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Jimmy Thomas

Jimmy Thomas


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James Thomas was born in Newport on 3rd October, 1874. An illegitimate child, James was brought up by his widowed grandmother, Ann Thomas, who made her living by taking in washing from the officers and crews of the ships in Newport Docks.

At twelve years of age, Thomas left Angus Hill Board School and found employment as an errand boy for a local chemist shop. Three years later he became an engine cleaner on the Great Western Railway. In 1892 he passed his fireman's exams and began work at a colliery in the Sirhowy Valley.

Thomas joined the Associated Society of Railway Servants Union. He played an active role in union affairs and eventually became a full-time organiser of the union. Thomas was also involved in politics joining the newly formed Labour Party and was elected as a councillor in Swindon.

In 1909 the Derby Trades Council became unhappy with the performance of Richard Bell, the local Lib-Lab MP and in 1909 made it clear they would not support him in the next parliamentary election. Bell decided to stand down and the local Labour Party asked Jimmy Thomas to be their candidate. Thomas accepted the offer and in his election address he called for an increase in taxes on the rich and the abolition of the House of Lords. In the 1910 General Election Thomas received 10,239 votes, over 2,000 more than the nearest Conservative Party candidate.

While in the House of Commons, Thomas retained his position in the union and helped organise the strike of 1911. The following year he was an important figure in the amalgamation of several unions to form the National Union of Railwaymen (NUR). In was elected General Secretary of the NUR in 1917 and two years later led the successful railway strike of 1919. When Ramsay MacDonald became Prime Minister after the 1924 General Election, he appointed Thomas as Secretary of State for the Colonies.

During the proposed General Strike in 1926 Thomas was asked by the Trade Union Congress to help reach an agreement with the Conservative Government and the mine-owners. According to Thomas they were close to agreement when Stanley Baldwin broke off negotiations. The reason for his action was that printers at the Daily Mail had refused to print a leading article attacking the proposed strike. The TUC negotiators apologized for the printers' behaviour, but Baldwin refused to continue with the talks and the General Strike began the next day.

When the Labour Party returned to power after the 1929 General Election, Thomas became Lord Privy Seal in MacDonald's government. This coincided with a serious economic depression and in 1931 Philip Snowden, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, suggested that the Labour government should introduce new measures including a reduction in unemployment pay. Several ministers, including George Lansbury, Arthur Henderson and Joseph Clynes, refused to accept the cuts in benefits and resigned from office.

Ramsay MacDonald was angry that his Cabinet had voted against him and decided to resign. When he saw George V that night, he was persuaded to head a new coalition government that would include Conservative and Liberal leaders as well as Labour ministers. Most of the Labour Cabinet totally rejected the idea and only three, Thomas, Philip Snowden and John Sankey agreed to join the new government.

MacDonald was determined to continue and his National Government introduced the measures that had been rejected by the previous Labour Cabinet. Labour MPs were furious with what had happened and Thomas, Ramsay MacDonald and Philip Snowden were expelled from the Labour Party.

In October, MacDonald called an election. Thomas, who stood as a National Labour candidate in Derby, won his seat in the 1931 General Election and afterwards served as Secretary for the Colonies in the government.

Thomas held his government post until May 1936, when he was accused of leaking Budget secrets to his stockbroker son, Leslie Thomas, and Alfred Cosher Bates, a wealthy businessman. In a Judicial Tribunal set up by the government, Bates admitted giving Thomas £15,000 but claimed it was an advance for a proposed autobiography. This high sum for an autobiography, not yet written, only increased suspicion of the two men's relationship, and Thomas was forced to resign from the government and House of Commons.

Thomas retired to his home, Millbury House, Ferring, where he wrote his autobiography, My Story (1937). Jimmy Thomas died on 21st January 1949.

We must end and not mend an assembly (House of Lords) the majority of whose only qualification is the accident of birth. You have to determine the question whether the People or the peers shall rule; whether the bread of the poor or the land of the rich shall be taxed. In short, whether the misery and degradation of thousands of our more unfortunate citizens shall continue, or a genuine effort made to alleviate their unhappy lot. Such is the issue that you will be called upon to decide, and that your verdict will be on the side of humanity against poverty is the sincere wish and belief of J. H. Thomas.

Early in the summer vacation (August 21st) the Labour Government resigned and each Labour M.P. received a letter from the Prime Minister informing him that he had felt constrained to form a National Government and had secured the support of Mr Baldwin, the leader of the Opposition. Some Conservative Members would be taken into the Government. Mr Snowden and Mr J. Thomas had agreed to continue in their offices and it was hoped that the Parliamentary Labour Party would agree with what had been done. At the same time a message arrived summoning all Labour M.P.s to attend a meeting of the Parliamentary Party in London. Incredibly, I was playing cricket when it arrived. I rushed up to

London at once. I found Members delighted that Ramsay Macdonald, Philip Snowden and J. Thomas had severed themselves from us by their action. We had got rid of the Right Wing without any effort on our part. No one trusted Mr Thomas and Philip Snowden was recognized to be a nineteenth-century Liberal with no longer any place amongst us. State action to remedy the economic crisis was anathema to him. As for Ramsay Macdonald, he was obviously losing his grip on affairs. He had no background of knowledge of economic and financial questions and was hopelessly at sea in a crisis like this. But many, if not most, of the Labour M.P.s thought that at an election we should win hands down. I was not so optimistic and wrote in a memorandum which I published in a local paper in my constituency at the time. "The country is thoroughly frightened and our Party has not proved that it has an alternative policy or the courage to put one through if it had one."

