Category Archives: American issues

“The American Civil War 1861 to 1865” 

“The American Civil War 1861 to 1865” 

Featured image: Wikipedia Commons
The American Civil War, a brief summary! The American Civil War, waged from 1861 to 1865, is remembered on this date. Before and during the Civil War, the North and South differed greatly on economic issues. The war was about slavery, but primarily about its economic consequences.

The Civil War is the central event in America’s historical consciousness. While the Revolution of 1776-1783 created the United States, the Civil War of 1861-1865 determined what kind of nation it would be. The war resolved two fundamental questions left unresolved by the revolution: whether the United States was to be a dissolvable confederation of sovereign states or an indivisible nation with a sovereign national government; and whether this nation, born of a declaration that all men were created with an equal right to liberty, would continue to exist as the largest slaveholding country in the world.

Northern victory in the war preserved the United States as one nation and ended the institution of slavery that had divided the country from its beginning. But these achievements came at the cost of 625,000 lives–nearly as many American soldiers as died in all the other wars in which this country has fought combined. The American Civil War was the largest and most destructive conflict in the Western world between the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 and the onset of World War I in 1914.

The Civil War started because of uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not yet become states. When Abraham Lincoln won election in 1860 as the first Republican president on a platform pledging to keep slavery out of the territories, seven slave states in the deep South seceded and formed a new nation, the Confederate States of America. The incoming Lincoln administration and most of the Northern people refused to recognize the legitimacy of secession. They feared that it would discredit democracy and create a fatal precedent that would eventually fragment the no-longer United States into several small, squabbling countries.

The event that triggered war came at Fort Sumter in Charleston Bay on April 12, 1861. Claiming this United States fort as their own, the Confederate army on that day opened fire on the federal garrison and forced it to lower the American flag in surrender. Lincoln called out the militia to suppress this “insurrection.” Four more slave states seceded and joined the Confederacy. By the end of 1861 nearly a million armed men confronted each other along a line stretching 1200 miles from Virginia to Missouri. Several battles had already taken place–near Manassas Junction in Virginia, in the mountains of western Virginia where Union victories paved the way for creation of the new state of West Virginia, at Wilson’s Creek in Missouri, at Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, and at Port Royal in South Carolina where the Union navy established a base for a blockade to shut off the Confederacy’s access to the outside world.

But the real fighting began in 1862. Huge battles like Shiloh in Tennessee, Gaines’ Mill, Second Manassas, and Fredericksburg in Virginia, and Antietam in Maryland foreshadowed even bigger campaigns and battles in subsequent years, from Gettysburg in Pennsylvania to Vicksburg on the Mississippi to Chickamauga and Atlanta in Georgia. By 1864 the original Northern goal of a limited war to restore the Union had given way to a new strategy of “total war” to destroy the Old South and its basic institution of slavery and to give the restored Union a “new birth of freedom,” as President Lincoln put it in his address at Gettysburg to dedicate a cemetery for Union soldiers killed in the battle there.

Confederate Dead Before the Dunker Church

Alexander Gardner’s famous photo of Confederate dead before the Dunker Church on the Antietam Battlefield.

Library of Congress

For three long years, from 1862 to 1865, Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia staved off invasions and attacks by the Union Army of the Potomac commanded by a series of ineffective generals until Ulysses S. Grant came to Virginia from the Western theater to become general in chief of all Union armies in 1864. After bloody battles at places with names like The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg, Grant finally brought Lee to bay at Appomattox in April 1865. In the meantime Union armies and river fleets in the theater of war comprising the slave states west of the Appalachian Mountain chain won a long series of victories over Confederate armies commanded by hapless or unlucky Confederate generals. In 1864-1865 General William Tecumseh Sherman led his army deep into the Confederate heartland of Georgia and South Carolina, destroying their economic infrastructure while General George Thomas virtually destroyed the Confederacy’s Army of Tennessee at the battle of Nashville.

“The Civil War’s Child Soldiers: “Danny Boy”

By the spring of 1865 all the principal Confederate armies surrendered, and when Union cavalry captured the fleeing Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Georgia on May 10, 1865, resistance collapsed and the war ended. The long, painful process of rebuilding a united nation free of slavery began.

Source: the American Civil War

“The Civil War and Reconstruction”



Shish-HUSH NEWS: The Murdering Of LAWYERS (Li-yers) … Find Out WHY and more:

Shish-HUSH NEWS: The Murdering Of LAWYERS (Li-yers) … Find Out WHY and more:

Husband of Georgia Assistant Attorney General found dead | WSB-TV

Jun 7, 2016

The husband of Georgia assistant attorney general was shot to death early Wednesday morning.

Shahriar Zolfaghari, 36, was found inside his car at the intersection of Rankin Street and Boulevard NE around 1 a.m.

Zolfaghari was sitting at the stoplight, but when the light turned green and his car didn’t move. The driver behind him got out to check on him, saw blood and realized Zolfaghari had been shot.

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May 14, 2016

Courtesy – LinkedIn
Ira Tobolowsky

DALLAS — Multiple sources tell News 8 that the death of Dallas lawyer Ira Tobolowsky is now being investigated as a homicide, and the house fire that killed him was no accident.

Sources say Tobolowsky had been doused with some sort of fuel and set on fire. His body was found Friday morning inside his burning garage on Kenshire Lane, in North Dallas near White Rock Creek.

News 8 has learned the case has been handed over to Dallas Fire-Rescue’s arson investigators. They are now looking into the possibility that someone from one of the attorney’s past cases may have had an ax to grind.

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Body found near store was that of Casa Grande attorney

By KEVIN REAGAN, Staff Writer | Posted: Monday, March 7, 2016 1:45 pm

CASA GRANDE — A deceased man discovered behind Safeway last Thursday has been identified as a local attorney.

The Casa Grande Police Department originally identified the man as Paul Saucedo, though it has been confirmed the man’s last name was actually Sauceda.

Paul Rodrigo Sauceda, 36, lived in Casa Grande and previously worked as a criminal defense attorney. According to the State Bar of Arizona, Sauceda was suspended from practicing law in November 2015.

Rufino Sauceda, his father, said the family is waiting for an autopsy to be conducted on Paul’s body to determine his cause of death. Rufino said his son was not married and leaves behind two sons, aged 7 and 6.

Sauceda was a graduate of Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and was admitted to the
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Body found on Bodega Bay beach is missing Santa Rosa attorney Steve Mitchell, sheriff says


The body of a man washed ashore and found Monday at a Sonoma County beach near Bodega Bay was identified as missing Santa Rosa attorney Steve Mitchell, officials said late Tuesday.

