By Anthony Olszewski|
|After the Clinton political machine hired private investigators to "destroy" Monica Lewinsky for telling the truth, Bret Schundler ran radio ads and issued a press release calling for President Clinton to resign.
Demonstrating the cluelessness of the administration, the President's staff invited Schundler to
the White House to receive an award and to meet with Bill Clinton and First
When Mayor, Gerry McCann accompanied Congressman Guarini and a Congressman from Minnesota on a tour of Ellis Island. Returning to Liberty State Park, the three decided to visit the Statue of Liberty. While the group was waiting at the ferry skip, the boat docked and Richard Nixon disembarked with his grandchildren. Congressman Guarini then introduced Mayor McCann to the former President. Nixon said, "I read about you all the time in the Bergen Record!" Richard Nixon reminisced about a 1956 campaign event with Dwight Eisenhower at Journal Square.
When running for President in 1980, Ronald Reagan spoke at Liberty State Park in Jersey City. He appeared with the father of Lech Walesa, Poland's Solidarity leader. The older Walesa was a resident of Jersey City at the time. Ronald Reagan also made a stop at Barrett's bar in Bayonne with Jersey City Mayor Gerald McCann. "We not only couldn't get in on the floor," said Reagan, "there were people standing on the bar."
In 1984, President Reagan visited St. Ann's Church in Hoboken with Frank Sinatra. Sinatra was a parishioner at St. Anne's when growing up in the mile square town. This was the first public appearance of Frank Sinatra in Hoboken in many years.
Frank Sinatra attended Dickinson during the renovation of Hoboken's Demarest high school and that might be why the singer's career DID NOT start in Jersey City. At Dickinson, Sinatra became friendly with the Ilventos, whose father owned a restaurant. Dad Ilvento caught one of his daughters on a somewhat more than first name basis with Sinatra on the ground in the cemetery next to the eatery. Frank was sent home and the pretty miss required a pillow in order to sit for some time after the incident. Remembering this escapade, some years later the restaurant owner refused to hire Frank Sinatra as a singing waiter.
Click HERE for more on Frank Sinatra's Jersey City ties
John Longo started out as an opponent to the Hague Machine. Longo was jailed for election fraud after “supporter” J. Owen Grundy testified against him. Whether Grundy was telling the truth on the stand is open to argument. While in jail, Longo would yell out the windows proclaiming his innocence to passers-by. After serving his sentence, representatives of the Machine met with Longo. They pointed out the obvious: Longo’s friends were Judases and – anyhow – the people didn’t care. Longo accepted a local government job.
After the conviction of J.V. Kenny and Tom Whelan, Moe Longo – John’s son – ran as the Machine candidate for Mayor against Paul Jordan.
It was in Bayonne that serial killer Richard F. Biegenwald committed his first murder -- the first that authorities know of, at any rate.
In 1958, during a botched hold-up, Biegenwald shot a Bayonne delicatessen owner and municipal prosecutor. Biegenwald's life was spared because the wife of the victim told the court that her husband had been opposed to capital punishment.
Serving only 17 years, in 1975 Richard Biegenwald walked out of prison. In 1983, Biegenwald was arrested for the murder of an 18-year old Camden woman. Richard Biegenwald subsequently was held responsible for the deaths of six people, including two women buried in his mother's back yard in Staten Island.
Richard F. Biegenwald died on March 10, 2008.
George Norcross is on tape talking about Bayonne Mayor Joe Doria:
. . .
GN: During the course of the caucus, I mean he was so petrified of pissing Joe D' Oria finally one day I sat him down and put all his (i/a) and said Herb, don't fuck with me on this one. You know, don't tell D' Oria don't make nice with Joe D'Oria cause you don't want him pissed at you. Cause I'll tell you if you ever do that and I catch you one more time doing it, you're gonna get your fucking balls cut off. He got the message.
MN: Is D' Oria back in he fold or no?
GN: No. D'Oria is so furious and so is Dick Coby. They're furious at the deal that we cut with McGreevey because they viewed it as we got the world and they got fucked. And the reality is they did. Tough luck, but oh.
MN: We were just in the middle of trying to get some work from D'Oria.
GN: What town does Herb live in?
. . .
