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Leo Frank Trial – Famous Trials

The discovery of the body of a thirteen-year-old girl in the basement of an Atlanta pencil factory where she had gone to collect her pay check shocked the citizens of that crime-ravaged southern city and roused its public officials to find a suspect and secure a conviction. Unfortunately, it now seems, events and the South’s anti-Semitism conspired to lead to the conviction of the wrong man, the factory’s Jewish superintendent, Leo Frank. The case ultimately drew the attention of the United States Supreme Court and the Governor of Georgia, but neither the Constitution nor a Governor’s commutation could spare Frank a violent death at the end of rope strung from a Georgia oak tree.

The Murder that Shocked Georgia

Around 3 a.m. on April 27, 1913, Newt Lee, the night watchman for the National Pencil Factory, carried a lantern with him to the factory basement to help him light his way to the “Negro toilet.” When his light fell upon a prone human form, Lee called Atlanta police, who arrived ten minutes later. The body was that of a thirteen-year-old girl. Her skull was dented and caked with blood. A piece of jute rope was wrapped around her neck. A worker at the factory called to the scene identified the body: “Oh my God! That’s Mary Phagan!”….”Continued

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Leo Frank Trial – Famous Trials

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The Leo Frank Case Research Library Information on the 1913 …

Notorious Case Raises Thorny Questions of Race and Hate By Paul Berger Published August 19, 2013, issue of August 23, 2013.

A century ago, Cobb County, Ga., was a sleepy farming community outside Atlanta, home to about 25,000 people. Now the county is an affluent suburb with a population of 700,000, including a booming Jewish community of about 8,000 families served by four synagogues, two restaurants doling out bagels and deli food, and a Kroger supermarket with a large kosher section.

Its changed so much by the influx of new people that its almost like a fairy tale that the lynching ever occurred, said Roy Barnes, former governor of Georgia, as he sat in his wood-paneled office just off the main square in Marietta, the countys largest city and its seat of government.

But the lynching did occur, just a couple of miles from Barness law office, when an angry mob led by Mariettas elite including Barness wifes grandfather stormed a remote prison, kidnapped Leo Max Frank, brought him back to Marietta and hung him from an oak tree in what is believed to be the only lynching of a Jew in America.

Franks lynching provided the denouement for one of the 20th centurys most contentious and consequential murder trials, galvanizing both the infancy of the Anti-Defamation League and the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan. The gruesome image of Frank dressed in only a nightshirt, his neck broken by the noose, his lifeless body dangling from a tree as townspeople rejoiced has become an iconic illustration of Southern anti-Semitism and hatred, an ugly trope that today still echoes in dark corners of the Internet.

But the story began nearly two years earlier, on August 25, 1913, when Frank was convicted of murdering Mary Phagan, a 13-year-old white girl from Marietta who worked in the factory that Frank managed. Outside the courtroom, a crowd of 5,000 celebrated the verdict, while Northern Jews including Abraham Cahan, editor of the Forverts denounced the trial as a travesty of justice.

Today, the oak tree where Frank was hung is long gone. Strip malls, the I-75 overpass and a 56-foot-tall metal hen, an advertisement for a fast-food restaurant referred to locally as The Big Chicken, have replaced the surrounding woods.

The story of the Frank trial and lynching is buried deep beneath layers of trauma, embarrassment and shame. And 100 years after Franks conviction for the murder of Mary Phagan, the debate over his guilt or innocence continues.

The case [against Frank] is not as feeble as most people say it is, said Steve Oney, a former staff writer at the Atlanta Journal Constitution whose 2003 book, And The Dead Shall Rise, on Phagans murder and Franks lynching, took 17 years to research and write.