You will know that my only object in joining a National Government was because I felt sure that the coming together of all political parties - regardless of past differences - was the only chance of pulling this country through its crisis. Today I hold that opinion even more firmly than before, but, as far as I myself am concerned, I feel that instead of being a source of strength to your Cabinet I shall merely be a drag on it and not in position to pull my full weight. I have come to my decision because the way in which my name and private affairs have been bandied about renders my continuation as a member of the Government impossible.

We dined with Victor Cazalet in a private room at the House of Commons. We talked until 10.30 and then I went into the Chamber, where J. Thomas was ragging the Labour Opposition, and a sorry sight it was to watch them wincing under the gruelling. J. Thomas knows them so well, speaks their language, and is aware of their tricks and he went for them. The Socialist Opposition seem appalling; uneducated, narrow and unattractive, and the Independent Labour Party, headed by Maxton, are a quartet of loquacious jokers - a super-night at the House.

An even more distressing blow came at the end of May, when a tribunal appointed under the 1921 Tribunals of Inquiry Act concluded that J. Thomas had leaked certain budget secrets to the Conservative M.P. for Balham and Tooting, Sir Alfred Butt, and to an old friend and business associate, Alfred Cosher Bates. It is not at all clear that the tribunal was right. The evidence against Thomas was circumstantial, and some of it, at least, would have been disallowed in an ordinary court. If he had acted as the tribunal suggested, he had clearly committed an offence under the Official Secrets Act, but he was never charged with having done so-much less found guilty. If he had been properly tried, with the normal safeguards against hearsay evidence in operation, he might well have been found innocent. On the other hand, there could be no doubt that Butt and Bates had both behaved in a distinctly suspicious fashion - insuring themselves heavily against increases in taxation which were included in the Budget soon afterwards; doing so, for no obvious reason, wholly or partially through nominees; and on material points failing to satisfy the tribunal that they were telling the truth. There could also be no doubt that they were both close friends of Thomas, and that he had been in a position to disclose budget secrets to them had he wished to do so. More damningly still, it had emerged in the course of the hearings that Bates had paid him £15,000 as an advance on the proceeds of an autobiography which lie had not even started to write, and that in 1935 Butt had acted for him when he had insured himself for £1,000 in the event of there being a general election during the year - a transaction on which he had made a profit of more than £600. The tribunal's verdict put the seal on his disgrace, but the hearings had already disgraced him before the verdict was announced. He sent a letter to Baldwin resigning from the Cabinet a week before the verdict was known. Three weeks later, he resigned from the House of Coininons as well.

MacDonald watched all this with a kind of helpless agony. Thomas was now his oldest friend in politics - the only member of the attenuated National Labour group whose roots in the Labour movement went almost as deep as did his own; the only figure of consequence in their generation of Labour leaders who had stayed with him through all the upheavals of the last five years. At first, he convinced himself that all would be well. "Thomas' defence now in hand of solicitor," he noted loyally on May 8th. "I hope for a fine vindication ... I suspect other Cabinet quarters from whom leakages have come - wirepullers who are in constant touch with certain magnates of the press." Little by little, however, his hopes collapsed. By May 10th, he had to admit to himself that T's associates may be his undoing. I can see the public interest shifting from whether there was a leakage to what is the character of T's friends. On that the "jury of the street" may condemn him. By the 12th he was "haunted by the feeling that J.H.T. is to be condemned"; by the 19th he was convinced that Thomas "cannot now be saved". But although he reluctantly came to believe that Thomas probably had let some secrets slip, he refused to condemn him for doing so. Thomas's fault, he insisted, was merely "his well known one of being unable to hold his tongue... He will have profited nothing; he will have had no thought of anyone profiting; he just wanted to show that he carried great secrets." It was Thomas's friends who were at fault for abusing his confidence: Baldwin was to blame for holding the Budget Cabinet too long before the Budget statement. The revelation of Thomas's gamble on the date of the general election clearly came as a shock, but he was prepared to forgive even that.

I do not intend to go into details: I must let those who read all the evidence and the report judge for themselves. I am, however, entitled to say to the House that I never consciously gave a Budget secret away. That I repeat, in spite of the Tribunal's findings. To attempt to deal in detail with some of my private affairs would be painful to me as it would be unfair to the House.