Mitchell, 56, who first was reported missing Feb. 13, is believed to have taken his own life after officials said they had discovered a suicide note and found Mitchell’s parked car above Furlong Gulch Beach, north of Bodega Bay.

His clothing and personal items including his cellphone were found at the beach.

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February 2, 2016

N.J. lawyer accused in sex for legal services sting found dead

By Dave Hutchinson | NJ Advance Media for
updated February 08, 2016 at 9:25 AM

RARITAN — A borough attorney accused of offering to represent female clients at a reduced rate in exchange for sexual favors was found dead in his vehicle Tuesday morning from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed.

Richard P. Schubach, 58, of Stockton was arrested and charged Monday with three counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact after he allegedly propositioned a female undercover detective in a sting operation, according to a news release issued Monday.

At approximately 6:51 a.m. Tuesday, Raritan Borough police responded to a welfare check on Schubach, who was thought to have been at his law office at 1124 Route 202, the prosecutor’s office stated.

Officers reported finding Schubach at 7:35 a.m. in his vehicle, which was parked outside an office complex adjacent to his law office. He was unresponsive with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest, authorities stated.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes detectives responded to the scene, where Schubach was pronounced dead at 8:05 a.m. by Emergency Medical Technicians from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, the prosecutor’s office stated.

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Dec 7, 2015, 04:35 pm CST

Lawyer Found Dead As His Murder Trial Loomed Had Accidental Overdose, Coroner Says

A 60-year-old attorney found dead at his California home in early October, less than two months before his scheduled murder trial in the fatal shooting of his wife, died accidentally.

The Kern County coroner’s office ruled Monday that Mark Joseph Madrigali’s death was the result of drug intoxication and found he did not intend to cause his own death, the Bakersfield Californian reports.

His body was discovered by his defense lawyer, who went with another attorney to check on Madrigali after not hearing from him for a couple of days.

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Oct 16, 2015

Rock Hill lawyer, charged with stealing from clients, found dead of apparent suicide

Rock Hill attorney Horace Jones Jr. has appeared in many South Carolina courthouses over the past two decades, representing clients primarily on money matters.

On Monday morning, Jones, 45, was scheduled to be in a Jasper County courtroom – not as an attorney, but as a defendant facing a felony charge that he stole $600,000 from the descendants of slaves who had owned property near Hardeeville since just after emancipation after the Civil War.

If convicted on the breach of trust charge, Jones could have spent up to 10 years in prison.

Eight hours later and 200 miles away, York County sheriff’s deputies found a man’s body in a wooded area on Falls Road outside Rock Hill. Police and the coroner said the man suffered what appeared to be a gunshot wound, and they are investigating the death as a suicide.

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Published 10/06/2015

Attorney charged with murdering his wife found dead at his home



A Bakersfield attorney, charged with his wife’s death two years ago, was found dead in his northeast Bakersfield home Tuesday morning.

Mark Madrigali was charged with first degree murder in the shooting of his wife, Trivia, at their home in June of 2013. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Madrigali’s attorney H.A. Sala confirmed the death.

Sala said Madrigali was found dead inside his home in the 300 block of Acacia Street.

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office said deputies and the coroner were called to the home at 10:36 a.m. Tuesday.

Madrigali was a local defense attorney specializing in DUIs.

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Long-Island NY- Suffolk County <
Oct 2, 2015

A woman found dead, Tricia Odierna in her Lake Grove home Thursday was a real estate attorney, records show.


Suffolk County police were investigating the death of the woman who neighbors identified as Tricia Odierna, though police had neither officially released her name nor provided further details Friday.

As police stood guard outside the Win Place home Friday afternoon, neighbor Rich Aichinger, 46, said he and his wife had known Odierna for three years.

“She was a nice person, a great person, a great friend and a good mom, ” Aichinger said.

Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, commanding officer of the homicide squad, told reporters Thursday evening that the body of the woman was discovered early that afternoon by someone who lives at the home. Beyrer said two adults and five children lived there.


Great Falls attorney found dead in Lewistown hotel room

Updated: Oct 06, 2015 2:26 PM PDT
By Aja Goare – MTN NewsCONNECT

LEWISTOWN -The death of a Great Falls attorney whose body was discovered in a Lewistown hotel is being investigated by authorities.

Jeffry M. Foster, 33, was a Dillon-native practicing law at the Davis, Hatley, Haffeman & Tighe, P.C. firm in Great Falls.

Law enforcement responded late Wednesday to a report of an unresponsive person at the Yogo Inn and found Foster dead.

Authorities from the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation were called to the scene to investigate.

At this time, no suspects or people of interest have been sought and authorities do not believe the death is suspicious.

The cause of death has not been released.

Foster, who graduated from University of Montana, practiced in the areas of insurance defense, criminal defense, health law, and business litigation, according to the law firm website.

May 27, 2015

D.C. lawyer’s killer pleads guilty to second-degree murder

By Keith L. Alexander May 28, 2015 

A D.C. woman admitted in court Thursday that she fatally stabbed and robbed a lawyer in an upscale hotel after answering an online ad he had posted seeking sex with a man.

Jamyra Gallmon, 21, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Feb. 9 killing of David Messerschmitt, who worked at the international law firm DLA Piper. He was found dead in a room at the Donovan Hotel at Thomas Circle, stabbed repeatedly in the abdomen, groin and heart, police said.

During the hearing in D.C. Superior Court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana Fulton said Gallmon, plotting a robbery, tricked Messerschmitt into thinking she was a man, even e-mailing him a photo of a man’s torso. Gallmon brought zip ties that could be used to bind Messerschmitt and a small knife, prosecutors said.

Police have said Messerschmitt was in the hotel room when Gallmon arrived and had texted his wife that he would return to their Capitol Hill home in about an hour.

Gallmon’s roommate and alleged girlfriend, Dominique Johnson, 19, also of the District, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit robbery for her role in events on the day of the murder, officials said. 

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February 12, 2015

Mysterious Murder: DC Lawyer Found Dead H Banking ad Ties To Greece And International World

By Live Free Or Die – All News Pipeline

A Washington DC area lawyer who was found stabbed to death in a glitzy DC area hotel room had ties to the country of Greece and the international banking world and in this particular mystery, authorities say they have a suspect as shared in the newly released video below.

