gangsters

Photo of the Day

No Bang in the Drum. A 55-gallon drum of the type reportedly used to transport the body of former Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa to New Jersey lies in the 47-acre landfill area in Jersey City where the FBI has obtained a search warrant to dig for a body. The FBI announced it had been told by an informant where to look for a grave on the sprawling site. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Jimmy Hoffa Disappears

One of the most famous American figures to inexplicably disappear was Jimmy Hoffa, the famed president of the Teamsters Union from 1957 until he went to prison in 1967

Wednesday, July 30, 1975, was a hot July afternoon, nearly 92 degrees,  typical muggy mid-summer Detroit weather in other words,  when Teamsters president and labour icon Jimmy Hoffa is said to have opened the rear door of a maroon 1975 Mercury in the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. and climbed in.

Gerald Ford was president of the United States, the North Vietnamese Army had just rolled into Saigon, the incredible Cincinnati Reds were rolling toward a World Series championship while the sad sack Detroit Tigers were enduring one of the worst seasons in franchise history, the Eagles and Olivia Newton-John were topping the charts … and Jimmy Hoffa was about to take the last car ride of his life.

He has never been seen again.

The FBI has expended countless resources in the ensuing decades in the hopes of finally solving this enduring American mystery with no success.

The disappearance of Hoffa in 1975 sparked a public debate that continues to this day. Despite claims to the contrary, no one knows for sure what became of Hoffa or who was responsible.

There was no question that Hoffa had a lot of enemies in his day and perhaps none as powerful as Robert F. Kennedy, the president’s brother and the attorney general from 1961 to 1964. Hoffa’s ties to organised crime landed him in prison but it would not be until those same gangsters turned against him would those ties lead to his disappearance and likely murder. And while Hoffa’s body has never been found, there is little question about whether or not he is dead. One way or another, Hoffa is not coming back…

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Photo Of The Day

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Meet the Man Who Got Congress Its Booze During Prohibition

One day in March 1925—five years into the absurd experiment called Prohibition—a dapper man named George Cassiday strolled into the office building of the U.S. House of Representatives, carrying a briefcase and wearing a spiffy light green hat. The cop at the door recognized Cassiday, which wasn’t surprising. Nearly everybody on Capitol Hill knew Cassiday. He was Congress’ favourite bootlegger, working out of the House Office Building, delivering booze to dozens of congressmen, who found a strong drink soothing after long days spent listening to tedious political blather.

On this day, however, the cop stopped Cassiday, inspected his briefcase, found liquor, and arrested him.

When reporters heard that a bootlegger was busted in Congress, they called the House sergeant-at-arms, who described the miscreant as “a man in a green hat.” The next morning, Cassiday became famous across America as “The Man in the Green Hat,” a living symbol of congressional hypocrisy and the follies of Prohibition.

Cassiday pleaded guilty and served 60 days in jail. When he got out, he learned that he’d been barred from the House Office Building. Obviously, he needed another place to work. So he moved to the Senate Office Building. He sold booze there for five years, until 1930, when he was arrested delivering gin to the Senate. This time Prohibition agents confiscated Cassiday’s “little black book,” containing the names of his illustrious customers.

In October 1930—two weeks before the congressional election—the Washington Post announced that it would publish a six-part series written by Cassiday, revealing the juicy details of his adventures as Congress’ “official bootlegger.”

“It will be,” the Post promised, “an astonishing story.”

And it was.

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