Hoboken was the childhood home of Watergate Plumber G. Gordon Liddy:
"The section of Hoboken in which we lived had a large ethnic German and German national population. Families from all over Germany had been recruited by Nord Deutscher Lloyd and Hamburg Amerika to come to Hoboken to serve the swift German ocean liners Bremen and Europa that, together with numerous German freighters, docked on the New Jersey side of the Hudson, unlike the ships of Great Britain and France. There were also those families that had come to the United States to serve the giant dirigibles Germany built for the transatlantic run in competition with the great surface ships.
. . .
"Since it wasn't certain that the Hindenburg would pass directly over my backyard en route to Lakehurst as the Akron did four years before, and to ensure there could be no escape, nowhere to hide at the moment of truth, I chose to meet the monster on the grounds of Stevens Institute of Technology, an engineering college where I went to nursery school. Stevens, wide open with great lawns and playing fields, was high on the palisade behind our house and overlooked the Hudson River and the island of Manhattan. Others had the same idea, although, I am sure, for different reasons, and I had a good bit of company as I waited late one afternoon.
"First I heard her. That terrible sound could be nothing else. She was still miles away. The Akron had been unusual in that her engines were inboard, only her propellers were outside the skin of the airship. The Hindenburg's four giant 1,100-horsepower Mercedes-Benz diesel engines were suspended from the exterior of her hull and could be heard from a much greater distance. On and on came the sound and my resolve seemed to wax and wane inversely with the sound of her engines. I caught myself praying she would turn off before coming up the Hudson far enough for me to see her, and I was condemning myself again for cowardice when she appeared. There was just one word for the Hindenburg: awesome."
G. Gordon Liddy, Will
Jersey City was the home of the first formal offices of the Weider bodybuilding magazines:
"Even if I could have afforded it, paying Manhattan prices for workspace was nuts. I set up shop just across the river in Jersey CIty where costs were much cheaper, but was just as close to the action and the wonderful resources and talent - photographers, writers, artists - that I needed. The location worked so well that I never moved my offices more than a mile for 25 years."
Joe Weider in Brothers of Iron
The initial location was on Ocean Avenue in 1947, and then 16 Hopkins Avenue in 1950. That location was described by Jimmy Breslin, who got his start working there, "Joe kept the barbells up on the third floor. Every time somebody dropped a barbell upstairs, my hands flew to my head."
The final Hudson County move was to Union City:
"In January 1957, the guys loaded one last moving van and then I locked the doors forever on Hopkins Avenue. About a mile north of there we celebrated the opening of a brand-new headquarters at 801 Palisade Avenue, Union City, New Jersey. Finally I had a building custom-designed for my businesses with the name Weider on the deed. It was a single-story, red brick structure with big metal letters over the entrance that read "Weider Enterprises." After Hopkins Avenue, the place was a palace but still pretty modest and simple. I picked up the lot for a song from the Union City municipal government, which had recently acquired it for one dollar. I might have put about $80,000 into it - a substantial amount in 1957, but not so much for a company headquarters that became a legendary locale to muscle men and muscle kids the world over."
Joe Weider in Brothers of Iron
The Weider publications were extremely important in popularizing fitness. It's hard to imagine now, but up into the late '60s exercise was a controversial activity. Some doctors maintained that all exertion was intrinsically harmful. Also, in additon to giving Jimmy Breslin his first job in journalism, Joe Weider made history with yet another break. In 1968, he brought to the United States a young bodybuilder from Austria, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Frustrated, if not stunned, at the potential defection of thousands of the party's most steadfast adherants, Shapiro accused Kean of trying to buy support from influential New Jersey black officials. He charged that Kean had named Julian Robinson, a former Jersey City Democratic chairman, to the New Jersey Highway Authority in exchange for political support and that Jersey City councilman Robert Jackson, head of Democrats for Kean, received five thousand dollars in consultant fees from the state GOP. Kean replied that he had appointed Robinson because he had worked well with him in the past. Of Jackson, Kean said, flashing "that grin," he was not certain that the councilman was working with the Republicans, but certainly hoped that he was.
Governor Tom Kean: From the New Jersey Statehouse to the 9-11 Commission
by Alvin S. Felzenberg
More Hudson County Facts