While not every mysterious murder is part of a ‘conspiracy’, a look into Messerschmitt’s past gives us reason to believe this latest murdered lawyer may have known something that others didn’t want him (and the rest of us) to know with Greece possibly soon leaving the Euro and the financial world falling to shambles.

Back in 2012, Messerschmitt got married and traveled to Greece on his honeymoon as shared on this wedding guest registry; the Washington Post points out this connection of Messerschmitt to Greece as well. While it is not known at this time if the lawyer did business in Greece, a look at his deleted but cached DLA Piper profile page and LinkedIn page show us he was deeply involved with ‘multinational Fortune 500 companies’, financial services, investment banking, technology, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, energy and much more.

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June 26, 2014

KENTUCKY- lawyer fatally shot outside office, gunman arrested: cops – NY Daily News

A prominent Kentucky defense attorney was shot and killed outside his office Friday —after an angry gunman confronted the lawyer for not helping with a problem, officials said.

Mark Stanziano had just reached his office near the Somerset courthouse when the alleged gunman, Clinton Inabnitt, approached him about 9:15 a.m., Police Capt. Shannon Smith told the Advocate Messenger.

Inabnitt, 40 — who was apparently angry at the lawyer for not helping with a problem and blamed him for laughing about the issue — suddenly opened fire, striking Stanziano several times in front of horrified bystanders, Smith said.

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May 22, 2013

Slain Southlake Cartel Lawyer Knew ‘He Had Been Found’

Northeast Tarrant

SouthLake-The Mexican drug cartel lawyer fatally shot at an upscale Southlake shopping center in 2013 was in fear “because he had been found by people who wanted to kill him,” according to new court documents filed Monday.

Prosecutors also alleged that conspirators tried early in their search to get the U.S. government to deport Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa, reportedly the lawyer for the onetime leader of the Gulf cartel.

Guerrero was shot multiple times with a 9 mm handgun May 22, 2013, as he and his wife returned to their Range Rover after shopping at Southlake Town Square.

Jesus Gerardo Ledezma-Cepeda, 59, and his son, Jesus Gerardo Ledezma-Campano, 32, and Jose Luis Cepeda-Cortes are scheduled to go on trial in the killing April 25 in Fort Worth. They have been jailed since their arrests in September 2014.

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March 26, 2012



A second prominent attorney targeted in a federal investigation of fraud and corruption at homeowners associations has turned up dead in less than a week, creating unease among cooperating witnesses.

Las Vegas attorney David Amesbury was found dead by apparent hanging Sunday night, five days after attorney Nancy Quon was found dead in the bathtub of her Henderson home.

Authorities do not suspect foul play in either case and are initially treating the deaths as suicides.

But one defense attorney said the deaths are generating a growing sense of anxiety among those named in the federal investigation, which alleges a massive scheme to take over homeowners association boards and then steer legal and construction contracts to specific firms.

“Some of the witnesses are extremely concerned about their well-being and safety,” said the defense lawyer, who was involved in plea negotiations with the government. “People are dying here.”
Amesbury, 57, who pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors, was found dead Sunday night in Grass Valley, Calif. Sources said his brother, Thomas Amesbury, found the body hanging in a shed.

The Nevada County coroner’s office in Northern California won’t issue a formal ruling on Amesbury’s cause of death for about two months, Chief Deputy Coroner Paul Schmidt said.

“There is no evidence of foul play or any suspicious circumstances; however, (the death is) still under investigation,” Schmidt said.

Quon, 51, a major player in the scheme whom prosecutors were looking to indict, was found dead in the bathtub of her southeast valley condominium at The District on March 20.

The official causes of both deaths won’t be known until toxicology reports are complete. Henderson police said foul play is not suspected in Quon’s death.


Two other people who attracted the interest of authorities in the sweeping federal investigation also have died under unusual circumstances.

Former Las Vegas police officer Christopher Van Cleef shot himself to death a few days after a September 2008 FBI raid in the investigation. A former Vistana homeowners association board member, identified as Robbi Castro, died in 2010 of a drug overdose.

“All of these deaths are just too much of a coincidence,” said Wanda Murray, a former Vistana board member who helped expose corruption at the association. “None of them make sense to any of us.”

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January 29, 2012

Matthew Geary, former deputy commonwealth’s attorney for the city and GOP candidate for Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney, was found dead this afternoon.

Richmond Virginia – Henrico County

Henrico Police found Geary at a house in the 2200 block of Lauderdale Drive in Short Pump around 1 p.m. with a gunshot wound to the head. Police are investigating his death as an apparent suicide, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Geary, who lost his bid for commonwealth’s attorney in November, found himself on the outs with the county’s Republican leadership after acknowledging an extramarital affair. Despite an attempt by Republican leaders to oust Geary as the GOP candidate, he refused to drop out.

Earlier this afternoon, Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor, who defeated Geary and indendepent candidate Bill Janis just four months ago, issued a statement:

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Prominent Los Angeles Attorney Fatally Shot at His Home | Fox News

Jeffrey Tidus was shot Monday around 8:30 p.m. as he was fetching a laptop from his car. His wife heard a single gunshot ring out and rushed outside to find him lying in the driveway behind his blue Toyota Prius, sheriff’s homicide Lt. Dave Dolson said.

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Prominent Attorney Doug Ring Found Dead | NBC Southern California

Nov 12, 2009

Douglas Ring, 61, is both a private investor and an attorney. Ring was married to former L.A. City Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski.

Investor and attorney Douglas R. Ring was found dead Thursday in a home in Brentwood, authorities said.
A 911 call was made from the home in the 300 block of Fordyce Road at 12:10 p.m., and Los Angeles police officers and firefighters responded to the location, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Rosario Herrera said.


Attorney Barry Levin Found Dead In Cemetery

July 8, 2001

High-profile criminal attorney Barry Levin, who helped handle Erik Menendez’s murder defense and more recently represented actor Robert Blake, was found dead Saturday of a single gunshot wound to the head at a veterans cemetery, officials said.

Levin, 54, appeared to have committed suicide, said FBI spokesman Matthew McLaughlin. Levin suffered from Gaucher’s disease, said Ron Dorfman, a fellow attorney who spoke at a news conference Saturday evening at the cemetery.

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Do you know where your children are?

Do you know where your children are?


Do you know where your children are? – Public Service Announcement

Do you know where your children are?” is a question used as a public service announcement (PSA) for parents on American television especially during the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Two claims have been made to the origin of the phrase: WKBW-TV news anchor Irv Weinstein circa 1964,[1] and Mel Epstein, the Director of On-Air Promotions at New York‘s WNEW-TV, who began using the phrase in 1967 in response to rising crime in the city.[2]

The question “Do you know where your children are?”, preceded by an announcement of the current time, is typically asked around 10:00 PM or 11:00 PM, depending on the market and the time of the local youth curfew, usually immediately preceding the station’s late-evening newscast.[1][2]

As of January 2017, this question is still asked before the beginning of some 10:00 PM news reports, on Fox stations for example.[3]

The PSA was featured on Time magazine‘s “Top 10 Public-Service Announcements” list.[1]

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Posted by on January 15, 2018 in American issues



“The Hollywood Ten (1950) Communist in the Industry” 

When the House Un-American Activities Committee subpoenaed filmmakers to testify about communism in the industry, a few held their ground — and for a time, lost their livelihood.

Courtesy of Photofest

It was the casting call no one in Hollywood wanted to receive. In October 1947, when the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) convened a hearing in Washington, D.C., to investigate subversive activities in the entertainment industry, 41 screenwriters, directors and producers were subpoenaed. Most witnesses were “friendly” — that is, willing to respond to the committee’s central question: “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” And those who confessed to membership were offered the opportunity to name “fellow travelers,” thereby regaining their good standing with the committee and, by extension, the American film industry.

Ten witnesses — all current or former party members — banded together in protest, refusing to cooperate on First Amendment grounds (freedom of speech, right of assembly, freedom of association) and affirming that HUAC disagreed: It found the so-called Hollywood Ten in contempt of Congress, fined them each $1,000 and sentenced them to up to a year in federal prison. All 10 artists also were fired by a group of studio executives — and the era of the Hollywood blacklist began.

Meet the Hollywood Ten

Alvah Bessie (1904 – 1985)

  • Courtesy of Everett Collection

    The son of a New York businessman, Bessie joined Eugene O’Neill’s Provincetown Players as an actor after graduating from Columbia University. In 1935 he published his first novel, Dwell in the Wilderness, while a staff writer at The New Yorker. In 1938, he went to Spain to serve with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade fighting the Franco-led fascists. Hemingway praised Bessie’s 1939 memoir of the Spanish Civil War, Men in Battle, as a “true, honest, fine book.”

    In 1943 Bessie moved to Hollywood, where he worked as a Warner Bros. contract writer on The Very Thought of You (1944), Hotel Berlin (1945), Objective, Burma! (1945) and other features. When called to testify before HUAC, Bessie refused to cooperate, saying, “I will never aid or abet such a committee in its patent attempt to foster the sort of intimidation and terror that is the inevitable precursor of a fascist regime.” Bessie served his 12-month sentence for contempt of Congress at the minimum-security federal lockup in Texarcana, Texas.

    <p style=”box-sizing:border-Prison marked the end of Bessie’s Hollywood career. He moved to the Bay Area, where he wrote novels, edited a union newspaper and worked as publicist for arts organizations. For seven years he was the stage manager and soundman at San Francisco’s Hungry I nightclub, earning $70 a week

  • Herbert J. Biberman (1900 – 1971)

    • AP Images

      Biberman began his career at age 28, directing plays and helping run the Theatre Guild in New York City. In 1935, he moved to Hollywood, where he graduated from dialogue director to writer to director of modest films, including Meet Nero Wolfe (1936), King of Chinatown (1939) and The Master Race(1944), an anti-Nazi film.

      Three years later, the HUAC committee handed him the shortest sentence of the Hollywood Ten — six months in the minimum-security Texarcana, Texas, prison that housed fellow defendant Alvah Bessie. Biberman’s wife, Gale Sondergaard, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in Anthony Adverse (1936), also refused to testify before the HUAC and was blacklisted.

      Biberman never worked in Hollywood again. In 1954 he teamed with other blacklisted artists, including screenwriter Michael Wilson and producer Paul Jarrico, to direct Salt of the Earth, an indie drama based on a miners’ strike in New Mexico. The House of Representatives formally denounced it, and the FBI investigated its financing. After a run of more than two months at about a dozen theaters, it was banned for 11 years. In 1993, the United States National Film Registry selected the film for preservation as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

    • Lester Cole (1904 – 1985)

      AP Images

      The child of Polish immigrants, Cole (ne Cohn) owed his political leanings to his Marxist father, who was a garment union organizer in New York City. In the eighth grade, Cole’s school principal denounced Lester as a traitor for opposing America’s entry into World War I. He dropped out of high school at age 16 and eventually became a stage director and playwright.

      In 1932 he moved to Hollywood to work with 17 other writers on one of Hollywood’s first all-star extravaganzas, the W.C. Fields comedy If I Had a Million. The two successful plays Cole had written in New York landed him a five-year, $250-a-week contract with Paramount.

      In 1933, while writing B movies, including several in the Charlie Chan series, he co-founded the Screen Writers Guild (with future Hollywood Ten collaborators John Howard Lawson and Samuel Ornitz), the first of the Hollywood guilds. The following year Cole joined the Communist Party and remained a committed Marxist throughout his life.

      From 1932 through 1947, he churned out more than 40 produced scripts, most prominently for The House of the Seven Gables (1940) and the Errol Flynn war picture Objective Burma! (1945), which was based on an original story by another future blacklister, Alvah Bessie. In 1946, his career got a major boost when MGM put him under contract. It didn’t last long: The following year Cole refused to testify before HUAC. In 1949, before turning himself in at the federal prison in Danbury, Conn., to serve his sentence for contempt of Congress, he penned the story for the Humphrey Bogart aviator feature Chain Lightning(1950).

      The blacklist destroyed Cole financially and professionally. His unfinished script for Viva Zapata! (1952), directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando, was reassigned to John Steinbeck, who was nominated for an Academy Award for the picture (story and screenplay). In 1961 he emigrated to England, where he wrote the screen adaption, under the name Gerald L.C. Copley, of Born Free (1966), Joy Adamson’s book about raising a lioness in Kenya. In the last two decades of his life, he found a second career teaching film writing in San Francisco.