I reached the Chamber at 3 p.m. and found it expectant and nervous. At 3.30 J. Thomas entered, sad and aged, but sunburnt still. He sat immediately below the gangway on an aisle seat. Very soon took place one of the most poignant scenes the House has ever witnessed, when the Speaker quietly said 'Mr Thomas' and the poor man rose. He read a written statement which was simple and rather heartrending. He accepted the findings of the tribunal, but declared that he had never consciously betrayed a budget or any other secret. He was leaving the "Ouse' after twenty-seven years in its midst. He had now only his wife who still trusted him and loved him. He hoped no other member would ever be in a situation as cruel, as terrible as the one he today found himself in. Then he sat down for only a second, and there was a loud murmur of pity and suppressed admiration through the House. There was scarcely a dry eye. Mr Baldwin sat with his head in his hands, as he often does, Winston Churchill wiped away his tears. Thomas then rose again and slowly made his way out, not forgetting to turn and bow, for the last time, to the Speaker.


History of the Dylan Thomas Centre

Opened by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter in 1995, the Dylan Thomas Centre is now nearing its twentieth year as Tŷ Llên: home to all things literary and cultural for the city and county of Swansea.

Brief Overview

As we are in the centenary year of Dylan Thomas’s birth, the Uplands area of Swansea, which is not more than a few miles from the maritime quarter’s ‘house of literature’, it is an opportune moment to look back at the history of the building that accommodates the only permanent exhibition dedicated to Wales’s premiere poet, Dylan Thomas, and simultaneously provides a platform for new and established writers.

While the centre has housed the exhibition ‘Dylan Thomas: Man and Myth’ for nearly twenty years, the building itself has a longer history, dating back to the 19th century.

Starting its life as the town’s Guildhall in 1829, the Old Guildhall (as it is known) looked quite different to today. Built by Thomas Bowen, between 1825-1829, from designs by architect John Collingwood, the building originally had sweeping grand staircases either side of the main entrance and the building housed court rooms and smaller offices.

Beautiful as the structure was, the doubling in size of the borough through the Municipal Corporations Act (1835) meant that the building could not function to the capacity needed. Thus the decision was made to enlarge the site in 1848, with the newer version of the Guildhall completed in 1852 by William Richards to plans by architect Thomas Taylor.

As well as a more spacious building, the façade was embellished and the courtyard to the front contained a statue of the MP and industrialist John Henry Vivian, as well as two Russian canons captured during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War.

The building functioned as the Guildhall until 1934 when the decision was taken to build an entirely new civic centre (which includes the Brangwyn Hall) near Sandfields and St Helen’s cricket ground.

The Many Faces of the Dylan Thomas Centre

From its inception as the local town hall, through its long period as Swansea’s municipal Guildhall, to its role as Tŷ Llên, the grand Victorian building has had many roles and many different occupants.

In the late 1930s, after the re-location of Swansea’s administrative centre to its new location, the Old Guildhall became a place of education and training. Its first role was as a juvenile employment centre briefly interrupted when the building was requisitioned by the army for recruitment purposes during the Second World War.

From 1949 to 1969 the building returned to its former role in education: one section of the Old Guildhall was occupied by the Youth Employment Bureau and another part of the building became Swansea Technical School. Later, the space would house the College of Further Education (1960-1971) and was finally the annexe to Dynevor School (1970-1982) until the building closed in 1982.

In the ten plus years that the building stood uninhabited, time and neglect meant that renovations and refurbishments were much needed to restore the graffiti-covered, derelict building which was, in its heyday, described as the grandest civic structure in town.

Today: Tŷ Llên – ‘House of Literature’

Re-opening its doors to the city of Swansea in 1995 as Tŷ Llên (‘the house of literature’), the centre was the major venue for the UK Year of Literature and was opened by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter – himself a fan of Dylan Thomas’s work.

Today the centre continues to operate as home to the literature and arts programme for the city, with a busy and thriving calendar of events. It also houses the only permanent exhibition on Dylan Thomas.

Over the years, the year round events programme and Festival have attracted famous names such as Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke, Sir George Martin, Alexei Sayle, Rowan Williams, Andrew Motion, Germaine Greer, Sarah Waters, Simon Armitage and Paul Durcan, to name a few, as well as some ‘home-grown’ Swansea talents.

Alongside the festivals, the centre has a yearly programme of events, houses the Young Writers’ Squad – a workshop for aspiring writers still at school – and is one of the venues which showcases Fluellen Theatre Company’s work.

The centre’s commitment to literature and arts education means that the centre’s literature officer often gives talks on Dylan Thomas’s work and life to local groups, schools, as well as visitors who visit the exhibition.

The Dylan Thomas Centre – Building Timeline

1825 – 1829 Work begins to build Swansea’s Guildhall in the Martime Quarter

1848 The Guildhall officially opens

1907 Building of a new Guildhall considered but not proceeded with

1914 Birth of Dylan Thomas

1919 Guildhall is the venue for victory marches by returning regiments

1928 Guildhall deemed too small. Decision taken to build a new one

1930-2 Construction of Juvenile Employment Centre as an annex

1934 Guildhall ceases to be the centre of local government in Swansea, but continues as Juvenile Employment Centre. The current Guildhall opens

