Friday, August 7, 2015

Gold Coast update: Soldiers, fire, & brimstone rain down on East Jackson

The month of February was a dangerous one for East Jackson in 1939.  While belligerents prepared for war across the oceans, a different war took place in East Jackson between Governor Hugh White, the Jackson Chamber of Commerce, and the bootleggers that seemed to withstand raid after raid.  Padlocks, axes, court orders, soldiers, shootings, fires.... nothing seemed to shut them down for good.

The following events took place in February:

February 5, 1939: Clubs raided, Soldier ambushed and shot in hand.
February 6, 1939: Guardsmen raid clubs again, destroy $30,000 ($500,000) in booze & equipement
February 8, 1939: Gold Coast operator J.H. Steed arrested in Jackson for having a concealed pistol and $7,000 cash ($117,000).

Note:  The current value of the dollar amounts cited in each story are posted next to that figure in parenthesis.  Apologies are made for the quality of the microfilm. Most of it is readable or can be read if one plays with the zoom function on a computer (much harder on a smartphone).  However, some of it is still just plain unreadable. A synopsis and quotes from each story are posted below, then images of the news story, then another batch of recaps and quotes, then images of the story, and so on.

However, February would get hotter- literally.   50 guardsmen raided East Jackson clubs again but seized only a small amount of liquor as Gold Coasties wised up to the fact that Governor White meant business.   The Jackson Daily News reported Guardsmen were "subjected to ridicule and taunts by bystanders during raids.  The guardsmen interpreted the finding of several blackjacks as indicative of the mood and tactics of the area."  However, Coasties faced a new threat to their livelihoods.

One operator was said to have received cancellation of insurance policies in the Gold Coast area.  One operator was said to have received notice of cancellation of the policy on his big, new automobile.

However, an ancestor of Bob Germany, Richie Schwartz, or one of their kind got the bright idea to stop the raids by going to court.  The Jackson Daily News reported on February 16, 1939  that Jackson resident Dick Farr (No, I do not know if he is related to David) sued to stop the raids.  He owned property in Rankin County and sued to stop Justice Court Judges from issuing search warrants to be used by Guardsman in raiding the Gold Coast. 

The court fight was the calm before the storm as the Jackson Daily News reported on February 26, 1939 that two raids and a fire ravaged the Gold Coast.  The newspaper reported

Two National Guard raids and fire left the Gold Coast strewn with wreckage early today.  The Owl's Nest, notorious night spot where the Guards destroyed some twenty cases of liquor in a raid early Saturday night, burst into flames int he wake of a second raid several hours later.  The frame building with hits floor soaked in alcohol, was leveled by the flames within a few minutes after the blaze started.  Guardsmen had left the night club prior to the fire....

The Guardsmen wrecked the interior of the club after discovery of hte large cache of liquor, Major Birdsong said.  It twas believed that severed wiring or neon tubing may hvae caused a short circuit, leading to the fire....

The Guardsmen on both raids caught the Gold Coast flatfooted.  Changing his strategy, Major Birdsong directed the 50 troopers in an initial raid between 7 and 8:30 O'Clock.  The Guarsdmen then retired to Jackson where they had supper served to them at a downtown restaurant.  The group then went into seclusion until 11 o'clock, when they again descended upon the Gold Coast. Many of the clubs had returned operations between the raids, Major Birdsong said.  18 night spots were visited by the Guardsmen in the two forays....

Earlier Gold Coast posts
Governor: "If they want to get rough, that's all right" after Guardsman shot. (1939)
Gold Coast update: Laurel man shot, club burns, Governor raids again. (1938)
Yankee reporter discovers how dysfunctional Gold Coast is. (1938)
Gold Coast clubs too popular. Big Red burns club. Gov. sends troops again. (1938)
Rankin grand jury moves to shut down the Gold Coast
Rankin Sheriff beaten on Gold Coast 
Rankin Constable killed in Gold Coast shootout (1946) 
Governor sends troops into Rankin County  (1939)


Anonymous said...

Prohibition works!

(What is, "What do Republicans, the Zetas, and El Chapo all agree on?")

Jack Boot said...

Watching a long segment on The Civil War on History Channel and reading the above headline. Lots of similar emotion and activities of different scale, but similar determination.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts exactly 10:52 pm. It hasn't worked so well to ignore human behavior and tell humans just to " say no" or " get religion".

But, it does help make some of us feel superior/or and line their pockets to play on the weaknesses and fears of humanity!

Anonymous said...

I love these. Super interesting. Thanks, KF.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS