Hubert Knickerbocker

Hubert Knickerbocker

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Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker, the son of Rev. Hubert Delancey and Julia Catherine Knickerbocker, was born in Yoakum, Texas, on 31st January, 1898. After graduation from Southwestern University in 1917 he served briefly with the United States Army on the Mexican border.

In 1919 he went to Columbia University to study psychiatry. The following year he became a reporter for the Newark Morning Ledger. In 1922 he moved to New York City and reported for the New York Sun.

Knickerbocker went to Munich with the intention of studying psychiatry, but after witnessesing Adolf Hitler failed Beer Hall Putsch on 8th November, 1923, he decided to return to journalism. In 1926 he began work with Dorothy Thompson. Her biographer, Susan Hertog, has argued in Dangerous Ambition (2011): "Her assistant Knickerbocker, a serious journalist, lacked her clout but matched her in energy, discipline, and will to succeed."

Knickerbocker became the Moscow correspondent for International News Service in 1928. While in the Soviet Union Knickerbocker became a close friend of William Duranty, who worked for the New York Times. The two men began collaborating on a series of short stories. They agreed to write one a week. They then exchanged their stories and edited one another's work. The plan was to submit the stories they wrote together under Duranty's name, since it was better known than Knickerbocker's name.

In 1927 Knickerbocker was posted to Berlin but they continued to write stories together. On 27th June Duranty wrote to Knickerbocker: "I have just had a foul and bitter disappointment. That lousy bastard in New York wrote me a pompous and idiotic letter the upshot whereof was that he was sending the stories back without even trying to place any of them. I still don't really understand why, because he said they were splendidly written." According to Duranty the agent complained the stories "resembled episodes from real life rather than short stories and also deal with persons and events alien to American life." Duranty dismissed these views because it was "highbrow nonsense about the form and function of the short story... I suppose the blighter has never heard of Maupassant or disapproves of him".

In November 1927, William Duranty received news that one of his stories written with Knickerbocker, The Parrot , had been accepted for publication in the women's magazine, The Redbook. Knickerbocker was overjoyed: "Upon receipt of your letter I went into a trance during which I consumed half a bottle of Scotch... By God it would be great to get out of this grind of newspaper work. Once we have sold, say, twelve in a row, we could afford to talk about throwing up our jobs. But not until then." The story only made the men $40 but it did win the respected O. Henry Award for the year's best short story. Unfortunately, it was published under Duranty's name and Knickerbocker received none of the glory. Duranty wrote a letter of apology saying it was "awfully unfair that I should get the credit alone... and I'll be glad to sign any letter to the O. Henry people you care to suggest". However, it never happened and Knickerbocker was never acknowledged as the co-author of the story.

Knickerbocker's critical views on the Soviet Union were generally well received in Germany. His book, The Red Trade Menace, was published in 1931. Later that year he won the Pulitzer Prize for his articles describing and analyzing the Soviet Five-Year Plan. His strong opposition to fascism meant that he was deported from Germany when Hitler gained power in 1933. The following year he published, Will War Come to Europe?

Knickerbocker also reported on the Spanish Civil War and according to Paul Preston "his articles in the Hearst press chain during the early months of the war, had done much for the Francoist cause". He wanted to join the African columns moving north from Seville. Juan Pujol, the head of the Gabinete de Prensa in Burgos, wrote to General Francisco Franco recommending him as an "outstanding figure of North American journalism, who has done great work with his always accurate reports of our Movement". However, Franco decided against giving him permission to be with his troops. The American Ambassador, Claude Bowers, reported to Washington: "I can only interpret this denial to mean that there must be something in the present situation that General Franco does not care to have blazoned to the world. I find Knickerbocker completely flabbergasted by the changed situation." Knickerbocker tried to enter Spain illegally and was caught and imprisoned in San Sebastián for 36 hours.

In April 1937 Knickerbocker interviewed Captain Gonzalo de Aguilera Munro. The article appeared in the Washington Post on 10th May, 1937. Aguilera claimed that Franco's forces intended to catch execute Manuel Azaña and Francisco Largo Caballero: "We are going to shoot 50,000 in Madrid. And no matter where Azaña and Largo Caballero and all that crowd try to escape, we'll catch them and kill every last man, if it takes years of tracking them throughout the world." Knickerbocker's article was quoted extensively in the US Congress by Jerry O'Connell of Montana.