1939 Old Guildhall commandeered for naval purposes

1939 Junior Instruction Centre for Boys

1948 Centenary of the Old Guildhall

1949 Old Guildhall houses the Secondary Technical School (Co-educational)

1953 Death of Dylan Thomas

1954 Technical School becomes a ‘boys only’ school

1947-1960 Secondary Technical School Youth Employment Bureau

1960 Boys’ Technical School Closed. Replaced by Technical College

1970 Technical College moves to Tycoch. Old Guildhall becomes an annexe for Dynevor Comprehensive

1960-1971 College of Further Education

1982 Dynevor annexe closes. Building is uninhabited

1993 Swansea is chosen to host the UK Year of Literature and Writing in 1995 and the building is refurbished

1995 Year of Literature – Tŷ Llên / The Dylan Thomas Centre opened by former US President Jimmy Carter. A year round programme of events continues beyond the Year of Literature and a permanent Dylan Thomas Exhibition is developed

1998 First Dylan Thomas Festival. It’s now an annual event, held between Dylan’s birthday, 27 October, and the date of his death, 9 November

2001 New Dylan Thomas Exhibition opens at the Centre. Visitors from all over the world come to Swansea: over 70 different countries are represented in the Visitor Books

2013 Year round programme of arts events continues. Those who have appeared at the Dylan Thomas Centre in recent years include Carol Ann Duffy, Sir George Martin, Rowan Williams, Alexei Sayle, Don Paterson, Gillian Clarke, Owen Sheers, Russell T Davies, Simon Armitage, Brian Turner and Cerys Matthews

2014 The Dylan Thomas Centre is the hub for the year’s Dylan Thomas Centenary Celebrations


Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014)


Like Margaret Schroeder (left), Florence Osbeck (right) was Nucky's second wife, but that's where the similarities end.

Yes. On the show, Nucky (Steve Buscemi) alludes to having lost his first wife. The Boardwalk Empire true story reveals that Nucky Johnson's first wife was his childhood sweetheart Mabel Jeffries. They both had enrolled at State Normal School College in Trenton, New Jersey. Nucky left after a year to begin an unpaid law clerkship. He eventually quit to work as a clerk at the office of his father, the sheriff.

After Mabel Jeffries graduated and began work as a teacher, the two married on September 12, 1906. Their marriage ended with her death in 1912 of tuberculosis. It was at this time that Nucky began to live a fast life. Decades later, following an engagement that lasted three years, he married Florence "Floss" Osbeck, a thirty-three-year-old showgirl, on August 11, 1941 before entering prison for tax evasion. -Nucky: The Real Story of the Atlantic City Boardwalk Boss by Frank J. Ferry

Did Nucky have any children?

No. On the HBO TV show, Nucky adopts Margaret Schroeder's two children around the time that Margaret and Nucky marry. In researching The Boardwalk Empire true story, we discovered that the real Nucky Thompson (Nucky Johnson) never had any children. His brother, who is depicted as having a rather large family on the show, also never had any kids.

Yes. James "Jimmy" Darmody, portrayed by Michael Pitt, is to some degree based on Jimmy Boyd (Business Insider). Born November 5, 1906, James H. Boyd worked closely with Nucky Johnson and has been called his "right-hand man" by their lawyer Frank J. Ferry. It is rumored that Boyd got his start as a bellhop at the Ritz and was able to work his way up. Ultimately, he became a part of the Atlantic Board of Freeholders (county legislators) for almost forty years. He was also the executive chairman of the Fourth Ward Republic Club for two decades and served in the army during World War II (Jimmy Darmody was a WWI veteran). By now you've probably guessed that the real James Darmody (Jimmy Boyd) was not killed by Nucky Johnson. He died more than five years after Nucky in April 1974. -Atlantic Cape Community College

Did the real Nucky Thompson actually live at the Ritz-Carlton?

Yes. Nucky Johnson leased the entire ninth story of the Ritz-Carlton, as well as other properties. While being investigated for tax evasion, it was noted that his daily expenditures included such food as lobster, steaks and caviar. Although he treated himself well, spending large amounts on clothes and cars too, he also spread his wealth to charities, impoverished areas and workers. -ACMuseum.org


Ship-shaped bar of real Babette's nightclub (top) and the TV show's ship-shaped bar (bottom).

Yes. Babette's was an actual Atlantic City nightclub that existed from the 1920s through the 1940s. It was originally called the Golden Inn and was owned by Dan Stebbins. He changed the name in the 1930s after marrying singer and performer Blanche Babette, who had come to Atlantic City in 1920. Babette's was indeed known for its unique décor, which included a ship-shaped bar (pictured) similar to but not as extravagant as the one Martin Scorsese insisted on having created for the show. Like on the TV show, the real Babette's saw it's fair share of illegal activity, including backroom gambling and horse-race betting, which caused it to become the target of a federal investigation in the 1930s. -ACMuseum.org

Did Nucky really wear a red carnation in his lapel?

Yes. Like on the TV show, the real Enoch Thompson (Enoch Johnson) wore a fresh red carnation in his lapel daily. It was his personal trademark. -The Press of Atlantic City

Did the real Nucky have a pale, scrawny appearance like actor Steve Buscemi on the TV show?

