Old Ships of the Great Lakes 1920’s to 1961

December 5  by Dahmer

Take a look back in time with this slideshow to the Glory days of the great cross-lake passenger liners. Cross-lake steamers were an important part of transportation in the 1st part of the 20th century. These luxurious ships were fitted with interiors on a par with the Titanic. They ran year round in all types of weather. Voyages departed the ports of Muskegon, Grand Haven, and Holland Michigan for Chicago.

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Chicago Crime 1925 – 1932

Scarface, Tommy guns and Chicago’s gangster mystique in film

by Michael PhillipsChicago Tribune

Al Capone 1931 at a football game AP

Al Capone 1931 at a football game AP

In a a few, bloody years — 1925 to 1932, from the rise of Al Capone to the release of the film borrowing Capone’s nickname for a title — Chicago cemented its image in the popular imagination. The Cubs come and go; Chicago’s gangster mystique remains steadfast.

Here are six stops on the timeline of those key years in the making of Chicago’s corrupt, violent popular image.

1925: Brooklyn-born Alphonse Capone, later nicknamed “Scarface” by a Tribune reporter, takes over the Chicago activities of New York racketeer Johnny Torrio. By 1927, Capone is the world’s most revered and famous gangster, coddled by Chicago mayor Big Bill Thompson until Thompson considers Capone a drag on Thompson’s political advancement. By 1928 Capone relocates to Florida and spends most of the ’30s behind bars.

1926: Ex-Tribune police reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins writes a comedy about a couple of Chicago killers. Originally titled “Play Ball,” the play is renamed “Chicago” and opens on Broadway. Cecil B. DeMille produces a silent film version in 1927; Ginger Rogers stars in a 1942 film adpatation, “Roxie Hart”; Bob Fosse directs and choreographs the 1975 stage musical; the movie version of the musical wins the Academy Award as best picture of 2002.

1927: Another Chicago crime reporter, Bartlett Cormack, writes “The Racket,” a play set in a police precinct on Chicago’s outskirts, about an honest cop beset by corrupt superiors and pliable politicians in league with local bootleggers. The character of underworld kingpin Nick Scarsi is a thinly disguised Capone stand-in. Edward G. Robinson plays the role on stage; when the touring production of “The Racket” is banned from Chicago, reportedly at Capone’s urging, it travels instead to LA and the movies discover Robinson, who stars in “Little Caesar” in 1930, after the medium learns to talk and spit lead at high volume.

Read More.

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Your Ticket to the Movies – 1926

“The General” 1926 Buster Keaton

In case you haven’t seen it, Buster Keaton’s “The General” is one of the greatest movies ever made. No hyperbole needed or used: the movie is the pinnacle of the silent film era, combining some of the most jaw-dropping stunts and hilarious physical comedy ever captured on celluloid. Read more from Jared Rasic’s article.


The first talkie appeared a year later 1927 bringing about the end of an era.

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What It Meant When Lady Mary Bobbed Her Hair on ‘Downton Abbey’



In the final season of Emmy-nominated Downton Abbey, set in 1924, Lady Mary Talbot (née Crawley) debuted a new haircut: the bob. She was a little behind the times, as the cut had entered the mainstream in America starting in 1920, as women finally earned the right to vote and the Saturday Evening Post ran F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story “Bernice Bobs Her Hair.” But for a member of the British aristocracy, cutting off one’s hair and moving away from corseted Victorian fashions marked a notable break with traditional ideas of what a woman should look like. In short: the bob, at the time,  was a haircut that made both a political and a cultural statement about what kind of woman one was. Read more from article



Louise Brooks 1920’s read more



Josephine Baker (1920’s)

Read more about “Tough Guy Stereotypes” from the 1920’s and 1930’s.

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A Baby Face Nelson sighting in Nevada – 1934

The Nevada Appeal August 22, 2016

“If all reports are true, Baby Face Nelson, with several pals, paid Gardnerville a visit several weeks ago. From here, the gang went to Hawthorne, living in the outskirts of that town for several days and then vanished. Federal officers, it is reported, were several days behind the fugitives but hope to apprehend them before many weeks go by.” — The Record-Courier, Nov. 16, 1934

Baby Face Nelson

After mention of Nelson in the Locals column of The Record-Courier, 11 days would pass before authorities killed Nelson in a gunfight in Wilmett, Ill. on Nov. 27, 1934, just two days before Thanksgiving and less than two weeks before his 26th birthday. And that signaled the end of Baby Face Nelson, or Lester Gillis, the only Most Wanted Criminal ever to live in Douglas County as a most wanted criminal.

 Dead Nelson

Read more from Nevada Appeal Article.

Nelson did die in Wilmett, but he received the mortal wounds in the “Battle of Barrington” where he killed two federal officers (Inspector Cowley and Agent Hollis). Also at the gun battle were Baby Face’s wife Helen and longtime friend John Paul Chase (aka Earl Butler).

Battle of Barrington

The car driven by Nelson and disabled by agents’ bullets is shown in the picture above. The events leading up to the car chase, the shootout, and what followed are described in my novel manuscript Midnight Run 1932.

Chase, an unknown, could walk into a grocery store for supplies or a sporting goods store for ammunition without causing suspicion. Initially, it was not know that he was at Barrington with Nelson; however, Helen was captured in Chicago and after being tortured revealed Chase’s identity.

HelenClips (1)

The hunt for Chase began in Illinois and ended up at Mount Shasta in California.

My 87,000-word manuscript is a fact-based novel chronicling the life of a naïve northern California dairy worker (Chase) eager to experience the women, booze, and fast cars of the roaring 1920’s.

[If you are an AAR literary agent and interested in reading more, please contact me at: bootlegger1932@gmail.com)

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Buster Keaton – “Ahead of his time?”

Daily Mail.com


PUBLISHED: 11:10 EST, 20 July 2016

Buster Keaton

A photograph from the 1920s that shows Buster Keaton on a crude type of Segway.  The star looks off into the distance with his typically stoic expression as cameramen look on in the background.

Tourists SF 2016

A group of tourists take a Segway tour in San Francisco earlier this year

Read more.

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Female presidential nominee a long time coming.

July 22, 2016 1:00 PM

by Mary Ann Travis mtravis@tulane.edu

Suffragettes petition for the right to vote in New York in 1917.


The first national election in which women voted was in November 1920, after the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women suffrage was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920. (Library of Congress)

Read more

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