In the interview Aguilera argued: "It is a race war, not merely a class war. You don't understand because you don't realize that there are two races in Spain - a slave race and a ruler race. Those reds, from President Azaña to the anarchists, are all slaves. It is our duty to put them back into their places - yes, put chains on them again, if you like. Modern sewer systems caused this war. Certainly because unimpeded natural selection would have killed off most of the 'red' vermin. The example of Azaña is a typical case. He might have been carried off by infantile paralysis, but he was saved from it by these cursed sewers. We've got to do away with sewers.... All you Democrats are just handmaidens of bolshevism. Hitler is the only one who knows a 'red' when he sees one... We must destroy this spawn of 'red' schools which the so-called republic installed to teach the slaves to revolt. It is sufficient for the masses to know just enough reading to understand orders... We must restore the authority of the Church. Slaves need it to teach them to behave... It is damnable that women should vote. Nobody should vote - least of all women." Paul Preston, the author of We Saw Spain Die: Foreign Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War (2008): has argued that Knickerbocker's "account of what sort of society the military rebels planned to establish in Spain... based on Aguilera's anti-Semitic, misogynistic, anti-democratic opinions... was a significant propaganda blow against the Francoists, coming as it did shortly after the bombing of Guernica."

Knickerbocker remained in Europe and covered critically the efforts of Neville Chamberlain to appease Adolf Hitler. After the outbreak of the Second World War, he moved to Paris and after the defeat of France in 1940, he settled in London and covered the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. Knickerbocker also toured the United States where he argued that "we should go into war today." His strong views on the subject appeared in his book, Is Tomorrow Hitler's? (1941).

As Knickerbocker was a strong opponent of fascism, Ernest Cuneo, who worked for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and an agent of the British Security Coordination, recommended him for receiving information from British military sources. Jennet Conant, the author of The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington (2008) argues that Cuneo was "empowered to feed select British intelligence items about Nazi sympathizers and subversives" to friendly journalists such as Knickerbocker, Walter Winchell, Drew Pearson, Walter Lippman, Dorothy Thompson, Raymond Gram Swing, Edward Murrow, Vincent Sheean, Eric Sevareid, Edmond Taylor, Edgar Ansel Mowrer, Ralph Ingersoll, and Whitelaw Reid, who "were stealth operatives in their campaign against Britain's enemies in America".

After Pearl Harbor Knickerbocker, followed Allied troops into North Africa, reporting for the Chicago Sun and acting as the official correspondent for the First Division of the United States Army. He remained in Europe for the rest of the war.

After the Second World War Knickerbocker went to work for radio station WOR, in Newark, New Jersey.

Hubert Knickerbocker was on assignment with a team of journalists touring Southeast Asia when they were all killed in a plane crash near Bombay, India, on 12th July, 1949.

General Franco is becoming more and more intolerant towards war correspondents with his armies. He turned them all away when the attack on Malaga began. The men he then turned away had been with him for months and had written the most pronounced pro-Franco articles. No war correspondent with him could have been more satisfactory to him than Knickerbocker who was convinced of his early and inevitable victory when I saw him frequently five months ago. He returned to America three months ago and has now been ordered back. I have seen him twice in Saint-Jean-de-Luz at my home. He was waiting for a permit to cross the border and to rejoin the army. He has just been informed that he `cannot continue his journey to Spain'. I can only interpret this denial to mean that there must be something in the present situation that General Franco does not care to have blazoned to the world. I find Knickerbocker completely flabbergasted by the changed situation.

It is a race war, not merely a class war. What you can't grasp is that any stupid Democrats, so called, lend themselves blindly to the ends of "red" revolution. Hitler is the only one who knows a "red" when he sees one... We must destroy this spawn of "red" schools which the so-called republic installed to teach the slaves to revolt. Nobody should vote - least of all women.

I want now to turn back to 1938 and the Munich crisis. I was on vacation and in Europe when it came to a head, so that I did not handle its development in my broadcasts. But I knew the gravity of what was happening and turned up in Prague on the very day that Czechoslovakia mobilized as a protest against the surrender of the Sudetenland to Nazi Germany. There I encountered colleagues hard at work, among then, some of my good friends, such as H. R. Knickerbocker, M. W. Fodor, John Whitaker, and Vincent Sheean. They were in constant touch with the Czech Foreign Office; they all knew President Eduard Benes well, and Ambassador Jan Masaryk in London even better. They understood fully the infamy of the Munich agreement and its evil portent for the future of Europe.

On the evening of my arrival, my colleagues and I occupied a large hotel room with a balcony overlooking Wenceslaus Square in the heart of the city. Hundreds of young men already were marching and shouting in the square. Knickerbocker explained to me the position. Benes had given in to the French and British on the Sudetenland issue, but his ministers had rejected the decision, as he foresaw, until it could be ratified by parliament. Benes then told the French and British that he was powerless and could not keep his promise. There-upon, the French and British told him that if he did not, Czechoslovakia would be branded as the "guilty" party in any trouble to follow, and France's treaty to defend Czechoslovakia against aggression would not go into operation. Benes thereupon called in his ministers again, and they bowed to the decree from Paris. Knickerbocker said that Czechoslovakia would have to fight, not only for itself, but for all of us and our children. Apparently, Benes had intended to delay acceptance so as to force Hitler to attack his country. Then both France and the Soviet Union would be required to defend Czechoslovakia by their treaties with that country. But he had not succeeded.

What's a Knickerbocker?

The term "Knickerbockers" traces its origin to the Dutch settlers who came to the New World - and especially to what is now New York - in the 1600s. Specifically, it refers to the style of pants the settlers wore. pants that rolled up just below the knee, which became known as "Knickerbockers", or "knickers".

In 1809, legendary author Washington Irving solidified the knickerbocker name in New York lore when he wrote the satiric A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker. Later known as Knickerbocker’s History of New York, Irving’s book introduced the word "knickerbocker" to signify a New Yorker who could trace his or her ancestry to the original Dutch settlers.

With the publication of Irving’s book, the Dutch settler "Knickerbocker" character became synonymous with New York City. The city's most popular symbol of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was "Father Knickerbocker", complete with cotton wig, three-cornered hat, buckled shoes, and, of course, knickered pants.

At the same time, the term "Knickerbocker" became indelibly linked to anything and everything New York. from Jacob Ruppert’s Knickerbocker Beer to the 1938 Broadway musical Knickerbocker Holiday (which starred Walter Huston and featured the haunting "September Song") to famed society gossip columnists Cholly Knickerbocker (the nom de plume used by Maury Paul and Igor Cassini) and Suzy Knickerbocker (Aileen Mehle).

The Knickerbocker name had its first use in the sports world in 1845, when Alexander Cartwright's Manhattan-based baseball team - the first organized team in baseball history - was named the "New York Knickerbockers" or the "Knickerbocker Nine." The Knickerbocker name stayed with the team even after it moved its base of operations to Elysian Fields at Hoboken, NJ in 1846. (The baseball link may have prompted Casey Stengel to joyously exclaim, "It's great to be back as the manager of the Knickerbockers!" when he was named pilot of the newborn Mets in 1961).

Thus, the Knickerbocker name had been an integral part of the New York scene for more than a century when the Basketball Association of America granted a charter franchise to the city in the summer of 1946. As can best be determined, the final decision to call the team the "Knickerbockers" was made by the club's founder, the legendary Ned Irish.

The late Fred Podesta, the longtime Garden executive who passed away in 1999, once recalled, "The name came out of a hat. We were all sitting in the office one day - Irish, (publicity man) Lester Scott and a few others on the staff. We each put a name in the hat, and when we pulled them out, most of them said Knickerbockers, after Father Knickerbocker, the symbol of New York City. It soon was shortened to Knicks."

In keeping with another New York tradition, the team's colors have always (except for the years from 1979-80 through 1982-83) been orange, blue and white. the official colors of New York City.