No. The real Nucky swam almost every day of the week to keep in shape. He was a tall, muscular, formidable man who weighed roughly 225 pounds and stood over six feet tall. He also did not have a somewhat high-pitched voice like actor Steve Buscemi. He had a forceful and outgoing personality and he was almost always seen wearing glasses. -Galloway.Patch.com

Join Bob Shaw, the Production Designer on the HBO Boardwalk Empire TV show, as he offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Boardwalk Empire sets, including the replica Atlantic City Boardwalk that was constructed exclusively for the show. Also, watch the trailer that was used to promote the HBO TV series.

Boardwalk Empire's Production Designer, Bob Shaw, takes us on a tour of the Boardwalk Empire sets, including an enormous, life-size replica of the Atlantic City Boardwalk built in Brooklyn, Babette's nightclub, and Nucky Thompson's office.

Watch the Boardwalk Empire trailer for the HBO TV series starring Steve Buscemi as Enoch 'Nucky' Thompson, the treasurer and ruler of Atlantic City during the 1920s and 1930s.


Tim Thomas: The Ugly Truth Behind His Refusal to Meet the President

Tim Thomas decided to enforce his personal rights to not attend his team’s visit Monday to meet Barack Obama at the White House.

Oddly enough, what most people seem to have overlooked, Tim Thomas was never invited in the first place.

Yup, you heard me. Tim Thomas was never invited. Not only was he not invited this time, I kind of doubt he will ever be invited.

To clarify, the goaltender for the Boston Bruins Stanley Cup-winning team of 2011 was invited. Now, that individual also happens to be Tim Thomas, but that is not who the invitation was for. This was an invitation to the Boston Bruins, and it was their invitation to accept or decline.

Now, Thomas had a nice little planned out quotation to release:

I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government. Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

There are a lot of people who believe that if there was a Republican in the White House, perhaps Tim Thomas would not have felt so inclined to make such a strong statement. But, that is irrelevant really. Because, to reiterate, Tim Thomas, the INDIVIDUAL, was never invited. Tim Thomas, the Boston Bruins goalie, was.

Now, if Thomas was a real man, he would have gone to the Boston Bruins management and ownership, returned the money from his contract and quit the balance of it by retiring–so he could exercise his rights as a free citizen.

You see, I am all for exercising your rights. I am all against abusing them. And Tim Thomas abused those rights.

There are soldiers who fought and died so that Thomas would have the right, as a free citizen, to freely choose to sign a contract worth millions and millions of dollars with the Boston Bruins. Included in that contract would be his obligations to represent the Boston Bruins in public. Unless I am sadly mistaken, there was no clause in there which stated that Thomas would not have to represent the Boston Bruins if it involved a trip to the White House.

You see, Tim Thomas wanted to make millions of dollars in salary and in sponsorship. But, he did not like having to live up to one of the demands that was included into that agreement. You see, those founding fathers that Thomas refers to wanted him to have the chance to make millions of dollars for who he is and for what he does. Not because of his parents, family, race, gender, age, sexual orientation or any other demographic he could be divided into. Now, what Thomas did, was he decided to become an employee and representative of a team (the Boston Bruins). He was not coerced or forced into doing this he did so of his own free will. Just like his Founding Fathers would have wanted.

Then, he decided that because it was inconvenient for him, he abused his contract. Just like some British nobleman who decided that it would be inconvenient if the laws of the land had to apply to them and just what those Founding Fathers were trying to eliminate when they laid down the constitution of the United States of America.

You see, to be a free citizen means that not only does Tim Thomas have the right to make millions of dollars per year. It means he has the right to refuse millions of dollars a year. If being a representative of a company named the Boston Bruins and getting paid millions of dollars to represent that company’s beliefs is acceptable. Then you visit the White House and smile in public. If it is more important to assert your INDIVIDUAL rights, well then, exercise your rights to refuse that money and become an individual.

Because, until Tim Thomas gives back that money and retires out of his contract, he is the millionaire Boston Bruins goalie whose responsibility was a public appearance was at the White House and not Tim Thomas, the unpaid rights activist.


Feminist Ranking Of Presidents Throughout History

The feminist movement frequently comes under fire for completely nonsensical reasons — feminists are too "angry," or "equality has already been achieved," so why bother continuing to fight? Between the fact that Donald Trump frequently manages to get away with sexist remarks and the fact that feminism has been an ongoing struggle for a such a long time, the battle for gender equality is clearly far from won. Even now, women have to fight to achieve representation in political spaces, and deal with politicians who seem to think that women don't know what's best for themselves. However, there have also been some feminist U.S. presidents — not without their problematic decisions, of course, but no one's perfect. While we discuss the history of misogyny in American politics, it's also important to note the work that feminist allies have been doing.

Feminism is ever-changing, which means that it would have looked very different during Thomas Jefferson's time than it does now, under President Obama. Here is a look at some of the most and least feminist presidents from U.S. history it is necessary for us to recognize that even the most feminist presidents have done extremely problematic things, while some of the most sexist ones have done some important work, too.

The 5 Most Feminist Presidents

1. Barack Obama

Obama is staunchly pro-choice, and during his presidency has also worked to launch a national discussion of rape culture. But feminism is intersectional, which means that it must also work against things like racism. Obama has made important statements about police brutality, has been working toward immigration reform and, despite initially opposing marriage equality, eventually lent his full support to it. He is in favor of universal health care, and has been fighting for economic equality by doing things like supporting an increased minimum wage.