Read more here:Leo Frank Case Stirs Debate 100 Years After Jewish Lynch Victims Conviction

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The Leo Frank Case Research Library Information on the 1913 …

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February 11, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed

100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty | The American Mercury

Published by Penelope Lee on April 26, 2013

Proving That Anti-Semitism Had Nothing to Do With His Conviction and Proving That His Defenders Have Used Frauds and Hoaxes for 100 Years

by Bradford L. Huieexclusive to The American Mercury

MARY PHAGAN was just thirteen years old. She was a sweatshop laborer for Atlanta, Georgias National Pencil Company. Exactly 100 years ago today Saturday, April 26, 1913 little Mary (pictured, artists depiction) was looking forward to the festivities of Confederate Memorial Day. She dressed gaily and planned to attend the parade. She had just come to collect her $1.20 pay from National Pencil Company superintendent Leo M. Frank at his office when she was attacked by an assailant who struck her down, ripped her undergarments, likely attempted to sexually abuse her, and then strangled her to death. Her body was dumped in the factory basement.

Leo M. Frank

(Listen to the audio book version of this article by pressing the play button below:)

Leo Frank, who was the head of Atlantas Bnai Brith, a Jewish fraternal order, was eventually convicted of the murder and sentenced to hang. After a concerted and lavishly financed campaign by the American Jewish community, Franks death sentence was commuted to life in prison by an outgoing governor. But he was snatched from his prison cell and hung by a lynching party consisting, in large part, of leading citizens outraged by the commutation order and none of the lynchers were ever prosecuted or even indicted for their crime. One result of Franks trial and death was the founding of the still-powerful Anti-Defamation League.

Today Leo Franks innocence, and his status as a victim of anti-Semitism, are almost taken for granted. But are these current attitudes based on the facts of the case, or are they based on a propaganda campaign that began 100 years ago? Lets look at the facts.

It has been proved beyond any shadow of doubt that either Leo Frank or National Pencil Company sweeper Jim Conley was the killer of Mary Phagan. Every other person who was in the building at the time has been fully accounted for. Those who believe Frank to be innocent say, without exception, that Jim Conley must have been the killer.

Jim Conley

On the 100th anniversary of the inexpressibly tragic death of this sweet and lovely girl, let us examine 100 reasons why the jury that tried him believed (and why we ought to believe, once we see the evidence) that Leo Max Frank strangled Mary Phagan to death 100 reasons proving that Franks supporters have used multiple frauds and hoaxes and have tampered with the evidence on a massive scale 100 reasons proving that the main idea that Franks modern defenders put forth, that Leo Frank was a victim of anti-Semitism, is the greatest hoax of all.

1. Only Leo Frank had the opportunity to be alone with Mary Phagan, and he admits he was alone with her in his office when she came to get her pay and in fact he was completely alone with her on the second floor. Had Jim Conley been the killer, he would have had to attack her practically right at the entrance to the building where he sat almost all day, where people were constantly coming and going and where several witnesses noticed Conley, with no assurance of even a moment of privacy.

2. Leo Frank had told Newt Lee, the pencil factorys night watchman, to come earlier than usual, at 4 PM, on the day of the murder. But Frank was extremely nervous when Lee arrived (the killing of Mary Phagan had occurred between three and four hours before and her body was still in the building) and insisted that Lee leave and come back in two hours.

3. When Lee then suggested he could sleep for a couple of hours on the premises and there was a cot in the basement near the place where Lee would ultimately find the body Frank refused to let him. Lee could also have slept in the packing room adjacent to Leo Franks office. But Frank insisted that Lee had to leave and have a good time instead. This violated the corporate rule that once the night watchman entered the building, he could not leave until he handed over the keys to the day watchman. Newt Lee, though strongly suspected at first, was manifestly innocent and had no reason to lie, and had had good relations with Frank and no motive to hurt him.

4. When Lee returned at six, Frank was even more nervous and agitated than two hours earlier, according to Lee. He was so nervous, he could not operate the time clock properly, something he had done hundreds of times before. (Leo Frank officially started to work at the National Pencil Company on Monday morning, August 10, 1908. Twenty-two days later, on September 1, 1908, he was elevated to the position of superintendent of the company, and served in this capacity until he was arrested on Tuesday morning, April 29, 1913.)

Newt Lee

5. When Leo Frank came out of the building around six, he met not only Lee but John Milton Gantt, a former employee who was a friend of Mary Phagan. Lee says that when Frank saw Gantt, he visibly jumped back and appeared very nervous when Gantt asked to go into the building to retrieve some shoes that he had left there. According to E.F. Holloway, J.M. Gantt had known Mary for a long time and was one of the only employees Mary Phagan spoke with at the factory. Gantt was the former paymaster of the firm. Frank had fired him three weeks earlier, allegedly because the payroll was short about $1. Was Gantts firing a case of the dragon getting rid of the prince to get the princess? Was Frank jealous of Gantts closeness with Mary Phagan? Unlike Frank, Gantt was tall with bright blue eyes and handsome features.

J.M. Gantt

6. After Frank returned home in the evening after the murder, he called Newt Lee on the telephone and asked him if everything was all right at the factory, something he had never done before. A few hours later Lee would discover the mutilated body of Mary Phagan in the pencil factory basement.

7. When police finally reached Frank after the body of Mary Phagan had been found, Frank emphatically denied knowing the murdered girl by name, even though he had seen her probably hundreds of times he had to pass by her work station, where she had worked for a year, every time he inspected the workers area on the second floor and every time he went to the bathroom and he had filled out her pay slip personally on approximately 52 occasions, marking it with her initials M. P. Witnesses also testified that Frank had spoken to Mary Phagan on multiple occasions, even getting a little too close for comfort at times, putting his hand on her shoulder and calling her Mary.

8. When police accompanied Frank to the factory on the morning after the murder, Frank was so nervous and shaking so badly he could not even perform simple tasks like unlocking a door.

9. Early in the investigation, Leo Frank told police that he knew that J.M. Gantt had been intimate with Mary Phagan, immediately making Gantt a suspect. Gantt was arrested and interrogated. But how could Frank have known such a thing about a girl he didnt even know by name?

10. Also early in the investigation, while both Leo Frank and Newt Lee were being held and some suspicion was still directed at Lee, a bloody shirt was discovered in a barrel at Lees home. Investigators became suspicious when it was proved that the blood marks on the shirt had been made by wiping it, unworn, in the liquid. The shirt had no trace of body odor and the blood had fully soaked even the armpit area, even though only a small quantity of blood was found at the crime scene. This was the first sign that money was being used to procure illegal acts and interfere in the case in such a way as to direct suspicion away from Leo M. Frank. This became a virtual certainty when Lee was definitely cleared.

A few members of Mary Phagans family; originally published in the Atlanta Georgian

Mary Phagan and her aunt, Mattie Phagan

11. Leo Frank claimed that he was in his office continuously from noon to 12:35 on the day of the murder, but a witness friendly to Frank, 14-year-old Monteen Stover, said Franks office was totally empty from 12:05 to 12:10 while she waited for him there before giving up and leaving. This was approximately the same time as Mary Phagans visit to Franks office and the time she was murdered. On Sunday, April 27, 1913, Leo Frank told police that Mary Phagan came into his office at 12:03 PM. The next day, Frank made a deposition to the police, with his lawyers present, in which he said he was alone with Mary Phagan in his office between 12:05 and 12:10. Frank would later change his story again, stating on the stand that Mary Phagan came into his office a full five minutes later than that.

12. Leo Frank contradicted his own testimony when he finally admitted on the stand that he had possibly unconsciously gone to the Metal Room bathroom between 12:05 and 12:10 PM on the day of the murder.

Floor plan of the National Pencil Company click for high resolution

13. The Metal Room, which Frank finally admitted at trial he might have unconsciously visited at the approximate time of the killing (and where no one else except Mary Phagan could be placed by investigators), was the room in which the prosecution said the murder occurred. It was also where investigators had found spots of blood, and some blondish hair twisted on a lathe handle where there had definitely been no hair the day before. (When R.P. Barret left work on Friday evening at 6:00 PM, he had left a piece of work in his machine that he intended to finish on Monday morning at 6:30 AM. It was then he found the hair with dried blood on it on his lathe. How did it get there over the weekend, if the factory was closed for the holiday? Several co-workers testified the hair resembled Mary Phagans. Nearby, on the floor adjacent to the Metal Rooms bathroom door, was a five-inch-wide fan-shaped blood stain.)

