December 5, 1933, Congress Repealed Prohibition But Beer Had Been Available Since Spring
First Loads of Beer Arrive
Abe Kaufman, distributor for Wayne County, for Edelweiss in Detroit, lowering a case. Part of shipment of 5,400 cases. – April 1933 credit: Milton Brooks, Detroit News
As hard as it is to imagine, the sale and consumption of alcohol was illegal for 13 years in the United States. Though Congress repealed Prohibition on December 5, 1933, the Cullen-Harrison Act passed on March 22, 1933 allowed the resumption of production of (3.2%) low alcohol content beer and wine.
Ad, the return of beer- 1933
It only took a little while for manufacturers to begin brewing and bottling beer. Americans anxiously awaited being able to buy the beverage legally. By April 9 beer was available in many major cities like San Francisco, New York, Louisville and Chicago.
The effect on the Depression economy was immediate, 50,000 jobs were instantly created. Continue reading →
Young Jackie Cooper Signs A Big Contract With MGM – 1931
Hollywood, Calif – Jack Cooper, seven-year-old hero of “Skippy” and the most promising youngster in Hollywood is earning the distinction of being the youngest star to have a long term contract as he prepares to put his “John Hancock” on the important looking document being held by Luis B. Mayer, vice-president of a leading motion picture company. While the salary was not disclosed it is believed there was an unprecedented number of naughts after the first figure to make him the highest paid youngster in the United States. His first thought after walking around the movie lot following the signing was to organize a football team. – (credit: International Newsreel Photo, June 9, 1931
Being a minor Jackie Cooper could not legally sign his contract, his parents were the real signers. Continue reading →
In 1929 The Almanac Hotel In New York City Became The First Hotel In The Country To Hire Women Bellhops
New York Hotel Using Girl Bell-Hops
The newest wrinkle in hotel service these days is girl bell-hops. The Almanac Hotel, New York City, is probably the first hotel in the country to use girls for bell-hop service. Hotel customers say they give “real service” too. Here are three of them standing by while a patron registers. The girls are, left to right: Eleanor Julin, Mildred Wilson and Edith Gillin. – Associated Press Photo 11/13/1929
Only at the high class hotels do you still find bell-hops. Until the 1970s, almost all hotels had them.
The Almanac Hotel, (aka Hotel Almanac), was being “progressive” at the time, by hiring female bell-hops, in what was traditionally a male occupation. Or were they? Continue reading →
New York City’s Finest On Parade With The Broadway Squad Of The Police Department Dressed In Their Old Uniforms
Though these officers bear a resemblance to Mack Sennett’s Keystone Cops, they are actually old-timers of the New York City Police Department’s Broadway Squad dressed in their uniforms of days past.
The slug for this photograph reads:
Little Bit of Old New York
New York City – One of the features of the annual New York Police Department Parade, which was held in New York today, was the appearance in the ranks of the surviving members of the old Broadway Squad, who twenty years or more ago, directed the traffic and the peace of New York’s “Great White Way.” – 4/26/1930 credit: Wide World Photos
Stationed all along Broadway from the Battery to 42nd Street were the Broadway Squad. They were specially selected officers who were all over six feet tall. While that might seem like nothing special, at the turn-of-the-century anyone over six feet in height was considered quite large.
In 1898 the Broadway Squad was described as “ninety of the tallest, best proportioned and finest looking men on the police force.” Continue reading →
If The Media Covered These Historic Events Now, It Might Read Something Like This
We view historic events with 21st century attitudes and ideas. It’s called presentism.
Reader warning: satire ahead.
A Rampage of Sexual Harassment in Times Square (V.J. Day 1945)
As pedestrians watch, an American sailor celebrates by passionately kissing and sexually assaulting a white-uniformed nurse in Times Square to celebrate the long awaited-victory over Japan photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt / Life Magzine
Crowd in Times Square celebrates V.J. Day photo: Ezra Stoller
As word spread that the Empire of Japan had unconditionally surrendered and that the war was finally over, pandemonium broke loose in New York City’s Times Square yesterday. Continue reading →
July 4 Holiday Views Of Coney Island Crowded Beaches 1938, 1942 & 1955
The crowded beach at Coney Island in the late 1950s
Beaches in New York City are popular during the summer. Especially around July 4. For over 150 years Coney Island has been a magnet for those seeking relief from hot weather. Combine those three factors and you can get huge crowds at Coney Island’s beaches during the July 4 holiday break.
Some people will not actually go on the beach. Instead they’ll walk along the boardwalk, visit the new Luna Park, watch the Nathan’s hot dog gorging contest or enjoy the fireworks show at night.
If you think the beaches get crowded these days, then have a look at old news photographs of Coney Island from July 4 holidays of years past. Continue reading →
You probably won’t recognize this building unfortunately, though it is certainly New York’s most famous landmark. Every sightseer who has studied it up close will know it’s the Empire State Building. credit: Acme 9/7/51
There are not many 87-year-olds that look this good.
The remarkable Empire State Building may no longer be the tallest building in the world or New York City for that matter, but it still is one of the most iconic and beautiful.
The Empire State Building opened May 1, 1931. Dedicating the Empire State Building, President Herbert Hoover pressed a symbolic button in the White House that put on all the lights in the building. (A worker in New York actually turned on the lights.)
Bob Feller’s Twelfth One-Hitter Sets A Record – May 1 1955
Cleveland, May 1 – 12th One-Hitter – Bobby Feller spells out “12” with baseballs today after winning his 12th one-hit game. Feller who held the major league record for single hitters even before today, came within eight outs of posting his fourth no-hitter as the Cleveland Indians beat Boston 2-0. credit: AP wirephoto
There will always be the proverbial argument of who was the fastest pitcher in baseball history. Had the modern radar gun technology been around 70 years ago, there is no doubt that Bob Feller would have been credited as the hardest thrower of his generation.
Roger Peckinpaugh (1891-1977) who was a player and managed from the dead ball era through the modern era and saw everyone from Walter Johnson to Nolan Ryan. Peckinpaugh reminisced in Donald Honig’s The Man in the Dugout (1977, Follett) about flame throwing pitchers.
“I never batted against Addie Joss, but I did against Smokey Joe Wood, Walter Johnson, and Lefty Grove, and I managed Bob Feller in his heyday. Who was the fastest? That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? I would say Walter Johnson. Now Bobby was fast all right, but he had that great big curveball to go along with it.” Continue reading →
The Gun, The Knife and The Bullet From the Lincoln Assassination
Two tragic historic events occurred on the evening of April 14, forty-seven years apart.
On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater. Lincoln died at 7:22 am on April 15
At 11:40 in the evening of April 14, 1912 the unsinkable Titanic on its maiden voyage hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic. The great ship went down at 2:20 am April 15 taking over 1,500 lives.
Our AP news photograph above is from 1965 when the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln assassination was observed.
RELICS OF ASSASSINATION
These are some of the relics associated with the assassination of President Lincoln. The small pistol in the center is the pistol used by John Wilkes Booth. The dot just below it is the bullet dug from Lincoln’s head. The knife to the right of the pistol was used to stab Major Rathbone, the President’s bodyguard. The pistol at extreme right is the one Booth was carrying when caught. The boot was worn by Booth at the time of the assassination . Other weapons were taken from members of a gang which associated with Booth. (AP News features Photo For use Sunday, April 11, 1965)