2. Jimmy Carter

Carter explicitly identified as a feminist in 2014, and though he believes that Jesus would be against abortion rights, he also believes these rights should be granted under the Constitution. Carter has written extensively about the human rights violations faced by women around the world, including child marriage and sexual trafficking. Like Obama, he has pointed out the issue of rape on college campuses as a prominent one.

3. John F. Kennedy

In 1961, Kennedy established a national Commission on the Status of Women, appointing Eleanor Roosevelt as its chair. The commission urged Kennedy to order federal agencies to end gender discrimination in their hiring decisions. Then, in 1963, he signed the Equal Pay Act into law.

4. Woodrow Wilson

In 1918, Wilson finally gave a speech to Congress in favor of women's suffrage after learning that jailed suffragists were force-fed. During his first term, suffragists demanded that Wilson do more than pay lip service to their movement, and during his second term he stepped up to champion their cause. In his speech to Congress, Wilson also recognized that women had done a great deal to support the country's war efforts during World War I.

5. John Adams

Adams might not have been a feminist by today's standards, and perhaps he wasn't entirely a feminist for his time. But his wife Abigail's insistence that he "remember the ladies" only scratched the surface of Adams' views. In response to Abigail's letter, Adams described women as "more numerous and powerful" than all other minority groups. And before he ever even met Abigail, he went through a brief stint as a teacher, during which he not only expressed affection for his young students but also saw potential in his female students to one day become politicians — an idea that certainly wasn't normalized during his time.

The 5 Least Feminist Presidents

1. Andrew Jackson

It is no secret that Jackson committed genocide against Native Americans. He also owned slaves and profited from their labor, going so far as to spark the First Seminole War to return slaves to their owners. Feminists should be in full support of removing Jackson from the $20 bill.

2. Richard Nixon

In 1992, Nixon gave Hillary Clinton some sexist advice — "If the wife comes through as being too strong and too intelligent, it makes the husband look like a wimp." He warned that if Clinton came off as "too strong" and "too intelligent," she risked upstaging her husband, Bill Clinton, who at that point was running for his first presidential term. In addition to his sexism, Nixon was also apparently racist, as revealed in a batch of tapes and documents from his presidency that came to light in 2009. In these tapes, Nixon is recorded as having said that abortion is necessary in the case of rape — or in the case of an interracial child.

3. George H.W. Bush

Bush Sr. once made a joke in the company of Bill Clinton about "the ugliest woman" he had ever seen, referring to a pro-choice activist. In 1983, he behaved in a patronizing manner during a debate with Geraldine Ferraro, and as president, Bush vetoed the Civil Rights Act in 1990.

4. Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson was extremely hypocritical — despite writing about "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," he was a lifetime slaveholder. He also allegedly raped Sally Hemings after forcing himself on her numerous times. Jefferson, like many of his contemporaries, took extreme offense to a lack of "female cleanliness." He did not see any reason for women to have the right to vote, as he believed that their only necessary obligations were childbearing and housekeeping.

5. Bill Clinton

Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky should not be the only incident that gives feminists pause. Clinton may be pro-choice, and he may have appointed Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, but multiple women came forward to alleged that he sexually harassed or otherwise behaved inappropriately with them and frequently had their accounts shut down or dismissed.


Oscars 2020: Last year's top winners announced as first presenters

It’s one of the most notorious stories of the late 20th century: the 1975 disappearance and presumed murder of Jimmy Hoffa, once the most powerful union boss on Earth.

Now, intrigue in Hoffa’s mysterious death is stronger than ever thanks to the Golden Globe-nominated Martin Scorsese film, “The Irishman.” While the film follows many real-life events, some dispute the accuracy of the three-and-a-half-hour saga, which is based on a book.

Al Pacino plays Hoffa in the film, which delves into the corrupt union boss’ rise to fame and disappearance — the subject of speculation for decades. Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (played by Robert De Niro) claimed to have been the killer in a book written by Sheeran’s lawyer, Charles Brandt, “I Heard You Paint Houses” — mobster code for “I heard you kill people.”

While Hoffa’s death is still a mystery, Sheeran claims in the book that he allegedly shot his longtime friend Hoffa in the head after luring him to a house in Detroit on orders.

The book was published in 2004, the year after Sheeran died and nearly 29 years after the murder was committed. While it was too late for law enforcers to do much — Brandt said that they “dug up floorboards [of the murder site in 2013] for analysis and found human blood but could not tie it to one person” — Sheeran had once occupied a place on the FBI’s shortlist of possible suspects.

His confession to killing a man whom he called a friend illustrates the hard choices that come with a life dedicated to crime. “Frank whacked guys,” Brandt said. “I estimate that he killed 25 to 30 people. He learned right away that you don’t say no.”

Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa (left) and Robert DeNiro as Frank Sheeran in Martin Scorsese’s new film, “The Irishman.” SteveSandsNewYorkNewswire/MEGA

Unlike a lot of men who wind up killers for the Mafia, the real-life Sheeran born in Darby, Pa. had no criminal connections. After joining the military in 1941, Sheeran was sent to Italy where he developed a knack for killing — a skill that would come in handy off the battlefield.