The Metal Room, where the blood spots and hair were found; and the basement of the National Pencil Company, where Mary Phagans strangled and dragged body was found

Closeup of the artists representation of the hair found on the lathe handle

14. In his initial statement to authorities, Leo Frank stated that after Mary Phagan picked up her pay in his office, She went out through the outer office and I heard her talking with another girl. This other girl never existed. Every person known to be in the building was extensively investigated and interviewed, and no girl spoke to Mary Phagan nor met her at that time. Monteen Stover was the only other girl there, and she saw only an empty office. Stover was friendly with Leo Frank, and in fact was a positive character witness for him. She had no reason to lie. But Leo Frank evidently did. (Atlanta Georgian, April 28, 1913)

15. In an interview shortly after the discovery of the murder, Leo Frank stated I have been in the habit of calling up the night watchman to keep a check on him, and at 7 oclock called Newt. But Newt Lee, who had no motive to hurt his boss (in fact quite the opposite) firmly maintained that in his three weeks of working as the factorys night watchman, Frank had never before made such a call. (Atlanta Georgian, April 28, 1913)

Three-dimensional diagram of the National Pencil Company headquarters in the Venable building

16. A few days later, Frank told the press, referring to the National Pencil Company factory where the murder took place, I deeply regret the carelessness shown by the police department in not making a complete investigation as to finger prints and other evidence before a great throng of people were allowed to enter the place. But it was Frank himself, as factory superintendent, who had total control over access to the factory and crime scene who was fully aware that evidence might thereby be destroyed and who allowed it to happen. (Atlanta Georgian, April 29, 1913)

17. Although Leo Frank made a public show of support for Newt Lee, stating Lee was not guilty of the murder, behind the scenes he was saying quite different things. In its issue of April 29, 1913, the Atlanta Georgian published an article titled Suspicion Lifts from Frank, in which it was stated that the police were increasingly of the opinion that Newt Lee was the murderer, and that additional clews furnished by the head of the pencil factory [Frank] were responsible for closing the net around the negro watchman. The discovery that the bloody shirt found at Lees home was planted, along with other factors such as Lees unshakable testimony, would soon change their views, however.

18. One of the clews provided by Frank was his claim that Newt Lee had not punched the companys time clock properly, evidently missing several of his rounds and giving him time to kill Mary Phagan and return home to hide the bloody shirt. But that directly contradicted Franks initial statement the morning after the murder that Lees time slip was complete and proper in every way. Why the change? The attempt to frame Lee would eventually crumble, especially after it was discovered that Mary Phagan died shortly after noon, four hours before Newt Lees first arrival at the factory.

19. Almost immediately after the murder, pro-Frank partisans with the National Pencil Company hired the Pinkerton detective agency to investigate the crime. But even the Pinkertons, being paid by Franks supporters, eventually were forced to come to the conclusion that Frank was the guilty man. (The Pinkertons were hired by Sigmund Montag of the National Company at the behest of Leo Frank, with the understanding that they were to ferret out the murderer, no matter who he was. After Leo Frank was convicted, Harry Scott and the Pinkertons were stiffed out of an investigation bill totaling some $1300 for their investigative work that had indeed helped to ferret out the murderer, no matter who he was. The Pinkertons had to sue to win their wages and expenses in court, but were never able to fully collect. Mary Phagans mother also took the National Pencil Company to court for wrongful death, and the case settled out of court. She also was never able to fully collect the settlement. These are some of the unwritten injustices of the Leo Frank case, in which hard-working and incorruptible detectives were stiffed out of their money for being incorruptible, and a mother was cheated of her daughters life and then cheated out of her rightful settlement as well.) (Atlanta Georgian, May 26, 1913, Pinkerton Man says Frank Is Guilty Pencil Factory Owners Told Him Not to Shield Superintendent, Scott Declares)

