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|Results will be posted May 19, 2006.
|Quiz #59 Results - May 7, 2006
|Several Possible Answers:
The Lindbergh Kidnapping
The Introduction of the Social Security Act into Congress
The Slaying of Ma Barker and her Son Fred
The Beginning of the End to Prohibition in GA
There are many "hooks" in this picture that can help you solve the puzzle. Even if you
didn't recognize the names Bruno and Hauptmann as being those of the man accused of
kidnapping the Lindbergh baby, it's still possible to read the location of the trial at the
beginning of the article as Flemington, N.J. This would identify the trial as that of the
Lindbergh kidnapper and give you an approximate date. From this you could search on
keywords in other headlines (Bremer, social plan, liquor) to find the subjects of other
articles. The date on the paper was January 17, 1935.
On March 1, 1932, Charles
Lindbergh III, son of the world
famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, Jr.
and his wife Anne Morrow
Lindbergh, was kidnapped from the
family estate in Hopewell, N.J. The
baby's nurse, Betty Gow, discovered
he was missing when she went to
check on him about 10 pm that
The investigation of "The Crime of the
Century" was hampered by the media circus that immediately surrounded the
well-known aviator and his family, along with Lindbergh's own fame, ego and tendency
to micromanage. Over the next few months, both the well-intentioned and the
opportunistic interfered with the efforts to locate the child.
On May 12, 1932, the body of a child supposed to be that of Charles Lindbergh III was
found when a delivery truck driver pulled to the side
of the road near the Lindbergh Estate to relieve
himself. The body was badly decomposed, and
scavengers had eaten both hands and one leg.
Although it was impossible to determine if the body
was that of a boy or a girl, both Lindbergh and Betty
Gow identified the remains as that of the Lindbergh
baby based on its clothing and the overlapping toes of
the remaining foot. The child's doctor, Dr. Philip Van
Ingen, however, refused to make a positive
identification, saying, "If someone were to come in
here and offer me ten million dollars ... I simply
wouldn't be able to identify those remains." It
appeared that the child had been killed by a blow to
the head. The body was immediately cremated on the
orders of Col. Lindbergh.
Read more about the kidnapping and investigation at
After four months, the investigation languished, and the police turned their attention to
tracing the serial numbers on the ransom money bills, containing $30,000 of older
notes, along with $20,000 of gold certificates which were then being withdrawn from
circulation. It was hoped that the kidnappers would be spotted trying to pass a large
number of the increasingly rare certificates. After May 1, 1932, gold certificates would
More than three years later, on September 19, 1932, one of the gold certificates was
recovered. A gas station attendant noticed it when a man had used it to buy gas and had
written the customer's license number on it. The car belonged to Richard Bruno
Hauptman, an illegal alien from Germany, who had criminal record in his native
country. When Hauptmann was arrested the next day, authorities found $15,000 of the
ransom money hidden in his home.
Hauptmann was eventually charged with kidnapping and murder, either of which could
earn him the death penalty. The trial was held in Flemington, N.J. It was a media
circus. Hauptmann's attorney, Charles Reilly, was hired by the Daily Mirror newspaper
and made little effort to refute the identification of the body as that of the Lindbergh
baby, which had been immediately cremated. The prosecution introduced evidence that
the ladder found at the scene of the crime had been made from floorboards in
Hauptmann's attic, citing the type of wood, the direction of tree growth, the milling
pattern at the factory, the inside and outside surface of the wood, and the grain on both
sides were identical, and two oddly placed nail holes lined up with a joist splice in
Hauptmann's attic as evidence. The initially uncertain and unreliable eye-witnesses to
the ransom pay-offs became increasingly certain and reliable as the trial wore on.
Hauptmann refused an offer by a Hearst
newspaper of $90,000 for a confession
although this would have benefited his widow
and son. He also refused a last minute offer to
commute his sentence to life in prison if he'd
confess. Hauptmann maintained his innocence
until he was executed on April 3, 1936.
