees first golden era, Gehrig batted cleanup, right after Babe Ruth, the bigger star of the two. It was Gehrig, however, who was named American League MVP in 1927, on a Yankee team considered the greatest team in history; he won the award again in 1936, another championship year for the Yankees. In all, Gehrig won six World Series titles with the Yankees.  I wrote about Lou Gehrig previous in honor of his debut in baseball.

On July 4, 1939, the Yankees held Lou Gehrig Day at Yankee Stadium. With over 60,000 fans in the stands and his former teammates there to honor him, Gehrig was overcome by emotion, and his legs shook from his developing paralysis. Gehrig stared hard at the ground, unable to speak, until his longtime manager Joe McCarthy and teammate Babe Ruth encouraged him. Then, in gratitude for his great career, and knowing he was dying from an unknown disease, he said: “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”  Lou Gehrig died on June 2, 1941, with his wife Eleanor by his side.

#sundayphotofiction #poetry The Race

Submitted for Sunday Photo Fiction

spf

Today I am participating in the Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. You can find out about this weekly blogging challenge as well as read the stories of other participants at the link above.  We are provided with the photograph below as a prompt for our stories.

This week I try my hand at a Villanelle poem.  Please enjoy The Race.

Credit: Al Forbes of A Mixed Bag

Credit: Al Forbes of A Mixed Bag

The Race

Why do they go so fast?

Stirring up dust in the sunlight

In the stands the fans are vast

 

The race starts but it cannot last

Won’t give up place without a fight

Why do they go so fast?

 

No results assured, don’t look at the past

They speed by and fly to the right

In the stands the fans are vast

 

In this moving tableau, the cars are the cast

Racing for place with all their might

Why do they go so fast?

 

One of them is done now, its engine did blast

Look at the flames, the driver’s plight

In the stands the fans are vast

 

The race goes on, the wreckage bypassed.

The driver lives, what a glorious sight

Why do they go so fast?

In the stands the fans are vast

What Happened on May 1st – It’s A Twister and Then Some

Being born and raised in New Jersey in the United States, the weather, though important, isn’t something that is usually a national story or at the level that causes major destruction or casualties.  This cannot be said about the southern and midwestern United States.  Known for the annual season of tornadoes, May 1, 2003 marked the start of a record breaking series of tornadoes that by the end of the month,  516 would be recorded.  The storms of May 2003 came after an unusually calm March and April, the normally most active period.  In addition, there weren’t even many thunderstorms.  All of this was highly unusual so the moist warm air arrived in the Mexico late.  As a result, the first ten days of May were significantly destructive with more than 300 tornadoes.  The previous high for the entire month of May was 399 in 1992 and it was only May 10th.  Would there be as many deaths as was recorded for the same period in 1953? The answer is no because unlike the 1953 storms, 2003 did not have any F5 category tornadoes. An F5 tornado has winds in excess of 261 mph (420 km/h).  By the end of the month, 38 people would be killed.  The storms of 1953 resulted in 163 deaths.

Of the 516 tornadoes, Illinois would record 74, 50% more than its previous monthly high.  Missouri experienced 71 twisters after a previous high of 29 in December 1982.

The worst series of tornadoes in a small window of time was April 3 -4 1974 when 148 individual tornadoes were recorded across the Midwest in an 18-hour period.  In one hour, there were 20 tornadoos recorded at the same time.  More than 300 people died in the 1974 storm.

 

A 1970s Time Capsule from #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z – Z is also for ZOOM

Z

A 1970’s Time Capsule

POP CULTURE

The A to Z Challenge has dueling decades going on.  Check out the 1980s theme from a fellow blogger HERE

After I finished my post for Z and felt it was a stretch at best for covering the letter Z, I watched a Youtube video about the 1970s (included my other Z) and a show I remember well was included. I thought “Ah I could have done ZOOM” so I am.

ZOOM on public television from 1972 to 1978

ZOOM on public television from 1972 to 1978

ZOOM is a half-hour educational television program, created almost entirely by children, which aired on PBS originally from January 9, 1972 to March 24, 1978.