20. That is not to say that were not factions within the Pinkertons, though. One faction was not averse to planting false evidence. A Pinkerton agent named W.D. McWorth three weeks after the entire factory had been meticulously examined by police and Pinkerton men miraculously discovered a bloody club, a piece of cord like that used to strangle Mary Phagan, and an alleged piece of Mary Phagans pay envelope on the first floor of the factory, near where the factorys Black sweeper, Jim Conley, had been sitting on the fatal day. This was the beginning of the attempt to place guilt for the killing on Conley, an effort which still continues 100 years later. The discovery was so obviously and patently false that it was greeted with disbelief by almost everyone, and McWorth was pulled off the investigation and eventually discharged by the Pinkerton agency.

W.D. McWorth

21. It also came out that McWorth had made his finds while chief Pinkerton investigator Harry Scott was out of town. Most interestingly, and contrary to Scotts direct orders, McWorths discoveries were reported immediately to Franks defense team, but not at all to the police. A year later, McWorth surfaced once more, now as a Burns agency operative, a firm which was by then openly working in the interests of Frank. One must ask: Who would pay for such obstruction of justice? and why? (Frey, The Silent and the Damned, page 46; Indianapolis Star, May 28, 1914; The Frank Case, Atlanta Publishing Co., p. 65)

City Detective Black, left; and Pinkerton investigator Harry Scott, right

22. Jim Conley told police two obviously false narratives before finally breaking down and admitting that he was an accessory to Leo Frank in moving of the body of Mary Phagan and in authoring, at Franks direction, the death notes found near the body in the basement. These notes, ostensibly from Mary Phagan but written in semi-literate Southern black dialect, seemed to point to the night watchman as the killer. To a rapt audience of investigators and factory officials, Conley re-enacted his and Franks conversations and movements on the day of the killing. Investigators, and even some observers who were very skeptical at first, felt that Conleys detailed narrative had the ring of truth.

23. At trial, the leading and most expensive criminal defense lawyers in the state of Georgia could not trip up Jim Conley or shake him from his story.

24. Conley stated that Leo Frank sometimes employed him to watch the entrance to the factory while Frank chatted with teenage girl employees upstairs. Conley said that Frank admitted that he had accidentally killed Mary Phagan when she resisted his advances, and sought his help in the hiding of the body and in writing the black-dialect death notes that attempted to throw suspicion on the night watchman. Conley said he was supposed to come back later to burn Mary Phagans body in return for $200, but fell asleep and did not return.

25. Blood spots were found exactly where Conley said that Mary Phagans lifeless body was found by him in the second floor metal room.

26. Hair that looked like Mary Phagans was found on a Metal Room lathe immediately next to where Conley said he found her body, where she had apparently fallen after her altercation with Leo Frank.

Rare diagram/photograph showing rear of the National Pencil Company building and insets detailing where blood, hair, and body of Mary Phagan were found (click for a large, high-resolution version)

27. Blood spots were found exactly where Conley says he dropped Mary Phagans body while trying to move it. Conley could not have known this. If he was making up his story, this is a coincidence too fantastic to be accepted.

28. A piece of Mary Phagans lacy underwear was looped around her neck, apparently in a clumsy attempt to hide the deeply indented marks of the rope which was used to strangle her. No murderer could possibly believe that detectives would be fooled for an instant by such a deception. But a murderer who needed another mans help for a few minutes in disposing of a body might indeed believe it would serve to briefly conceal the real nature of the crime from his assistant, perhaps being mistaken for a lace collar.

Mary Phagan autopsy photograph

29. If Conley was the killer and it had to be Conley or Frank he moved the body of Mary Phagan by himself. The lacy loop around Mary Phagans neck would serve absolutely no purpose in such a scenario.

30. The dragging marks on the basement floor, leading to where Mary Phagans body was dumped near the furnace, began at the elevator exactly matching Jim Conleys version of events.