Including minor color and style alterations, the Knicks have used only three primary logos in their 64-year history:

Father Knick: The original Knicks logo, used from the inaugural 1946-47 season through 1963-64, was that of a smiling Father Knickerbocker dribbling a basketball, the brainchild of famed sports cartoonist Willard Mullin of the New York World-Telegram.

Old School Classic: For the 1964-65 season, the Knicks unveiled their "classic roundball" logo, created by artist Bud Freeman of the J.C. Bull advertising agency. It was the logo under which the Knicks won both of their NBA Championships, and, with minor color and style alterations, remained in use through 1991-92.

Alterations to the "classic roundball" logo included maroon lettering (1980-81 through 1982-83), and the "brown ball" (1983-84 through 1988-89) and "orange ball" (1989-90 through 1991-92) versions that were introduced to more closely conform to standard PMS colors.

During the late '60s and early '70s, the Knicks also used a secondary "ball-in-the-box" logo on game tickets and selected club merchandise.

The Triangle: On Jun. 17, 1992, the Knicks unveiled a unique, updated version of the club logo, featuring three-dimensional, modernized lettering newly framed in a triangle. The new logo was designed by NBA Marketing, an effort headed by creative director Tom O'Grady. For the 1995-96 season, the logo was altered slightly to include the words "New York" at the top.

And More: While the "triangle" logo remains the Knicks’ primary trademark, the club has used three additional secondary logos in recent years: the Golden Anniversary logo in 1996-97, the "Knicks 2000" millennium logo in 1999-2000, and the circular "NYK Subway Token" logo. First introduced in 1995-96, the "NYK" logo was added to the backs of the players’ jerseys in 2002-03, and took on additional nostalgic value with the formal retirement of the subway token by the city’s Transportation Authority in spring 2003.

Knickerbocker utexaminerades från Southwestern University i Texas, sedan studerade han psykiatri vid Columbia University innan han började en karriär som journalist och därefter vunnit Pulitzerpriset.

Knickerbocker var engagerad för rapportering om tysk politik före och under andra världskriget. Från 1923 – 25 och 1928 - 33 rapporterade han från Berlin, samt 1925 – 27 från Moskva, men på grund av sitt motstånd mot Hitler deporterades han när denne kom till makten. År 1931, som korrespondent för New York Evening Post och Philadelphia Public Ledger, vann han Pulitzerpriset för "en serie artiklar om det praktiska genomförandet av femårsplanen i Ryssland".

Han var en mycket känd reporter under mellankrigstiden och under andra världskriget följde han de amerikanska trupperna, bl. a. i Nordafrika. År 1941, efter den tyska invasionen av Sovjetunionen, men innan det amerikanska inträdet i andra världskriget, förutspådde Knickerbocker exakt resultatet av kriget i Europa.

Efter andra världskriget började Knickerbocker arbeta för radiostationen WOR, i Newark, New Jersey. Han var på uppdrag med ett team av journalister genom Sydostasien när de alla dödades i en flygkrasch i närheten av Bombay, Indien, den 12 juli 1949.

H.R. Knickerbocker

Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker nicknamed "Red" was an American Journalist.

Knickerbocker was noted for reporting on German politics before and during World War II. From 1923 to 1933 he reported from Berlin, but because of his opposition to Hitler he was deported when Hitler came to power.

After World War II, Knickerbocker went to work for radio station WOR, in Newark, New Jersey. He was on assignment with a team of journalists touring Southeast Asia when they were all killed in a plane crash near Bombay, India, on July 12, 1949. Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker nicknamed "Red" was an American Journalist.

Knickerbocker was noted for reporting on German politics before and during World War II. From 1923 to 1933 he reported from Berlin, but because of his opposition to Hitler he was deported when Hitler came to power.