  • Encouraged children to “turn off the TV and do it!”
  • A cast of seven kids (known as ZOOMers) present or perform various activities such as games, plays, poems, recipes, jokes, songs, movies, science experiments, and informal chats on such subjects such as hospitals, prejudice, etc., all suggested by viewer contributions. These activities were introduced by such titles as ZOOMovie, ZOOM Play of the Week, ZOOMrap (later ZOOMchat), ZOOMgame, ZOOMdo, ZOOMgoody, ZOOMphenomenon, etc.
  • Do you remember the mail-in requests to “Write ZOOM, Z-Double-O-M, Box 3-5-0, Boston, Mass 0-2-1-3-4: send it to ZOOM!”.
  • How about the language games.  Watching video now of it gives me a headache.  The program also had various language games, including Ubbi-Dubbi, where the syllable “ub” was added before each vowel sound in each syllable of each word (“H-ub-i, fr-ub-iends,” etc.). Another language game, “Fannee Doolee,” centered around a character who likes any person, place, thing or concept with double letters in it but hates its non-double-lettered equivalent, e.g., “Fannee Doolee likes sweets but hates candy.”  This part I don’t remember.
  • Each show had a “ZOOMguest” sequence, a short film documentary about a child with a special talent.
  • In the show’s first two seasons, Tracy hosted a “Tracy Asks…” sequence in which she asked a question, e.g., “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” or “What is the world’s longest word?”, and local children are interviewed to give their answers to the question in a “man on the street” vein.  Did Jay Leno borrow his segments from ZOOM?
  • The performers in the original series were known for wearing striped rugby shirts and jeans and for performing barefoot, although the cast members started performing in shoes from the third season (1973) on.
  • ZOOM was a new kind of series when it premiered on January 3, 1972. Unlike other children’s fare at the time, it was, for the most part, unscripted. Far from seeking to make stars of the child performers, the contracts prohibited them from making any television appearances or doing commercials for three years after they left the show.  I don’t know if any of them went onto other entertainment aftewards but on IMDB, all cast members are listed but no photorgraphs which probably means they had not.
  • ZOOM was intended to inspire children to be active investigators, creators, and problem-solvers as well as introduce them to the principles of ethnic diversity.
  • ZOOM lasted six seasons (1972–1978) and featured 49 ZOOMers.
  • With so many ZOOMers over the seasons, the show had a transitioning segment. During the first 3 seasons, cast members were transitioned during the show’s catchy production number which introduced the new cast members to the remaining cast members. The same song was used for each transition (“How do ya do do-dee-do, how do ya do-dee-do-dee-do, how’s your sister, how’s your brother, how are you? (Como esta?)”). In the last 3 seasons, an entirely new cast was used, usually with no reference to the former cast (i.e., a “cold” transition). Zoom was also presented in most episodes with captions intact before the development of closed-captioning.  Here is a composite video that someone put together on Youtube that covers the entire cast over all the year (maybe even the remake series).

A 1970s Time Capsule from #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z – Zoinks! and Other 1970s Slang from A to Z