31. Much has been made of Conleys admission that he defecated in the elevator shaft on Saturday morning, and the idea that, because the detectives crushed the feces for the first time when they rode down in the elevator the next day, Conleys story that he and Frank used the elevator to bring Mary Phagans body to the basement on Saturday afternoon could not be true thus bringing Conleys entire story into question. But how could anyone determine with certainty that the crushing was the first crushing? And nowhere in the voluminous records of the case including Governor Slatons commutation order in which he details his supposed tests of the elevator can we find evidence that anyone made even the most elementary inquiry into whether or not the bottom surface of the elevator car was uniformly flat.

32. Furthermore, the so-called shit in the shaft theory of Franks innocence also breaks down when we consider the fact that detectives inspected the floor of the elevator shaft before riding down in the elevator, and found in it Mary Phagans parasol and a large quantity of trash and debris. Detective R.M. Lassiter stated at the inquest into Mary Phagans death, in answer to the question Is the bottom of the elevator shaft of concrete or wood, or what? that I dont know. It was full of trash and I couldnt see. There was so much trash there, the investigator couldnt even tell what the floor of the shaft was made of! There may well have been enough trash, and arranged in such a way, to have prevented the crushing of the waste material when Frank and Conley used the elevator to transport Mary Phagans body to the basement. In digging through this trash, detectives could easily have moved it enough to permit the crushing of the feces the next time the elevator was run down.

33. The defenses theory of Conleys guilt involves Conley alone bringing Mary Phagans body to the basement down the scuttle hole ladder, not the elevator. But Lassiter was insistent that the dragging marks did not begin at the ladder, stating at the inquest: No, sir; the dragging signs went past the foot of the ladder. I saw them between the elevator and the ladder. Why would Conley pointlessly drag the body backwards toward the elevator, when his goal was the furnace? Why were there no signs of his turning around if he had done so? If Mary Phagans body could leave dragging marks on the irregular and dirty surface of the basement, why were there no marks of a heavy body being dumped down the scuttle hole as the defense alleged Conley to have done? Why did Mary Phagans body not have the multiple bruises it would have to have incurred from being hurled 14 feet down the scuttle hole to the basement floor below?

34. Leo Frank changed the time at which he said Mary Phagan came to collect her pay. He initially said that it was 12:03, then said that it might have been 12:05 to 12:10, maybe 12:07. But at the inquest he moved his estimates a full five minutes later: Q: What time did she come in? A: I dont know exactly; it was 12:10 or 12:15. Q: How do you fix the time that she came in as 12:10 or 12:15? A: Because the other people left at 12 and I judged it to be ten or fifteen minutes later when she came in. He seems to have no solid basis for his new estimate, so why change it by five minutes, or at all?

35. Pinkerton detective Harry Scott, who was employed by Leo Frank to investigate the murder, testified that he was asked by Franks defense team to withhold from the policeany evidence his agency might find until after giving it to Franks lawyers. Scott refused.

36. Newt Lee, who was proved absolutely innocent, and who never tried to implicate anyone including Leo Frank, says Frank reacted with horror when Lee suggested that Mary Phagan might have been killed during the day, and not at night as was commonly believed early in the investigation. The daytime was exactly when Frank was at the factory, and Lee wasnt. Here Detective Harry Scott testifies as to part of the conversation that ensued when Leo Frank and Newt Lee were purposely brought together: Q: What did Lee say? A: Lee says that Frank didnt want to talk about the murder. Lee says he told Frank he knew the murder was committed in daytime, and Frank hung his head and said Lets dont talk about that!’ (Atlanta Georgian, May 8, 1913, Lee Repeats His Private Conversation With Frank)

37. When Newt Lee was questioned at the inquest about this arranged conversation, he confirms that Frank didnt want to continue the conversation when Lee stated that the killing couldnt possibly have happened during his evening and nighttime watch: Q: Tell the jury of your conversation with Frank in private. A: I was in the room and he came in. I said, Mr. Frank, it is mighty hard to be sitting here handcuffed. He said he thought I was innocent, and I said I didnt know anything except finding the body. Yes, Mr. Frank said, and you keep that up we will both go to hell! I told him that if she had been killed in the basement I would have known it, and he said, Dont lets talk about that let that go!’ (Atlanta Georgian, May 8, 1913, Lee Repeats His Private Conversation With Frank)