After World War II, Knickerbocker went to work for radio station WOR, in Newark, New Jersey. He was on assignment with a team of journalists touring Southeast Asia when they were all killed in a plane crash near Bombay, India, on July 12, 1949. . more

Using the Collection

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The following boxes are located off-site: Boxes 1-11, Scrap Book Boxes 3-21, 31-36, and 41-43. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item Date (if known) H. R. Knickerbocker papers Box and Folder Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

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Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker

A son of Rev. Hubert Delancey Knickerbocker, H. R. Knickerbocker was born in Yoakum, Texas. He graduated from the Southwestern University in Texas, then studied psychiatry at Columbia University before becoming a career journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize. [2]

Knickerbocker was noted for reporting on German politics before and during World War II. From 1923 to 1933 he reported from Berlin, but because of his opposition to Hitler he was deported when Hitler came to power. In 1931, as a correspondent for the New York Evening Post and the Philadelphia Public Ledger, he won the Pulitzer Prize for "a series of articles on the practical operation of the Five Year Plan in Russia". [3] [4]

In 1941, after the German invasion of the Soviet Union but before American's entry into World War II, Knickerbocker foresaw the outcome of the European war: [5]

But suppose the Red Army were able to hold the Germans for another year, the while Britain with the United States' help grows strong enough in the air to obtain supremacy over the Luftwaffe on the Western Front. Suppose during this time, with the aid of shipments from the United States the Red Air Force recovers and also grows strong enough to dominate the Luftwaffe on the Eastern Front. It is then possible to imagine a time when the Germans, disintegrating from within, would begin to withdraw from the East and the Red Army begin to attack.

When once Germany begins to crumble, it is the conviction of all who know that brittle country that she will fall apart at once . The German Army will have been defeated, disrupted, demoralized. For a time there will be anarchy. Then all will depend upon which forces reach German territory and the German capital first, the Red Army or the armies of the West. [5]

After World War II, Knickerbocker went to work for radio station WOR, in Newark, New Jersey. He was on assignment with a team of journalists touring Southeast Asia when they were all killed in a plane crash near Bombay, India, on July 12, 1949.

Knickerbocker was married first to Laura Patrick in 1918, and they had one son, Conrad, later a daily book reviewer for the New York Times his second marriage was to Agnes Schjoldager, and they had three daughters.

Ephemeral New York

Hubert’s: freaks and fleas in Times Square

Coney Island wasn’t the only place New Yorkers could go to ogle side-show exhibits. From 1925 to 1969, Hubert’s Museum in Times Square—next door to the Amsterdam Theater on West 42nd Street—housed freaks of all stripes.

For 25 cents, you could catch a glimpse of Olga, the bearded lady, whose facial hair measured more than 13 inches. And the Man From World War Zero, who had a terribly deformed face.

There was also Susie the Elephant Skin Girl, Lady Estelline the sword swallower, voodoo jungle snake dancer Princess Sahloo, Prince Randion, human caterpiller, and a man who could blow up balloons and smoke pipes through his tear duct.

Tiny Tim started out singing at Hubert’s. Famous freak Zip the Pinhead did time there as well.

Hubert’s had something else going for it: the city’s last flea circus. Professor Heckler’s Flea Circus operated in the basement. There, real fleas attached to very thin wires raced miniature chariots on a teeny tiny track.

Hubert’s is long gone, but you can still see it on film: A scene from 1969’s Midnight Cowboy has John Voight strolling past.

Hubert Knickerbocker - History

Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker (1898-1949)

Chartwell, Kent (Accredited Museum)

The Soviet five-year plan and its effect on world trade /

Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker (1898-1949)

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent (Accredited Museum)

The Soviet five-year plan and its effect on world trade / by H. R. Knickerbocker, with sixteen .

Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker (1898-1949)

Plas Newydd, Anglesey (Accredited Museum)

The new Russia : eight talks /

Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker (1898-1949)

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent (Accredited Museum)

Will war come in Europe? /

Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker (1898-1949)

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent (Accredited Museum)

The new Russia : eight talks /

Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker (1898-1949)

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent (Accredited Museum)

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John McGivern’s $1 Million Apartments

Comedy pays, it turns out. The entertainer owns 11 apartments totaling 7,572 square feet.

Milwaukee native John McGivern returned to his hometown about 20 years ago and has made a living since telling audiences here and elsewhere humorous stories about his life. He has also performed in numerous plays and presentations, and was most recently host of the 100th annual City of Milwaukee Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony. He also has a public television series about Milwaukee neighborhoods. He had 57 IRS Form 1099s to file last year.