     Dmytryk (1908 – 1999)

    AP Images

    Born in Grand Forks, British Columbia, Dmytryk was the second of four sons of Ukrainian immigrants. His father, a severe disciplinarian who bounced between jobs as truck driver, smelter worker and motorman, moved his family to San Francisco and then to Los Angeles. Dmytryk left his punitive home at age 14, becoming a messenger at Famous Players-Lasky (forerunner of Paramount Pictures) for $6 a week while attending Hollywood High School. He progressed to projectionist, film editor and, by age 31, director (and naturalized American citizen). His best-known picture from his early years was Murder, My Sweet (1944), adapted from Raymond Chandler’s novel, Farewell, My Lovely. That same year he joined the Communist Party.

    In July 1947 RKO released Dmytryk’s thriller Crossfire, about an American soldier who kills a Jewish veteran and evades detection thanks to loyal Army buddies. Three months later, in Washington, D.C., Dmytryk and the rest of the Hollywood Ten snubbed the House Un-American Activities Committee. Although publicly blacklisted in November, he nevertheless received an Oscar nomination as best director for Crossfire.

    In 1948 Dmytryk fled to England, where he made two films in two years before returning to the U.S. He was arrested and imprisoned in the federal camp at Mill Point, West Virginia, where he served four and a half months. Behind bars, he decided that he’d been made a Commie dupe. On April 25, 1951, he returned to the HUAC hearings and admitted that he had been a party member from 1944 to 1945. He named 26 other party members, including Adrian Scott. By turning informer, he ended his own blacklisting.

    Independent American producer Stanley Kramer was the first to hire him again, first for a trio of low-budget films and then for The Caine Mutiny (1954), a World War II drama that received Oscar nominations for best picture, best actor and other awards.

    From the 1950s through the early 1970s, Dmytryk continued to direct studio films, including Raintree Country(1957), a remake of The Blue Angel (1959) and The Carpetbaggers (1964). After his film career tapered off, he taught film and directing at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Southern California film school. In 1966 he published a book about his blacklist experiences, Odd Man Out: A Memoir of the Hollywood Ten.

  • Ring Lardner Jr. (1915 – 2000)

    AP Images

    The son of the noted Chicago humorist, baseball writer and playwright attended Andover and Princeton, where he joined the Socialist Club. In his sophomore year he enrolled at the Anglo-American Institute of the University of Moscow, which was established to familiarize young Britons and Americans with the wonders of the Soviet system. Lardner returned to New York and, in 1935, briefly worked at the Daily Mirror before signing on as publicity director with David O. Selznick’s start-up movie company. Lardner got his big break when Selznick partnered him with Budd Schulberg, a reader in the story department who would later cooperate with HUAC. The two rookies punched up a few scenes in A Star is Born, a 1937 feature starring Fredric March and Janet Gaynor that became a critical and box-office success.

    By 1937 Lardner had been recruited by the Communist Party in Hollywood and was attending a Marxist meetings four nights a week. In time he became a member of such groups as the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League and the Hollywood Writers Mobilization Against the War. He also served on the board of the Screen Writers Guild.

    In 1942, he co-wrote Woman of the Yearwith Michael Kanin. The comedy marked the first onscreen collaboration between Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy and won Lardner and Kanin an Oscar for original screenplay. In 1947 he became one of the highest-paid writers in Hollywood when he signed a contract with 20th Century Fox at $2,000 a week. A few months later he stood by his fellow members of the Hollywood Ten in refusing to testify before HUAC. Lardner replied to the standard question — “Are you now or have you ever been …” — by noting, “I could answer the question exactly the way you want, but if I did, I would hate myself in the morning.” The aggressive committee chairman, J. Parnell Thomas, a Republican from New Jersey, angrily dismissed Lardner from the stand.

    By the time Lardner began to serve his sentence for contempt of Congress in 1950, former Rep. Thomas was in the same federal penitentiary in Danbury, Conn., after his conviction of defrauding the government by putting fictitious workers on his payroll. Behind bars, the screenwriter and the HUAC chairman “became reacquainted,” as Lardner later wrote.

    After his release, Lardner wrote a novel, The Ecstasy of Owen Muir (1954), and then moved to England where he wrote under several pseudonyms for television series such as The Adventures of Robin Hood. His blacklisting ended when producer Martin Ransohoff and director Norman Jewison gave him screen credit for writing The Cincinnati Kid (1965). Lardner’s later work included M*A*S*H (1970), for which he won the Academy Award for an adapted screenplay.

    Although Lardner allowed his party membership to lapse in the 1950s, he said in an interview with The New York Times that “I’ve never regretted my association with communism. I still think that some form of socialism is a more rational way to organize a society, but I recognize it hasn’t worked anywhere yet.” He died in Manhattan in 2000 at age 85, the last surviving member of the Hollywood Ten.

  • John Howard Lawson (1894 – 1977)

    AP Images

    Born in New York City to a wealthy family, Lawson (ne Levy) wrote his first play (A Hindoo Love Drama) at age 16 as an undergraduate at Williams College. Following a stint as a volunteer ambulance driver in Italy during World War I, where he served alongside Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos and E.E. Cummings, Lawson edited a newspaper in Rome and worked as a publicity director for the American Red Cross. During the 1920s and 1930s, he began writing left-leaning plays, some of which made it to Broadway.

    He sold his first script in 1920 to Paramount, and eight years later MGM offered him a writing contract. In 1933, he co-founded the Screen Writers Guild, serving as its first president. That same year he also wrote two Broadway plays and joined the Communist Party. In 1938, he earned his lone Oscar nomination, for best story, for Blockade, a Spanish Civil War drama starring Henry Fonda. The Knights of Columbus denounced it as “Marxist propaganda.”

    When it was Lawson’s turn to testify at the HUAC hearings in 1947, he attempted to make a statement but was silenced by the thundering gavel of the committee chairman, J. Parnell Thomas. Lawson served his 12-month sentence at the minimum-security federal correctional facility in Ashland, Kentucky.

    After his release, Lawson moved to Mexico, where, in 1951, he wrote the screen adaptation for a British production of Alan Paton’s novel Cry, the Beloved Country, which was the first film to depict apartheid in South Africa. Lawson was originally not credited, with Paton cited as the screenwriter. In an interview with The New York Times, he said, “I’m much more completely blacklisted than the others. I’m much more notorious and extremely proud of that. It had much to do with the fact that I helped organize the Guild.”

    Albert Maltz (1908 – 1985)

  • Courtesy of Photofest

    Brooklyn-born Maltz graduated from Columbia University in 1928 and attended the Yale School of Drama, where he earned a master’s degree in the craft of playwriting. In the New York theater community, he was known for staging his pointed dramas in progressive venues like the Theatre Union and the Group Theater. His 1932 play Merry Go Round, a political exposé based on a Cleveland murder, was adapted into a film.