38. Former County Policeman Boots Rogers, who drove the officers to Franks home and then took them all, including Frank, back to the factory on the morning of April 27, said Frank was so nervous that he was hoarse even before being told of the murder. (Atlanta Georgian, May 8, 1913, Rogers Tells What Police Found at the Factory)

Boots Rogers

39. Rogers also states that he personally inspected Newt Lees time slip the one that Leo Frank at first said had no misses, but later claimed the reverse. The Atlanta Georgian on May 8 reported what Rogers saw: Rogers said he looked at the slip and the first punch was at 6:30 and last at 2:30. There were no misses, he said. Frank, unfortunately, was allowed to take the slip and put it in his desk. Later a slip with several punches missing would turn up. How can this be reconciled with the behavior of an innocent man?

40. The curious series of events surrounding Lees time slip is totally inconsistent with theory of a police frame-up of Leo Frank. At the time these events occurred, suspicion was strongly directed at Lee, and not at Frank.

41. When Leo Frank accompanied the officers to the police station later on during the day after the murder, Rogers stated that Leo Frank was literally so nervous that his hands were visibly shaking.

42. Factory Foreman Lemmie Quinn would eventually testify for the defense that Leo Frank was calmly sitting in his office at 12:20, a few minutes after the murder probably occurred. As to whether this visit really happened, there is some question. Quinn says he came to visit Schiff, Franks personal assistant, who wasnt there was he even expected to be there on a Saturday and holiday? and stayed only two minutes or so talking to Frank in the office. Frank at first said there was no such visit, and only remembered it days later when Quinn refreshed his memory.

43. As reported by the Atlanta Georgian, City detective John Black said even Quinn initially denied that there was such a visit! Q: What did Mr. Quinn say to you about his trip to the factory Saturday? A: Mr. Quinn said he was not at the factory on the day of the murder. Q: How many times did he say it? A: Two or three times. I heard him tell Detective Starnes that he had not been there. (Atlanta Georgian, May 8, 1913, Black Testifies Quinn Denied Visiting Factory)

44. Several young women and girls testified at the inquest that Frank had made improper advances toward them, in one instance touching a girls breast and in another appearing to offer money for compliance with his desires. The Atlanta Georgian reported: Girls and women were called to the stand to testify that they had been employed at the factory or had had occasion to go there, and that Frank had attempted familiarities with them. Nellie Pettis, of 9 Oliver Street, declared that Frank had made improper advances to her. She was asked if she had ever been employed at the pencil factory. No, she answered. Q: Do you know Leo Frank? A: I have seen him once or twice. Q: When and where did you see him? A: In his office at the factory whenever I went to draw my sister-in-laws pay. Q: What did he say to you that might have been improper on any of these visits? A: He didnt exactly say he made gestures. I went to get sisters pay about four weeks ago and when I went into the office of Mr. Frank I asked for her. He told me I couldnt see her unless I saw him first. I told him I didnt want to see him. He pulled a box from his desk. It had a lot of money in it. He looked at it significantly and then looked at me. When he looked at me, he winked. As he winked he said: How about it? I instantly told him I was a nice girl. Here the witness stopped her statement. Coroner Donehoo asked her sharply: Didnt you say anything else? Yes, I did! I told him to go to hl! and walked out of his office.’ (Atlanta Georgian, May 9, 1913, Phagan Case to be Rushed to Grand Jury by Dorsey)

45. In the same article, another young girl testified to Franks pattern of improper familiarities: Nellie Wood, a young girl, testified as follows: Q: Do you know Leo Frank? A: I worked for him two days. Q: Did you observe any misconduct on his part? A: Well, his actions didnt suit me. Hed come around and put his hands on me when such conduct was entirely uncalled for. Q: Is that all he did? A: No. He asked me one day to come into his office, saying that he wanted to talk to me. He tried to close the door but I wouldnt let him. He got too familiar by getting so close to me. He also put his hands on me. Q: Where did he put his hands? He barely touched my breast. He was subtle in his approaches, and tried to pretend that he was joking. But I was too wary for such as that. Q: Did he try further familiarities? A: Yes.