Z

A 1970’s Time Capsule

POP CULTURE

Zoinks
 I’ve reached the end of the challenge and have survived.  I had almost given up finding something for the letter  “Z” but then I remembered that I had wanted to do a post on 1970s slang but forgot on the “S” day.  Today I bring you Zoinks! and several other slang terms from the 1970s.  Do you remember any slang.  I’d love to hear any that I haven’t included below.
All Right – that’s da bomb
Be There Or Be Square – Means Be at the party or be boring
Boob Tube – Television, TV
Brother – Mate, buddy, good friend
Can Ya Dig It? – are you cool with that, is that okay? Do you understand?
Chick – girl
Crib – home, or house.
Deadhead – a grateful dead fan
Do Me A Solid – asking for a favor
Doobie – joint, marijuana cigarette
Far Out – really cool
Flower Power – Rather choose peace over war
Foxy – Very attractive girl, “She’s pretty Foxy!”
Freak-me-out – Means : that really surprised me!
Funky – Different in a cool way!
The Fuzz – the police
Gas – fantastic!
Gig – Job. e.g. I start my new gig today.
Gimme Five – Slap hands (one palm over the other, then in reverse) with another person, as in agreement with you, or something you really like
Gimme Some Skin – This means to shake someones hand. it lasted from the 60’s into the 70’s. ‘gimme some skin man’
Good Vibes – positive energy
Groovy Baby – That’s hottness! something is cool…
Hang – to exist with a person or in a place
Heads – commonly referred to as the pot heads in the 70’s
Heavy – Somthing serious or important. Sometines used to describe somthing which is depressing. For example, “Polluting the planet… that’s heavy, man.”
Here’s The Skinny – It means ok here’s the lowdown or here’s the catch
Hip – Cool. “That song was very hip”
Honkey – A term (usu. derogatory) of a white man. Most known by George Jefferson of “The Jeffersons” TV series.
Hunk – Girls’ term for a handsome or otherwise attractive boy. “Ooh, he’s such a hunk!”
I’ll Call You Out! – Let’s fight!
Jinkies – Sign of surprise, “Oh my god!”, “Oh dear!”
Jive or Jiving – Jive can mean to talk or chat. Jiving means to talk nonsense, to be deceptive, or nonsensical. “You aint Jiving man?” That would be the same as, “Is that the truth?”
Keep On Truckin – keep moving
Kosher – cool, sweet.
Later – See you at another time.
Let’s Boogie – Let’s get going, or Let’s dance
The Man – The stupid cops
Mulah – money, cash
Narc – Narc: Tattler. Someone who turns other people in for anything, especially drug use.
No Way, Jose – this means a person disagrees about something.
Off The Hook – that’s cooler than cool
Peace – relax “chill”
Pig – police
Plastic – Fake, Phony – Not real.
Psyched – As in “Get psyched”. Fired up, excited, energized.
Rad – radical, cool, wicked
Rah Rah – Jock, square, un-cool person.
Right On – cool man or correct
See ya on the flipside, sometimes Catch ya on the flipside – See ya later
Shotgun – Laying claim to the front seat
Sit On It – Made popular by “Happy Days,” it means basically “shut up,” “go to hell,” or some other exasperated expression. “Up your nose with a rubber hose” was a similar expression, but popularized by “Welcome Back, Kotter.”
Smokey – used in the C.B language to define a cop. Ex: Hey, there is a smokey on our tail.
Split – To Leave. “I’m gonna split”
Streak – To run in public in the nude. Very popular in 1974.
T.C.B – Used among the soul brothers.Stands for “Take Care of Buisness”
Ten-four Good Buddy – Borrowed from CB slang; probably not used as much by kids as adults. “Ten-Four” means “I got your message” and “good buddy” was what CBers called each other. “You got the skinny on that?” “Ten-four, good buddy.”
That’s So Tubular, Man! – tubular/radical- awesome, cool, excellent, stellar
Totally – definitely
Up Your Nose With A Rubber Hose! – No way, or I’m ticked off by what you did. From “Welcome Back, Kotter.” Also, In your ear!
Veg Out – to relax
What’s Happenin’ Man – How’s it going ? Life being good to ya?
Whats The Skinny – Whats up? whats goin on?
Yea Right – A response to use when someone says something totally bogus
Zoinks! – scared, horrified;shocked
Now that we have come to the end of the A to Z Challenge, here are a few trips down 1970s memory lane.
This video sums up my month long theme.  Some of them I touched on and others I wish I had thought of it at the time I was writing my posts.

All images in this article are in the public domain. For any YouTube clips embedded in my posts, I am not the uploader.

The A to Z Challenge has dueling decades going on.  Check out the 1980s theme from a fellow blogger HERE

A 1970s Time Capsule from #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z – Y is for Young Frankenstein

YA 1970’s Time Capsule

POP CULTURE

Young-Frankenstein-1974

Young Frankenstein is a 1974 American horror comedy film directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder as the title character, a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein.

Gene Wilder Young Frankenstein

Gene Wilder Young Frankenstein

The supporting cast includes:

Teri Garr

Cloris Leachman

Cloris Leachman in Young Frankenstein

Cloris Leachman in Young Frankenstein

Marty Feldman

Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein

Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein

Peter Boyle

Peter Boyle in Young Frankenstein

Peter Boyle in Young Frankenstein

Madeline Kahn

Kenneth Mars

Kenneth Mars in Young Frankenstein

Kenneth Mars in Young Frankenstein

Richard Haydn

Richard Haydn in Young Frankenstein

Richard Haydn in Young Frankenstein

  Gene Hackman

Gene Hackman in Young Frankenstein

Gene Hackman in Young Frankenstein

The screenplay was written by Wilder and Brooks.

The film is an affectionate parody of the classic horror film genre, in particular the various film adaptations of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein produced by Universal in the 1930s. Most of the lab equipment used as props was created by Kenneth Strickfaden for the 1931 film Frankenstein. To help evoke the atmosphere of the earlier films, Brooks shot the picture entirely in black-and-white, a rarity in the 1970s, and employed 1930s-style opening credits and scene transitions such as iris outs, wipes, and fades to black. The film also features a period score by Brooks’ longtime composer John Morris.