    Maltz joined the American Communist Party in 1935 but channeled his politics into writing. His short story “The Happiest Man on Earth,” about unemployment during the Depression, won the 1938 O. Henry Award. In 1941, Maltz moved to Los Angeles for a job with Warner Bros., penning the gritty noir adaptation of Graham Greene’s This Gun for Hire. He received a 1945 Oscar nomination for best screenplay for The Pride of the Marines.

    Despite his contributions to the war effort, Maltz was subpoenaed to testify at the HUAC hearings. While refusing to answer questions on First Amendment grounds, Maltz was able to get a statement on the record: “I am an American, and I believe there is no more proud word in the vocabulary of man.” Nevertheless, he was tried and convicted of contempt of Congress.

    Before he was dispatched to the federal lockup in Ashland, Ky. — the same facility that housed Adrian Scott and Dalton Trumbo, fellow members of the Hollywood Ten — he recruited his friend Michael Blankfort to front for him on an adaptation of his 1944 novel The Cross and the Arrow, which became the film Broken Arrow, starring James Stewart. The sympathetic treatment of Native Americans in the Western earned Maltz an Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay.

    After prison, Maltz moved to Mexico City, where he wrote novels and uncredited screenplays for The Robe(1953) and other films. By 1970, producers agreed to give Maltz credit for writing Two Mules for Sister Sara, a Western starring Clint Eastwood.

  • Samuel Ornitz (1890 – 1957)

    Courtesy of Everett Collection

    At age 12, this son of a wealthy New York dry-goods merchant was giving socialist speeches on the streets of the Lower East Side. Six years later, instead of following his two older brothers into business, he became a social worker for the New York Prison Association and later the Brooklyn Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

    In 1918, while still a social worker in Brooklyn, he channeled his activism into the theater, writing a didactic play titled The Sock, loosely based on Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and set in a New York slum. In 1923 he wrote the humorous novel Haunch Paunch and Jowl about Jewish immigrant life circa 1910, which became a national commercial success. In 1928 he moved to Hollywood, where he wrote 25 mostly middling films between 1928 and 1949, mainly for RKO and Republic. The most notable: Little Orphan Annie(1938).

    Along with Lester Coles and John Howard Lawson, Ornitz was a key figure in the founding of the Screen Writers Guild. A vocal supporter of the Soviet Union, Ornitz was one of the most outspoken political figures in Hollywood.

    As a member of the Hollywood Ten, Ornitz’s refusal to answer questions at the HUAC hearings in October 1947 resulted in a 12-month sentence. While serving his time at the federal prison in Springfield, Vt., he published his most successful novel, Bride of the Sabbath(1951). He never worked in film again.

  • Robert Adrian Scott (1911 – 1972)

    AP Images

    Born into a middle-class family in Arlington, N.J., Scott wrote magazine articles before moving to Hollywood. Starting in 1940, he contributed to several scripts, including the one for the popular Cary Grant comedy Mr. Lucky. Scott received more acclaim as a producer. He and director Edward Dmytryk, a future fellow Hollywood Ten member, teamed up on a string of dark thrillers, including Murder, My Sweet(1944), based on Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely, and Crossfire (1947), an anti-Semitism drama that received five Oscar nominations, including best picture and best director.

    In 1947, at the height of his career, Scott was subpoenaed to testify at the HUAC hearings (he had joined the Communist Party in 1944). He became one of the Hollywood Ten when he refused to answer the committee’s questions on First Amendment grounds. While waiting a court ruling, Scott moved to London to look for work but decided to return when the courts refused to overturn HUAC’s contempt charge. He noted that “nine of us couldn’t go into court with the 10th on the lam. That would have made it impossible for the rest who were left.”

    Scott was sentenced on Sept. 27, 1950, to the federal prison in Ashland, Ky. In the meantime, he had sued RKO Pictures for wrongful dismissal; the case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where it was rejected in 1957. After serving his sentence he moved to London, eventually finding work writing without credit for television, including the British series The Adventures of Robin Hood. When the blacklist ended in 1960 with Dalton Trumbo’s onscreen credits for Exodus and Spartacus, Scott returned to Los Angeles to work for Universal. He had more success, however, writing for TV series, including Lassie and Have Gun — Will Travel, using his wife’s name, Joanne Court, as a pseudonym.                                

    Dalton Trumbo (1905 – 1976)

    AP Images

    During his high school years in Grand Junction, Colorado, Trumbo landed a job as a cub reporter for the Grand Junction Sentinel, covering everything from school events to athletic news, crime to obituaries. In 1924 he enrolled at the University of Colorado, where he wrote for the school paper as well as the Boulder Daily Camera. In 1925, when his father lost his job, Dalton moved with the family to Los Angeles. Soon after, his father died.

    To earn tuition money for the University of Southern California, Trumbo took what he intended to be a short-term job at a bakery in downtown Los Angeles. Instead, he ended up working there until 1932. In that time, he studied writing, criticism and psychology at USC, established himself as a writer and made a little money on the side by check kiting and bootlegging.

    In 1933 he left the bakery to become the associate editor of the Hollywood Spectator, where he was already a contributor, and the following year moved to the story department at Warner Bros. In October 1935 he was promoted to screenwriter, a position that he only expected to tide him over until he established himself as a novelist. Instead, he ended up with more than 50 screenplays and adapted stories to his credit. His first, Road Gang, was released in 1936.

    When Warner Bros. tried to force Trumbo to switch unions — from the Screen Writers Guild, run by John Howard Lawson, to a more pliable upstart, the Screen Playwrights — he refused, and the studio voided his contract. This mini-blacklist lasted about six months. Trumbo signed with Columbia, where he wrote a few B pictures, and then moved to MGM, which bounced him after two fruitless years. He managed to sell a script to Warners and eight B movies to RKO.

    Trumbo was more focused on what would become his best-known novel. Published in September 1939, two days after the start of World War II, Johnny Got His Gun is an antiwar novel about an American soldier wounded on the last day of the First World War. He loses his limbs, eyes, ears, mouth and nose and has no way to communicate with the people around him. It won an early National Book Award. (In 1971, Trumbo wrote and directed a film version.)