”His lieutenant told him that when you are commanded to ‘interrogate somebody and hurry back,’ you are going to kill the guy,” said Brandt.

In 1945, Sheeran moved to Philadelphia, where he started a family and got a job as a truck driver for a grocery chain. His first arrest came two years later when he was charged with disorderly conduct after beating up two men in an altercation on a trolley.

In 1955, he had a chance meeting with Russell Bufalino, boss of the northeastern Pennsylvania crime family. In short order, he began doing tasks for the Kingston-based Bufalino, like chauffeuring him and making deliveries.

Coincidentally, this was around when Sheeran was making extra dough by collecting money for small-time Philly loan sharks. Seduced by the lifestyle, Sheeran said yes when a local mobster called Whispers offered him $10,000 to burn down the office of Cadillac Linen Service, which was competing with a company that Whispers had an interest in.

But Sheeran was spotted while scoping out the place — and it turned out that Cadillac was owned by a friend of Bufalino’s. The moment plays out in “The Irishman” much like Brandt tells it, but the scene adds Harvey Keitel as boss of the Philadelphia crime family, Angelo Bruno.

“Because Frank had been seen in [Bufalino’s] company, the friend did not have Frank killed,” said Brandt. “But Frank was told to make it right by killing Whispers. That night was his first hit.”

In 1957, as a reward for pulling off the job, Bufalino introduced Sheeran to Jimmy Hoffa, the president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters labor union notorious for Mafia ties, corruption and violence.

Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) in “The Irishman.” Netflix

Hoffa needed somebody with muscle to silence enemies. He told Sheeran over the phone, “I heard you paint houses,” a euphemism for blood splatter on a wall. Sheeran said he replied yes and added, “I also do my own plumbing” — meaning, he disposed of the bodies too.

Sheeran grew close to Hoffa and eventually got a lucrative union-boss job as president of the Local 326 in Wilmington, Del., which had him raking in under-the-table rewards for mob favors. More notably, he served as Hoffa’s muscle: beating up enemies, killing people trying to start rival unions and running guns.

In the book, Sheeran also claimed to have transported rifles from Brooklyn to Florida for the killing of President John F. Kennedy, adding credence to theories that Hoffa and the mob played a role in JFK’s assassination. The president, along with his brother Robert F. Kennedy, had a strong disdain for the union corruption that Hoffa stirred up as well as the mob.

However, Scorsese ended up leaving the JFK subplot on the cutting room floor and instead summed up the conspiracy confession from Sheeran in one subtle blink-or-miss-it line: When Pesci’s character says, “If they can knock off a president, they can knock off the president of a union.”

“That’s the only one I allowed in, because you can interpret that, if you want, meaning ‘they’ knocked him off, we didn’t knock him off, but people can be taken out,” Scorsese said, according to Indiewire.

Per the book, one of Sheeran’s biggest hits happened in Little Italy on April 7, 1972: the murder of Colombo family mobster Joey “Crazy Joe” Gallo, at the behest of Bufalino.

It was known that Gallo would be celebrating his birthday at Umberto’s Clam House on Mulberry Street. Sheeran said that he walked inside, dressed casually, posing as a truck driver who needed to use the bathroom.

Technicians prepare for a car explosion scene in Scorsese’s new film. Steve White

Although startled by the presence of a woman and little girl at the table where Gallo and his crew sat, Sheeran had his marching orders and began shooting. Gallo headed for the door, making it outside before being taken down by three bullets. Sheeran escaped in a waiting car.

The year that Gallo was murdered, Hoffa, who went to prison on racketeering charges in 1967, was eager to regain control of the International Teamsters. But Mafia kingpins didn’t want him back.

Heat on the persistent Hoffa went on. He started getting hang-up calls and bullets fired through his window at union headquarters and somebody even blew up his 45-foot cruiser, which was docked in the Detroit River.

When Hoffa still refused to acquiesce, Brandt wrote that the mob turned to the one man who could lure him to a vulnerable location.

That’s where many say the film and the book divert from reality.

In late July 1975, Sheeran flew from Ohio to Pontiac, Mich., to murder his mentor, Brandt wrote, adding that he “felt nothing.”

“Frank could not blink, much less say no [to killing Hoffa],” said Brandt. “Or else . . . they both would have gotten killed.”

According to Brandt’s account, Sheeran drove with a few other associates to pick up Hoffa at a restaurant called the Red Fox. Sheeran claimed that his presence helped put Hoffa at ease about driving to a meeting at a Detroit house.

They arrived and entered the vestibule of a home that was obviously empty. “When Jimmy saw . . . that nobody came out of the rooms to greet him, he knew right away what it was,” Sheeran said in the book, adding that Hoffa tried to flee. “Jimmy Hoffa got shot twice at a decent range — not too close or the [blood] splatters back at you — in the back of his head . . . My friend did not suffer.”

Soon after, Sheeran claimed, Hoffa’s body was turned to ash at a crematorium.

But not everyone buys his story. Dan Moldea, author of the deeply researched “The Hoffa Wars,” insists that Sheeran did not kill Hoffa.