What Harpo Marx said of Alexander Woollcott applies to McGivern — “He is just a big dreamer … with a good sense of double-entry bookkeeping.”

Beginning in 2002, McGivern has parlayed his extra cash into purchasing apartments in the Knickerbocker on the Lake Condominiums, 1028 E. Juneau Ave. at the rate of about one per year. The 11 properties he owns outright are assessed at $1,006,900 by the city. [McGivern also holds an ownership share in another unit in the building, formerly the Knickerbocker Hotel.]

Most of the McGivern units are on the small side — say 430 sq. ft. to 460 sq. ft. as befits their former hotel status. These are assessed in the range of $55,000 or so. McGivern buys them and his partner Steve Brandt fixes them up.

John McGivern in his Knickerbocker On The Lake residence. Photo by Rose Balistreri.

McGivern’s own unit, #625, is much larger than most at 1,998 sq. ft. He moved there from one of his other, smaller units, to take advantage of its view of the lakefront and downtown. His unit has two bedrooms and two baths, and has been featured in news stories. McGivern has also opened the apartment to tours during Doors Open Milwaukee, where he showed guests his place and walked them around the 1927-1929 building.

McGivern bought this unit in 2009, paying $295,000 for it. It is now assessed at $294,000 and is taxed at $8,726.08, with the amount owing being paid in full.

The other units are rented, usually to corporate and theatrical clients, which gives John McGivern that much more to do each day, and even more 1099s to file.

Altogether, McGivern’s Knickerbocker holdings amount to some 7,572 square feet, and represent better than 5 per cent of the building’s 204 apartments. He is by far the largest real estate holder in the building, owning more units than the Knickerbocker Condominium Association itself.

About the Knickerbocker Hotel

Knickerbocker On The Lake. Photo by Michael Horne.

The surrounding neighborhood was long known as Yankee Hill by the time the Knickerbocker [1927-1929] and Hotel Astor [1920] were built on neighboring blocks of E. Juneau Ave., adding even more Yankiness to the area. The two buildings are residential hotels of a style more commonly associated with the east coast, as is the neighborhood’s abundance of Protestant churches, including two Episcopal churches just a block apart. In their prime, the Knickerbocker and Astor were convenient to downtown and the train stations. Residents included day travelers in the small rooms, and long-term tenants in the larger units, like McGivern’s. Today’s residents tend to be long-term, but some, like Milwaukee Journal Sentinel art critic Mary Louise Schumacher, rent their units out when not needed. [See Plenty of Horne, November 21st, 2013]

One established tenant was Lucius Nieman, longtime editor of the Milwaukee Journal, who died there after a long illness in 1935.

The next year his wife, Agnes Wahl Nieman, wrote a will that provided for her residual estate to be given to Harvard University to establish a journalism fellowship. That was on February 1st, 1936. She was dead within a week.

Her bequest amounted to over $1,000,000, and the Harvard Nieman fellowships are one of the premier prizes in academia, offering working journalists a chance to spend a year at Harvard.

In the 1960 presidential election, the hotel was the headquarters for the Democrat Hubert Humphrey’s campaign during the primaries, and was a resting point for Republican vice presidential candidate Henry Cabot Lodge in October 1960, while he and his wife were on the campaign trail.

In 1980, the building was proposed to be converted into condos by its owner Oliver Plunkett. This started a reaction from the building’s tenants, many of them elderly, and many of whom gathered in the downstairs coffee shop – pharmacy (now The Knick). Pharmacist Jim Searles rallied the tenants, and eventually reached a court agreement that allowed 100 tenants to live in the building for another three years.

By 1984, Searles lost his lease on the building and set up shop on Brady Street, where his Brady Street pharmacy operated until it became Glorioso’s Italian Market in 2010.

The hotel also was the longtime home to Sally’s Restaurant, operated by Sally Papia, known as the “Queen Bee of Milwaukee’s Organized Crime” and was a popular gathering spot for a rather wide mixture of people. Sally’s site is now Il Mito East Restaurant.

Watch the video: Offence By Hr Knickerbocker 1942