    Trumbo’s big film break was Kitty Foyle(1940), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. During the war he wrote a number of screenplays and in 1943, after being a fellow traveler for years, Trumbo decided to join the Communist Party. After refusing to testify at the HUAC hearings in 1947, Trumbo was convicted of contempt of Congress. The following year, he and the party went their separate ways. In 1950, after exhausting the appeals process, he spent 11 months in a federal prison in Ashland, Ky. From his cell he wrote letters home to his wife, Cleo, and their three children, many of which he signed, “From Daddy. Dalton Trumbo. Prisoner #7551.”

    After prison, he lived in Mexico in a tight-knit community with other blacklist exiles, including Ring Lardner Jr. and Albert Maltz. In 1953 he wrote the story for Roman Holiday, which was fronted by his screenwriter friend Ian McLellan Hunter, who himself was later blacklisted. It won the Academy Award for best screenplay, as did The Brave One (1956), which he wrote under the name Robert Rich.

    In 1960, Trumbo’s public billing for Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus and Otto Preminger’s Exodus was a one-two epic punch that effectively marked the end of the blacklist.




“The New Deal: Crash Course US History #34” 

“The New Deal: Crash Course US History #34” 

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New Deal for a Depression That’s Getting Old

Shortly after taking office in 1932, Roosevelt announced the “3 Rs” of the New Deal program to the American people—it was a package deal of relief, recovery, and reform. Just what the doctor ordered.

In the field of relief, the New Deal proved to be highly successful. Millions of Americans, unable to find work in an economy that was still badly broken four years into the Great Depression, might have literally starved to death if not for the government checks they earned by working for new agencies like the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration. 

But in retrospect, it’s kind of an obvious solution: if the private sector isn’t making jobs, maybe the government should.

In terms of reform, the New Deal legacy may have been unmatched in American history. For better or worse, Roosevelt’s program drastically altered the relationship between the capitalist market, the people, and their government, creating for the first time in this country’s history, an activist state committed to providing individual citizens with a measure of security against the unpredictable turns of the market. 

Some believe this vast enlargement of the government’s role in American society helped the country’s long-run prospects. Others think we should allow the free market decide who starves. In any case, it remains a question of great political controversy to this day, but there can be no denying the magnitude of change wrought by FDR’s presidency.

But when it came to recovery, the New Deal’s performance lagged. It was certainly successful in both short-term relief, and in implementing long-term structural reform. However, as Roosevelt’s political enemies fought him, the New Deal failed to end the Great Depression. Throughout the decade of the 1930s, unemployment remained brutally high, while economic growth remained painfully slow. 

Recovery only came about, at last, in Roosevelt’s third term, when the heavy demands of mobilization for World War IIfinally restored the country to full employment, in essence by doing exactly what the New Deal had been attempting: providing government-created jobs. 

Ironically, then, Adolf Hitler probably did more to end the Great Depression in America than Franklin Roosevelt did. Yikes.

Still, despite failing in its most important objective, the New Deal forever changed the country. Roosevelt built a dominant new political coalition, creating a Democratic majority that lasted for half a century. The structural stability and social security provided by the New Deal’s reforms underlay a postwar economic boom that many historians and economists have described as the “golden age of American capitalism.” 

And Roosevelt permanently changed the American people’s expectations of their presidents and their government, by actually, you know, doing stuff. Fortunately for later presidents, this expectation has since been rescinded.


The New Deal was the set of federal programs launched by President Franklin D. Roosevelt after taking office in 1933, in response to the calamity of the Great Depression, and lasting until American entry into the Second World War in 1942. It had four major goals and achievements:

Economic Recovery: The New Deal stabilized the banks and cleaned up the financial mess left over from the Stock Market crash of 1929.  It stabilized prices for industry and agriculture and aided bankrupt state and local governments.  Most of all, it injected a huge amount of federal spending to bolster aggregate incomes and demand.

Angell St. WPA Plaque

Job Creation: One in four Americans was out of work by 1933, after four years of depression.  The New Deal created a multitude of agencies to provide jobs for millions of workers and paid wages that saved millions of destitute families. It also recognized the rights of workers to organize in unions.

Investment in Public Works:  The New Deal built hundreds of thousands of highways, bridges, hospitals, schools, theaters, libraries, city halls, homes, post offices, airports, and parks across America.  These investments helped underwrite postwar prosperity and most of the New Deal infrastructure is still in use today.

Civic Uplift:  The New Deal touched every state, city, and town, improving the lives of ordinary people and reshaping the public sphere.  New Dealers and the men and women who worked on New Deal programs believed they were not only serving their families and communities, but building the foundation for a great and caring society.

Iron Truss Bridge, Brackenridge Park, San Antonio TXIn less than a decade, the New Deal changed the face of America and laid the foundation for success in World War II and the prosperity of the postwar era – the greatest and fairest epoch in American history.  Most of all, the New Deal inspired a civic, cultural, and economic renaissance. But the New Deal is fading from collective memory—a casualty of time, neglect, and politics.  The Living New Deal is making visible that enduring legacy.

One of the ways we are doing that is to create brief introductions to New Deal laws and programs, a year-by-year timeline of New Deal legislation and events, and short bios of major New Deal figures.

To find out more, use the pull down menu or click on the following: 

New Deal Programs

New Deal Timeline

New Dealers

For a further introduction, see the New Deal in Brief by Richard Walker (2011).

For a more complete overview, see R. Walker & G. Brechin, The Living New Deal: the Unsung Benefits of the New Deal for the United States and California (2010)


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Posted by on October 3, 2017 in American issues, historical



Keep America Beautiful – Crying American Indian (PSA)

Keep America Beautiful – Crying American Indian (PSA)

On Earth Day, 1971, nonprofit organization Keep America Beautiful launched what the Ad Council would later call one of the “50 greatest commercials of all time.” Dubbed “The Crying Indian,” the one-minute PSA features a Native American man paddling down a junk-infested river, surrounded by smog, pollution, and trash; as he hauls his canoe onto the plastic-infested shore, a bag of rubbish is tossed from a car window, exploding at his feet. The camera then pans to the Indian’s cheerless face just as a single tear rolls down his cheek. 

The ad, which sought to combat pollution, was widely successful: It secured two Clio awards, incited a frenzy of community involvement, and helped reduce litter by 88%across 38 states. Its star performer, a man who went by the name “Iron Eyes Cody,” subsequently became the “face of Native Indians,” and was honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Advertisers estimate that his face, plastered on billboards, posters, and magazine ads, has been viewed14 billion times, easily making him the most recognizable Native American figure of the century.

But while Hollywood trumpeted Iron Eyes Cody as a “true Native American” and profited from his ubiquitous image, the man himself harbored an unspoken secret: he was 100% Italian.