Frank Sheeran (upper left) with fellow Teamsters organizers at his first job in Detroit. Sheeran/Brandt/Splash

Moldea — who interviewed mob figures, investigators and prosecutors for his book — agrees that Sheeran flew to Pontiac and lured Hoffa into the car. But he believes that the murder was committed by Salvatore “Sally Bugs” Briguglio, an enforcer for the Genovese crime family. Moldea bases this on interviews with parties including the owner of a New Jersey dump where some believed Hoffa’s body was disposed.

“This is a one-source story about a pathological liar,” Moldea told The Post of Brandt’s book on Sheeran.

He voiced his displeasure about the De Niro-starring flick when he met the actor at a dinner in 2014.

“De Niro had a lot of pride that he is doing the real story,” said Moldea. “I told him that he’s been conned.”

But Brandt sticks by his story. After Sheeran served 13 years of a 32-year prison sentence for labor racketeering and was crippled by arthritis while living in a nursing home, he confessed to killing Hoffa to three priests as well as to Brandt.

“Frank sought forgiveness and, to his way of thinking, died in a state of grace,” said Brandt. (He alleged that Sheeran committed suicide, in 2003, at age 83, by starving himself to death for six weeks.)

Whatever the facts are, De Niro, Scorsese and screenwriter Steven Zaillian are going for Brandt’s version of it.


6. Dwight D. Eisenhower

During the first inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, the newly sworn-in president broke with tradition by reciting his own improvised prayer after taking the oath, rather than kissing the Bible. He then presided over an inaugural parade that featured some 62 bands and 26,000 participants, and a moment that could almost certainly never happen today: With permission from the Secret Service, a California cowboy and trick roper named Montie Montana lassoed the new president, as a grinning Vice President Richard Nixon, among other dignitaries, looked on.


Captain Thomas Graves sailed the "Mary and Margaret" to Jamestown in 1608, He served as a representative in the Virginia Assembly at Jamestown in 1619 and later sat on the House of Burgesses in the colonial capital of Williamsburg. In 1630, Captain Graves was commissioned to build a fort at Old Point Comfort in Hampton.

Captain Graves had his first son in England, John Graves , which l2 generations later Rachel Norman was born.

Jimmy's family goes back to a later son of Captain Graves, Francis, whom was born in Virginia.

In 1852, Jimmy's great-great grandfather, Paschal Graves opened an "ordinary" or inn along the Blue Ridge Turnpike on the land that is now part of the Shenandoah National Park.

The Graves ordinary was a natural stopping point for travelers making the 70 mile journey between Gordonsville and New Market.

Around 1857, the Graves family moved to a new location, which is where the farm is today.

The "Ordinary" at the Home Place and now the Home Farmhouse that we see today.

A sturdy log house that was built in the late 1700's was added on to over the years, is now the center of a three-story farm house known as Mountain View.

This has been the homeplace for four generations of the Graves family.

For over 100 years, travelers and vacationers enjoyed the hospitality of Mountain View. Inn keeping was in Jimmy's blood, so after receiving his BS degree in agricultural economics at Virginia Tech in 1961 and two years with the armed forces overseas, he wanted to come back to the farm to carry on the family tradition of hospitality.

Jimmy met Rachel Lynn Norman through 4-H showing cattle, and she shared Jimmy's enthusiasm for the idea of a mountain resort, they married in the fall of 1964.

In April of 1965, Graves Mountain Lodge was open to the public.

Today, Rachel and Jimmy have steeped back from day to day hospitality. They are at work every day though - doing accounts, planning events, mowing the acres of grass and meadow.

Their sons and daughters-in-law - Lynn and Tricia, Lucky and Missy - along with one team member who has been with the Farm since her pre-teen years. Gail, are running the Farm, Lodges, Restaurant, Catering, Preserves, vegetable garden, and Market.

And then their children - Amelia, Cole, Zoe, James and William - help out on the big event days.

Front Row, left to right - Cole, Tricia, Jimmy, Rachel. James jr, Zoe, William.
Back row - Lynn, Amelia, Lucky, Missy.


[Letter from Thomas L. James to Jimmy Phillips, March 19, 1953]

Letter from Thomas L. James to Jimmy Phillips discussing Senate bill 243 and its usefulness in helping the school system.

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  • Main Title: [Letter from Thomas L. James to Jimmy Phillips, March 19, 1953]
  • Series Title:Personal Papers (MS 80-0002)

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Letter from Thomas L. James to Jimmy Phillips discussing Senate bill 243 and its usefulness in helping the school system.

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Harris and Eliza Kempner

One of Galveston’s most iconic families, the Kempner family influenced the social and philanthropic landscape of Galveston, and its members created an expansive economic empire. This collection includes both personal papers and documentation of the family's involvement in business and industry.


[Email from Jimmy Rocha to Lisa G. Thomas]

Email from Jimmy Rocha to Lisa G. Thomas on July 16, 2007, discussing SDEC meeting and bylaws.

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Creator: Unknown. July 16, 2007.

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Watch the video: Timmy Thomas - Why cant we live together (May 2022).