For more information on Bruno Richard
|Bruno Richard Hauptmann
November 26, 1899 - April 3, 1936
By today's standards, the trail of Bruno Richard Hauptmann was a frame-up, fueled by
the desire to convict someone, anyone, for the crime against such the highly respected
American hero Charles Lindbergh. Even after 75 years, there are lingering doubts about
Hauptmann's guilt. The only hard evidence against him was that he was in possession
of gold certificates after they became illegal. His conviction on kidnapping and murder
charges largely rested on inconsistent testimony and fabricated evidence. For example,
one item of evidence at his trial was a scrawled phone number on a board in his closet,
which turned out to be the number of the man
who delivered the ransom. A juror at the trial said
this was the one item of evidence that convinced
her the most, but a reporter later admitted he had
written the number himself. It has also never been
established that the corpse found in the woods
near Hopewell was that of Charles Lindbergh III.
Re-examining the Evidence
In 2005, the Court TV television program Forensic
Files conducted a re-examination of the evidence
in the kidnapping. Their investigation focused
primarily on the handwriting samples and the
infamous side-rail of the kidnap ladder, known as
While certain comparisons of the handwriting used
by the prosecution to tie the ransom notes to
Hauptmann were proven false, other comparisons
between Hauptmann's known handwriting and the
ransom notes did apparently bear out the
prosecution's claim that Hauptmann had written
the notes. The notable characteristics included the
tendency to write the letter N backwards, and a
very distinctive and unusual capital D.
However, tying Hauptmann to the ransom notes
would leave open the possibility that he had only
seized an opportunity to extort money once the news was out. To tie him to the actual
kidnapping, he would need to be linked to the ladder used in the crime. During the trial,
prosecutors and investigators had argued that the portion of the ladder entered into
evidence as "Rail 16" was part of a floorboard in Hauptmann's attic which had been cut
short. A re-examination of both Rail 16 and the attic floorboard indicated that they
were, in fact, part of the same original board.
Additional examination was made of photographs of the kidnap ladder from the crime
scene, the day after the kidnapping (and long before Bruno Hauptmann had come up in
the investigation). Several distinctive knots from on "Rail 16" are visible in these
photographs, which would seem to contradict the claims that the police had swapped
out "Rail 16" before the trial.
In the end, the program concluded that Hauptmann had indeed been involved, though
noted that this left other unresolved questions. In particular, it is still unclear how
Hauptmann — with no connection to the Lindbergh family — could have had any
knowledge of their last-minute change in plans, which left them in their Hopewell home
that particular night.
Anna Hauptmann, Bruno Richard Hauptman's widow, maintained her husband's
innocence to the end of her life. Legally the case is closed, although it gave birth to
"The Lindbergh Law," which first defined the crime of kidnapping to be a federal
For a cool link to info on famous trials, see
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/ftrials.htm. (Thanks, Pinky and Bill!)
Ma and her crew gathered in January 1934 at
Freddy Barker's Dale Apartments, 628 Grand
Avenue, [St. Paul, MN] (a three-story
building still standing at the intersection of
Grand and South Dale Street), to plan the
kidnapping of another millionaire. Their next
victim, Edward Bremer, was president of
Commercial State Bank and son of Adolf
Bremer, president of the Jacob Schmidt
Brewing Company (now the Minnesota
Brewing Company), 882 West SeventhStreet at Webster Street. Adolph was a personal
friend of FDR.
The boys seized Bremer at the corner of Lexington Parkway and Goodrich Avenue on
January 17. St. Paul was outraged. Even U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a
statement decrying the crime. Recalled crime reporter Nate Bomberg, "When you
started to pick on the fat boys," millionaires like Hamm and Bremer, "then people get
"Ma" Barker and her son Fred were killed in Oklawaha, FL on February 16, 1935 by J.
Edgar Hoover's G-men. The FBI recovered $15,000 ransom money from the
kidnapping, including four $1000 bills that were found on Fred's body. Ma and Fred
were two of the many 1930's era Public Enemies.In the previous year, Hoover's agents,
organized in "flying squads", had killed John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, "Pretty Boy"
Floyd, and "Baby Face" Nelson.