America’s Favorite Indian

Long before his fame in the 1970s, Iron Eyes Cody had carved out a niche for himself in Hollywood’s Western film community as “the noble Indian.” With his striking, “indigenous” looks, he perfectly fit the bill for what producers were looking for — and his story correlated. Until the late 1990s, Iron Eyes’ personal history (provided solely by himself) was that he’d descended from a Cherokee father and a Cree mother, and had been born under the name “Little Eagle.” An old archived article filed in the Glendale Special Collections library elaborates on his account:

“Iron Eyes learned much of his Indian lore in the days when, as a youth, he toured the country with his father, Thomas Long Plume, in a wild west show. During his travels, he taught himself the sign language of other tribes of Indians.”

From 1930 to the late 1980s, Iron Eyes starred in a variety of Western films alongside the likes of John Wayne, Steve McQueen, and Ronald Reagan. Clad in headdresses and traditional garb, he portrayed Crazy Horse in Sitting Bull (1954), galloped through the plains in The Great Sioux Massacre (1965), and appeared in over 100 television programs. When major motion picture houses needed to verify the authenticity of tribal dances and attire, Iron Eyes was brought in as a consultant. He even provided the “ancestral chanting” on Joni Mitchell’s 1988 album, Chalk Mark in a Rainstorm. 

By all accounts, he was Hollywood’s — and America’s — favorite Native American.

But several (real) Native American actors soon came to doubt Iron Eyes’ authenticity. Jay Silverheels, the Indian actor who played “Tonto” in The Lone Ranger, pointed out inaccuracies in Iron Eyes’ story; Running Deer, a Native American stuntman, agreed that there was something strangely off-putting about the man’s heritage. It wasn’t until years later that these doubts were affirmed.

The Italian Cherokee

In 1996, a journalist with The New Orleans Times-Picayune ventured to Gueydan, Louisiana, the small town Iron Eyes had allegedly grown up in, and sought out his heritage. Here, it was revealed that “America’s favorite Indian” was actually a second-generation Italian. 

“He just left,” recalled his sister, Mae Abshire Duhon, “and the next thing we heard was that he had turned Indian.”

At first, residents of Gueydan were reticent to reveal Iron Eyes’ true story — simply because  they were proud he’d hailed from there, and didn’t want his image tarnished. Hollywood, along with the ad agencies that had profited from his image, was wary to accept the man’s tale as fabricated. The story didn’t hit the newswires and was slow to gain steam, but The Crying Indian’s cover was eventually blown.

Iron Eyes Cody, or “Espera Oscar de Corti,” was born in a rural southwestern Louisiana town on April 3, 1904, the second of four children. His parents, Antonio de Corti and Francesca Salpietra had both emigrated from Sicily, Italy just a few years prior. 

Five years later, Antonio abandoned the family and left for Texas, taking with him Oscar and his two brothers. It was here, in the windswept deserts, that Oscar was exposed to Western films, and developed an affinity for Native American culture. In 1919, film producers visited the area to shoot a silent film, “Back to God’s Country;” Oscar was cast as a Native American child. The experience impacted him greatly, and, following his father’s death in 1924, he migrated to California to forge a career as an actor. 

Once in Hollywood, he’d changed his name to “Cody” and, to attract the attention of producers looking for authenticity, had begun acting under the moniker “Iron Eyes.”


Even after his history was revealed, Iron Eyes Cody refused to admit the truth behind it. He continued to wear his braided wig, headdress, and moccasins, and was unrelenting in supporting the Native American community.

He toured on a lecture circuit, reminding Indians of their traditions, and admonishing them against gambling and the use of alcohol. “Nearly all my life, it has been my policy to help those less fortunate than myself,” he later told the press. “My foremost endeavors have been with the help of the Great Spirit to dignify my People’s image through humility and love of my country. If I have done that, then I have done all I need to do.”

Iron Eyes Cody peacefully passed away in 1999, at the age of 94, leaving behind a poetic homage to the culture he believed in. “Make me ready to stand before you with clean and straight eyes,” he wrote. “When Life fades, as the fading sunset, may our spirits stand before you without shame.”

If you liked this blog post, you’ll be mildly amused by our book → Everything Is Bullshit.

This post was written by Zachary Crockett. Follow him on Twitter here, or Google Plus here.





“Ku Klux Klan – A Secret History” 

“Ku Klux Klan – A Secret History” 

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The Ku Klux Klan /ˈk ˈklʌks ˈklæn, ˈkj/,[7] commonly called the KKK or simply the Klan, is the name of three distinct movements in the United Statesthat have advocated extremistreactionary positions such as white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-immigration and—especially in later iterations—Nordicism,[8][9] anti-Catholicism[10][11] and antisemitism.[11]Historically, the KKK used terrorism—both physical assault and murder—against groups or individuals whom they opposed.[12] All three movements have called for the “purification” of American society and all are considered right-wing extremist organizations.[13][14][15][16]

Ku Klux Klan

Ku Klux Klan emblem

The first Klan flourished in the Southern United States in the late 1860s, then died out by the early 1870s. It sought to overthrow the Republican state governments in the South during the Reconstruction Era, especially by using violence against African Americanleaders. With numerous chapters across the South, it was suppressed around 1871, through federal law enforcement. Members made their own, often colorful, costumes: robes, masks and conical hats, designed to be terrifying and to hide their identities.[17][18]

The second group was founded in 1915 and it flourished nationwide in the early and mid-1920s, particularly in urban areas of the Midwest and West. Rooted in local Protestant communities, it opposed Catholics and Jews, while also stressing its opposition to the Catholic Church at a time of high immigration from mostly Catholic nations of southern and eastern Europe.[6] This second organization adopted a standard white costume and used code words which were similar to those used by the first Klan, while adding cross burningsand mass parades to intimidate others.

The third and current manifestation of the KKK emerged after 1950, in the form of localized and isolated groups that use the KKK name. They have focused on opposition to the Civil Rights Movement, often using violence and murder to suppress activists. It is classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.[19] As of 2016, the Anti-Defamation League puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3,000, while the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) puts it at 6,000 members total.[20]

The second and third incarnations of the Ku Klux Klan made frequent references to America’s “Anglo-Saxon” blood, hearkening back to 19th-century nativism.[21] Although members of the KKK swear to uphold Christian morality, virtually every Christian denominationhas officially denounced the KKK.[22]

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Posted by on September 10, 2017 in American issues, documentary



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