Sunday, August 2, 2015

Governor: "If they want to get rough, that's all right" after Guardsmen shot.

The City of Jackson and the Mississippi National Guard continued the war on the Gold Coast. A soldier was ambushed and shot during a raid while the city declared war on the Gold Coast and began arresting Gold Coast operators found in Jackson for vagrancy.  The stories are posted below from the Jackson Daily News.

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.

The Jackson Daily News reported a National Guardsman was ambushed and shot in the hand during a Gold Coast raid on the Gold Cost:

The armed might of the Mississippi National Guard fell heavily upon Rankin County's Gold Coast last night and early today, leaving a trail of wreckage and leading to gunfire which wounded one guardsman.  

Kenneth Causey... was shot through the hand from ambush at the Shady Rest night Club off U.S. Hwy. 49.  His wound was not serious but officers said only a door which lessened the force of the bullet saved Causey from possible serious injury....

The raid was executed simultaneously at all the night spots catching operators and hundreds of merrymakers by complete surprise.  Locking merrymakers inside the establishments, the troopers went to work on whiskey, gambling devices, and other equipment.  Axes fell heavily and liquor spewed across bars and floors.

Magnificent gambling tables, slot machines and other gambling devices were crashed into piles of rubble by the Guardsmen under the blows from the axes. 

 Shooting a soldier or man of the law is never a good idea as the Gold Coast was about to find out for itself.  The Jackson Daily News headline the next day read: "Padlocks eyed in Rankin Raid Wake".
Governor Hugh White said "If they want to get rough, that's all right".  The newspaper reported:

"They were given all the warning anybody could ask, the chief executive added.  He was visibly elated over the raid, which saw several guardsmen destroy hundreds of cases of liquor, nearly 200 slot machines, several expensive bars and other gambling equipment and furniture. 

"I think it was a better raid than the night before" Major Birdsong said....

The guard officer estimated liquor and gambling equipment worth upwards of $30,000 ($503,000) were destroyed on the Sunday night riad.  A huge quantity of liquor and gambling equipment had been previously destroyed Saturday night.

Major Birdsong said the Blue Peacock yielded the largest hand Sunday night when the guardsment unexpectedly uncovered a secret storage room when one of the men pulled a light cord.

A wall suddenly came down before us, the major said, and behind it we found 75 expensive machines and a quantity of liquor.  He said hte slot machines, liquor, and the $1,800 ($30,0000  bar at the Blue Peacock were destroyed.....

Hoo's place yieled 800 pints of expensive liquor, the guard officer reported.... "Mrs. Williams place yielded twenty-five slot machines, he reported....

Raided places included East Jackson Club, The Anchor, Maple Grove Oaks, Owls Nest, Shady Rest, The Spot, Blue Peacock, Woodland Club, Club ROya,, Paddock, Commission, Club 18, which was closed, and a number of smaller places and Negro establishments out on the Fannin highway....." 

The city of Jackson then declared war on the Gold Coast (even though it was in Rankin County) as seen in the February 8, 1939 headline below.  JPD arrested Gold Coast "operator" J.H. Steed for carrying a concealed weapon and vagrancy.  He had a "large pistol" and $7,000 ($117,000)cash on his person when arrested.  Steed confessed to police that he had once served a four year prison sentence in federal prison for violating narcotics laws.   The Jackson Daily News said that Steed was purported to be the operator of several Gold Coast "establishment" such as The Blue Peacock, The Club Royal, and the Maple Grove Club.  Steed live in Jackson while "working" in Rankin County.   The newspaper also reported that

the state law provides persons show not operating a business recognized as legal may be arrested for vagrancy (damn, we can't do that today? Too bad.).  Reports were current that Jackson police have been armed with the names of 20 alleged Gold Coast operators with instructions to arrest them if caught inside the city limits of Jackson.

Earlier posts on the Gold Coast
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...

Do any JJ readers care about these old stories? I know I don't.

JJ reader said...

Very interesting to read posts like this.

When men were men said...

I love these stories.
Keep em' coming.

Anonymous said...

I really dig them! I've lived in Brandon my whole life and have always asked questions about the Gold Coast and was no one had answers. I hope the King Fisher continues providing these stories about Rankin's wild and colorful past. Liquor was still being sold there into the late 60's. I hope JJ will provide the complete history, right up to the point of the last storefront closed.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there are any photos of those clubs.

Anonymous said...

This headline would be applicable for a story re the current Gov's speech this past Thursday at Neshoba.

Kingfish said...

What do you have against learning some history? The authors of the few books published didn't have access to the local newspapers or didn't cover the Gold Coast in much detail. The book about Red Hydrick is almost embarrassing to read.

Anonymous said...

Do any JJ readers care about these old stories? I know I don't.

Then why did you bother to comment?

Anonymous said...

Where can you read the book about Big Red Hydrick?

When I was a kid I worked as a helper on a milk truck, we would go to the Air-Ways Inn every morning, my boss would sit and have coffee with Red every day.

Kingfish said...

Hinds County library has one. Reference room at Dept. of Archives has another.

Fred Smith of Choctaw Books told me he wanted to reprint it but several family members objected. Apparently some were not comfortable with the whitewash.

Anonymous said...

Great article! Keep them coming.

Cool C said...

I helped clean the old Airways rooms up one summer after it shut down, before it became the women's jail. You talk about a nasty place!

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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).

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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.

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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