The actual degree of Barker's own criminality is in doubt. Though her children were
undoubtedly criminals and their Barker-Karpis Gang committed a spree of robberies,
kidnappings and other crimes between 1931
and 1935, it appears that the popular image of
her as the gang's leader and its criminal
mastermind is a myth.
Though she must have known of the gang's
activities and did help them before and after
they committed their crimes, there is no
evidence that she was ever an active
participant in any of the crimes themselves or
involved in planning them. Alvin Karpis, the
gang's second most notorious member
(historically a much more important figure),
later said that:
"The most ridiculous story in the annals of crime is that Ma Barker was the mastermind
behind the Karpis-Barker gang ... Underworld sources said that Ma was just a dumpy
little old lady who took care of her family. She wasn't a leader of criminals or even a
criminal herself. There is not one police photograph of her or set of fingerprints taken
while she was alive ... she knew we were criminals but her participation in our careers
was limited to one function: when we traveled together, we moved as a mother and her
sons. What could look more innocent?" Many, including Karpis, have suggested that the
myth was encouraged by J. Edgar Hoover and his fledgling FBI to justify his agency's
killing of an old lady. Fred, also killed in the raid, was probably the Bureau's main target.
Gangmember Alvin "Creepy" Karpis said, "Ma was always
somebody in our lives. Love didn't enter into it really. She was
somebody we looked after and took with us when we moved
from city to city, hideout to hideout…It's no insult to Ma's
memory that she just didn't have the brains or the know-how to
direct us on a robbery. It wouldn't have occurred to her to get
involved in our business, and we always made a point of only
discussing our scores when Ma wasn't around. We'd leave her at
home when we were arranging a job, or we'd send her to a
movie. Ma saw a lot of movies."
A limited form of the Social Security program
began as a measure to implement "social
insurance" during the Great Depression of the
1930s, when poverty rates among senior
citizens exceeded 50%. The Economic
Security Bill was introduced by Robert
Wagner to the Senate and Robert Doughton
to the House on Jan 17, 1935. It was
renamed Social Security Bill March 1, 1935.
The Social Security Act was drafted by President Roosevelt's committee on economic
security under Edwin E. Witte, and passed by Congress in 1935 as part of the New
Deal. To read President Franklin Roosevelt's message to Congress on Social Security
on January 17, 1935, see
The Act may be formally cited as the Social Security Act, ch. 531, 49 Stat. 620 (Aug.
14, 1935), now codified as Chapter 7 of title 42 of the United States Code, 42 U.S.C.
§301 through 42 U.S.C. §1397jj. The Act is also known as the Old Age Pension Act.
This Act provided benefits to retirees and the unemployed, and a lump sum benefit at
death. Payments to current retirees were (and continue to be) financed by a payroll tax
on current workers' wages, half directly as a payroll tax and half paid by the employer.
Payroll taxes were first collected in 1937, also the year in which the first benefits were
paid, namely the lump sum death benefit paid to 53,236 beneficiaries. See
An organized temperance movement began in
Georgia in the late 1820s and, after early
difficulties, flourished through the 1930s.
Lula Barnes Ansley. As in other parts of the
United States, Georgia's temperance
reformers typically were evangelical
Protestants who regarded alcoholic beverages
as harmful (even sinful) for the individual
drinker and for society at large. Supposedly,
drink destroyed families and reputations and brought about poverty, disorder, and
crime. As elsewhere, Georgia's temperance reformers started by urging individuals to
decide voluntarily not to drink and later campaigned to change the laws to restrict and
abolish the sale of alcoholic beverages. Georgia had statewide prohibition from 1908
until 1935, a period that began before and extended beyond national prohibition
(1920-1933). Read more at
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Larry Adams Don Schulteis
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Elora Fink Richard Cleaveland
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Raymond Cathcart Pinky Palladino
Sue Edminster Martha Lasser
Kelly Fetherlin Valerie R. Lee
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