A to Z on the Music Charts

You Light Up My Life by Debby Boone, the daughter of infamous crooner, Pat Boone reached number 1 on Billboard Hot 100 on October 5, 1977 and stayed number 1 for am amazing ten weeks.

 

All images in this article are in the public domain. For any YouTube clips embedded in my posts, I am not the uploader.

The A to Z Challenge has dueling decades going on.  Check out the 1980s theme from a fellow blogger HERE

A 1970s Time Capsule from #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z – X Marks the Spots – Where is Jimmy Hoffa Buried?

X

BLOGGING FROM A TO Z

A 1970’s Time Capsule

NEWS AND NOTEWORTHY

There are several rumors as to where the body of Jimmy Hoffa was buried, hence X marks the spots.

James Riddle “Jimmy” Hoffa (born February 14, 1913; disappeared July 30, 1975, declared legally dead July 30, 1982) was an American labor union leader.  Hoffa was closely involved with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) union, as an organizer, from 1932 to 1975. By 1952, Hoffa had risen to national vice-president of the IBT, and served as the union’s General President between 1958 and 1971. He secured the first national agreement for teamsters’ rates in 1964, and played a major role in the growth and development of the union, which eventually became the largest single union in the United States, with over 1.5 million members at certain times, during his terms as its leader.  Hoffa became involved with organized crime from the early years of his Teamsters work, and this connection continued until his disappearance in 1975. He was convicted of jury tampering, attempted bribery, and fraud in 1964. Hoffa was imprisoned in 1967, and sentenced to 13 years, after exhausting the appeal process. In mid-1971 he resigned the Teamsters’ presidency, an action that was part of a pardon agreement with President Richard Nixon, to facilitate his release later that year. Nixon blocked Hoffa from union activities until 1980 (which would have been the end of his prison term, had he served the full sentence). Hoffa attempted to overturn this order and to regain support.  Hoffa was last seen in late July 1975, outside the Machus Red Fox, a suburban Detroit restaurant.

Thomredfox

His body still has not been found. His disappearance gave rise to many theories as to what happened to him and where his body was hidden. Here are some of those theories which I borrowed from http://listosaur.com/bizarre-stuff/10-theories-on-jimmy-hoffas-final-fate/:

10. Hoffa is Still Alive

1975 Press Photo Rolland McMaster, Labor Official

1975 Press Photo Rolland McMaster, Labor Official

 

On Valentines Day, 2013, Hoffa would have turned 100 so it being valid today is very slim.  Could he have ever been still alive after his disappearance?  The theory emerged shortly after his disappearance, when another Teamster (and former Hoffa confidante), Rolland McMaster, asserted that his one-time friend had simply left his wife, Josephine, and their two children to live with a “black go-go dancer” in South America. According to the FBI Vault, McMaster himself was once a suspect, and in recent years, an ex-con who allegedly worked with McMaster came forward with the gun supposedly used to kill Hoffa.

 

9. An Alien Abduction

Drawing by Billy Norris as described by the witness

Drawing by Billy Norris as described by the witness

While you might think this is a completely fringe theory — that aliens abducted the union leader — it’s not so laughable in among UFO enthusiasts. As the story goes, a 60-something retired used car salesman, Tom Dawson, saw Hoffa aboard a UFO, bring on Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. (Dawson’s sighting was the same year the movie was released.)  Dawson described the craft as 50 feet in diameter with flashing lights and around seven, short, hairless beings, with pointy ears and noses and speaking in a “high-pitched gibberish.” Apparently, the only creature aboard that didn’t speak that way was Hoffa, who announced his presence (only after Dawson claims he was subjected to an invasive medical exam by the “humanoids”) by screaming three times: “”I am Jimmy Hoffa!” Apparently, the alien beings didn’t like that, cut Jimmy off during the fourth repetition and the voice wasn’t heard from again.

8. A Notorious Hitman Took Down Hoffa

Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski - Organized Crime

Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski – Organized Crime

Even in the savage world of mob hitmen, Richard Kuklinski’s ruthlessness stood out. Kuklinski (aka “The Iceman”) claims to have killed more than 200 people during a 40-year reign of terror as the heavy for organized crime syndicates in NYC and New Jersey. Hoffa’s murder seems particularly elaborate; in the book, The Iceman: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer, Kuklinski claims to have first stabbed Hoffa with a hunting knife at the base of his skull before placing the corpse in a 55-gallon oil drum, which he then set on fire and burned for 30 minutes. From there, Kuklinski dumped the barrel in a New Jersey junkyard, and later moved it to a car trunk when an accomplice started talking to the feds. That car, he maintained, was later crushed and subsequently shipped to Japan as scrap metal for new cars.

7. Hoffa is Buried at a Popular Golf Course

Officials at Forest Dunes Golf Course, a nationally recognized course in Michigan’s lower peninsula, don’t shy away from its possible connection to Hoffa. According to the Forest Dunes website, Hoffa may be a “permanent fixture to the grounds,” due to the course’s location on a site once owned by “The Detroit Partnership” made up of three local mafia families. Those families created one of the biggest ranches in the state’s history, with enormous barns, a private runway and more eerie features — like underground tunnels and hidden rooms. Rumored to be the site of dozens of “mafia-style” executions, including Hoffa’s, the ranch sat abandoned for years after the feds seized it for tax evasion. Even though the notorious compound has made way for a lush golf course, the site and its nearby Pere Cheney cemetery still inspire ghost stories. As the course’s website notes, “If you happen to find Jimmy, please notify Superintendent Jim Blunk first, the FBI second!”

Forest Dunes Golf Course

Forest Dunes Golf Course

6. Hoffa was Processed in a Meat-Rendering Plant

Meat Rendering Plant

This stomach-churning theory is referenced in the FBI’s Vault, a collection of thousands of historical documents made public in 2011. These documents refer to investigations of properties, including meatpacking plants, owned by another Teamsters official (and reputed Chicago kingpin), Allen Dorfman. Incidentally, Dorfman inspired the role of Andy Stone in the gang flick Casino, and the real public figure was gunned down in the early 1980s — an act prompted by fears that he’d squeal to the FBI to avoid an impending 55-year prison sentence tied to a number of felonies, including bribing a public official and fraud. FBI records note that Dorfman’s business interests were “supposedly involved in the disappearance of Hoffa.” This further supports a popular theory in conspiracy circles: that Hoffa’s remains were run through a mob-owned fat-rendering plant, which burned to the ground in a “mysterious” fire.

5. The CIA Ordered Hoffa Killed

Charles “Chuckie” O'Brien

Charles “Chuckie” O’Brien

Ultimately, all sensational conspiracies come back to one thing: the government did it. Chuckie O’Brien, who many believe was like another son to Hoffa as O’Brien’s father died when he was a young boy, contends that the government did it. But many surmise that’s just a weak way to deflect attention from the ultimate double-cross: that this man would literally drive the only father figure he really had to his death, delivering him to the arms of the former mob allies who wanted the union bigwig dead. But there are many others out there who contend the CIA wanted Hoffa dead because of something much bigger than bickering among Teamsters union officials and their mob-connected associates; that Hoffa was the original link between the underworld and the CIA in a plot employing mob muscle and devised to take out Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in the 1960s. In fact, mob hitman Charles Grimaldi, in his book, Momo Giancana was hit by the CIA, purports (albeit this is a highly simplified version of the theory) that Hoffa and two reputed mob leaders “got popped” because “people in high places” worried that that they might turn informants to this conspiracy.

4. Hoffa Is Buried in Savannah, Georgia

Sheraton

One theory holds that Hoffa is buried under a former hotel-turned-upscale condo development near Savannah, on Wilmington Island. The Teamsters Union Pension Fund of the Central States once owned the hotel. In addition to the convenient ownership of this property, the flames for this rumor were fanned by county officials who, according to local press, noted there was a suspicious “huge rush” by hotel ownership to pour the concrete for a helicopter pad near the main parking lot right around the time Hoffa went MIA. However, a developer tasked with renovating the old hotel debunks at least the helicopter pad claim, noting that this portion of the property wasn’t even created until six years after Hoffa disappeared.

3. President Nixon Knew Something About Hoffa’s Disappearance

Frank Fitzsimmons, President of the Teamsters Union and President Richard M. Nixon

Frank Fitzsimmons, President of the Teamsters Union and President Richard M. Nixon

Much has been made through the years of President Richard Nixon’s friendship with the mob, theorized as a means of generating political goodwill and, in some respects, indicative of a time period when the lines between good and evil were blurred, and organized crime truly ruled. Conspiracy theorists constantly go back to Nixon commuting what would have been a 13-year sentence for Hoffa for jury tampering. That decision only came with one, albeit important, stipulation: that Hoffa stay out of union politics until the spring of 1980. It’s widely reported that sentiments were shifting toward Hoffa’s successor, Frank Fitzsimmons, as mob leaders considered him easier to manipulate than Hoffa. But the former Teamsters leader had his eye on returning to power which, it’s surmised, would not have benefited the mafia or political interests at that time. Although the FBI does not believe Nixon knew anything about Hoffa’s disappearance, the agency suspects that Nixon’s operatives collected $1 million from organized crime figures to use as “hush money” for the Watergate burglars.

2. Hoffa Communicated His Fate in an “ESP Dream”

The FBI called in archaeologists and anthropologists to search the Hidden Dreams Farm in Milford Township, Mich. on May 19, 2006.

The FBI called in archaeologists and anthropologists to search the Hidden Dreams Farm in Milford Township, Mich. on May 19, 2006.

The FBI Vault is bursting with colorful material about Hoffa, including this gem: According to archived documents, Hoffa reached out to a man 20 years after his disappearance, via an “ESP dream.” In that dream, this man was told the Teamsters boss (at least what remained of him) was holed up in a house in Waterford Township, Michigan, near Detroit. Apparently, this “informant” also disclosed that he likes to watch the X-Files and that there was a “terrible smell” coming from the home. There is no mistaking that community and its environs are a mecca for fruitless Hoffa searches. Through the years, law enforcement and media alike have descended upon the area, combing fields, even tearing down a horse barn to get to a body that never surfaced.

1. Hoffa is Buried Under a Famous Detroit Landmark

The most persistent theory about Hoffa’s final fate is that he was buried during construction of the former Giants Stadium in New Jersey, now a parking lot for MetLife Stadium. In 2011, speculation surfaced that Hoffa’s final resting spot is under Detroit’s Renaissance Center, the global headquarters for General Motors that features a mix of lodging, restaurants, event spaces and retailers. Police didn’t get this info from some eccentric; the information came from Hoffa’s former chauffeur, Marvin Elkind, who later became a police informant and subject of the book, The Weasel: A Double Life in the Mob. Apparently, during a Teamsters meeting in Detroit in 1985, a mob capo pointed to the Renaissance Center’s foundation and told Elkind and several others, “Say good morning to Jimmy Hoffa, boys.” At least the time frame fits; construction on the center lasted from 1973 to 1977.

 

The A to Z Challenge has dueling decades going on.  Check out the 1980s theme from a fellow blogger HERE

 

A 1970s Time Capsule from #AtoZChallenge – W is for Watergate

WBLOGGING FROM A TO Z

A 1970’s Time Capsule

NEWS AND NOTEWORTHY

WATERGATE

 

 Early on the morning of June 17, 1972, a crime with astronomical political fall-out is committed and five men are arrested.  Their crime was breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office-hotel-apartment complex in Washington, D.C.

Watergate Hotel

Watergate Hotel

The political fall-out, the resignation of the President of the United States; however on the day of the arrest, the connection to Richard Millhouse Nixon was unknown.  These men were caught with burglary tools, cameras and film, and three pen-size tear gas guns. At the scene of the crime, and in rooms the men rented at the Watergate, sophisticated electronic bugging equipment was found. Three of the men were Cuban exiles, one was a Cuban American, and the fifth was James W. McCord, Jr., a former CIA agent. That day, the suspects, who said they were “anti-communists,” were charged with felonious burglary and possession of implements of crime.

Conspirators

On June 18, however, it was revealed that James McCord was the salaried security coordinator for President Richard Nixon’s reelection committee.

PHOTO: Electronics expert and former CIA agent James W. McCord was arrested in connection. Metropolitan Police/AP Photo

PHOTO: Electronics expert and former CIA agent James W. McCord was arrested in connection. Metropolitan Police/AP Photo

The next day, E. Howard Hunt, Jr., a former White House aide, was linked to the five suspects.  In July, G. Gordon Liddy, finance counsel for the Committee for the Re-election of the President, was also implicated as an accomplice.

E. Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy

E. Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy

In August, President Nixon announced that a White House investigation of the Watergate break-in had concluded that administration officials were not involved. In September, Liddy, Hunt, McCord, and the four Cubans were indicted by a federal grand jury on eight counts of breaking into and illegally bugging the Democratic National Committee headquarters.  If you know anything about Watergate, you know that it did not end there.

W is also for Woodward and Berstein and Washington Post

In September and October, reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of The Washington Post uncovered evidence of illegal political espionage carried out by the White House and the Committee for the Re-election of the President, including the existence of a secret fund kept for the purpose and the existence of political spies hired by the committee. Despite these reports, and a growing call for a Watergate investigation on Capitol Hill, Richard Nixon was reelected president in November 1972 in a landslide victory.

Reporters Bob Woodward, right, and Carl Bernstein, whose reporting of the Watergate case won them a Pulitzer Prize, sit in the newsroom of the Washington Post in Washington May 7, 1973. (AP Photo)

Reporters Bob Woodward, right, and Carl Bernstein, whose reporting of the Watergate case won them a Pulitzer Prize, sit in the newsroom of the Washington Post in Washington May 7, 1973. (AP Photo)

In January 1973, five of the Watergate burglars pleaded guilty, and two others, Liddy and McCord, were convicted. At their sentencing on March 23, U.S. District Court Judge John J. Sirica read a letter from McCord charging that the White House had conducted an extensive “cover-up” to conceal its connection with the break-in. In April, Attorney General Richard Kleindienst and two top White House advisers, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, resigned, and White House counsel John Dean was fired.

watergate_graphic

On May 17, 1973, the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, headed by Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina, began televised proceedings on the rapidly escalating Watergate affair.

Senators Howard Baker (R-TN) and Sam Ervin (D-NC) cast votes during the Senate Watergate Committee hearings of 1973. Seated behind the senators is the committee deputy counsel Rufus Edmisten, whose oral history interview is included in the collection of the U.S. Senate Historical Office. (Photo courtesy Senate Historical Office.)

Senators Howard Baker (R-TN) and Sam Ervin (D-NC) cast votes during the Senate Watergate Committee hearings of 1973. Seated behind the senators is the committee deputy counsel Rufus Edmisten, whose oral history interview is included in the collection of the U.S. Senate Historical Office. (Photo courtesy Senate Historical Office.)

One week later, Harvard Law professor Archibald Cox was sworn in as special Watergate prosecutor.

Archibald Cox sworn in, 5/25/73

Archibald Cox sworn in, 5/25/73

During the Senate hearings, former White House legal counsel John Dean testified that the Watergate break-in had been approved by former Attorney General John Mitchell with the knowledge of White House advisers Ehrlichman and Haldeman, and that President Nixon had been aware of the cover-up. Meanwhile, Watergate prosecutor Cox and his staff began to uncover widespread evidence of political espionage by the Nixon re-election committee, illegal wiretapping of thousands of citizens by the administration, and contributions to the Republican Party in return for political favors.

19730730_Newsweek-The_Nixon_Tapes

In July, the existence of what were to be called the Watergate tapes–official recordings of White House conversations between Nixon and his staff–was revealed during the Senate hearings. Cox subpoenaed these tapes, and after three months of delay President Nixon agreed to send summaries of the recordings. Cox rejected the summaries, and Nixon fired him. His successor as special prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, leveled indictments against several high-ranking administration officials, including Mitchell and Dean, who were duly convicted.

L JaworskiPublic confidence in the president rapidly waned, and by the end of July 1974 the House Judiciary Committee had adopted three articles of impeachment against President Nixon: obstruction of justice, abuse of presidential powers, and hindrance of the impeachment process. On July 30, under coercion from the Supreme Court, Nixon finally released the Watergate tapes. On August 5, transcripts of the recordings were released, including a segment in which the president was heard instructing Haldeman to order the FBI to halt the Watergate investigation. Four days later, Nixon became the first president in U.S. history to resign. On September 8, his successor, President Gerald Ford, pardoned him from any criminal charges.

I can remember where I was when President Nixon resigned even though I wasn’t even a teenager yet.  I was at Girl Scout Camp in New Jersey and one of counselors had us sit in the camp pavillion and listen to his resignation on the radio.  I know at the time, I didn’t really understand what the Watergate Scandal was all about.  Years later I enjoyed the movie All the Presidents Men.

The A to Z Challenge has dueling decades going on.  Check out the 1980s theme from a fellow blogger HERE