46. In May, around the time of disgraced Pinkerton detective McWorths attempt to plant fake evidence which caused McWorths dismissal from the Pinkerton agency attorney Thomas Felder made his loud but mysterious appearance. Colonel Felder, as he was known, was soliciting donations to bring yet another private detective agency into the case Pinkertons great rival, the William Burns agency. Felder claimed to be representing neighbors, friends, and family members of Mary Phagan. But Mary Phagans stepfather, J.W. Coleman, was so angered by this misrepresentation that he made an affidavit denying there was any connection between him and Felder. It was widely believed that Felder and Burns were secretly retained by Frank supporters. The most logical interpretation of these events is that, having largely failed in getting the Pinkerton agency to perform corrupt acts on behalf of Frank, Franks supporters decided to covertly bring another, and hopefully more cooperative, agency into the case. Felder and his unselfish efforts were their cover. Felders representations were seen as deception by many, which led more and more people to question Franks innocence. (Atlanta Georgian, May 15, 1913, Burns Investigator Will Probe Slaying)

Colonel Thomas Felder

47. Felders efforts collapsed when A.S. Colyar, a secret agent of the police, used a dictograph to secretly record Felder offering to pay $1,000 for the original Coleman affidavit and for copies of the confidential police files on the Mary Phagan case. C.W. Tobie, the Burns detective brought into the case by Felder, was reportedly present. Colyar stated that after this meeting I left the Piedmont Hotel at 10:55 a.m. and Tobie went from thence to Felders office, as he informed me, to meet a committee of citizens, among whom were Mr. Hirsch, Mr. Myers, Mr. Greenstein and several other prominent Jews in this city. (Atlanta Georgian, May 21, 1913, T.B. Felder Repudiates Report of Activity for Frank)

48. Felder then lashed out wildly, vehemently denied working for Franks friends, and declared that he thought Frank guilty. He even made the bizarre claim, impossible for anyone to believe, that the police were shielding Frank. It was observed of Felder that when ones reputation is near zero, one might want to attach oneself to the side one wants to harm in an effort to drag them down as you fall. (Atlanta Georgian, May 21, 1913, T.B. Felder Repudiates Report of Activity for Frank)

49. Interestingly, C.W. Tobie, the Burns man, also made a statement shortly afterward when his firm initially withdrew from the case that he had come to believe in Franks guilt also: It is being insinuated by certain forces that we are striving to shield Frank. That is absurd. From what I developed in my investigation I am convinced that Frank is the guilty man. (Atlanta Constitution, May 27, 1913, Burns Agency Quits the Phagan case)

50. As his efforts crashed to Earth, Felder made this statement to an Atlanta Constitution reporter: Is it not passing strange that the city detective department, whose wages are paid by the taxpayers of this city, should hob-nob daily with the Pinkerton Detective Agency, an agency confessedly employed in this investigation to work in behalf of Leo Frank; that they would take this agency into their daily and hourly conference and repose in it their confidence, and co-operate with it in every way possible, and withhold their co-operation from W.J. Burns and his able assistants, who are engaged by the public and for the public in ferreting out this crime. But what Felder failed to mention was that the Pinkertons main agent in Atlanta, Harry Scott, had proved that he could not be corrupted by the National Pencil Companys money, so it is reasonable to conclude that the well-heeled pro-Frank forces would search elsewhere for help. The famous William Burns agency was really the only logical choice. To think that Felder and Mary Phagans neighbors were selflessly employing Burns is naive in the extreme: It means that Franks wealthy friends would just sit on their money and stick with the not at all helpful Pinkertons, who had just fired the only agent who tried to help Frank. (Atlanta Constitution, May 25, 1913, Thomas Felder Brands the Charges of Bribery Diabolical Conspiracy)

51. Colyar, the man who exposed Felder, also stated that Franks friends were spreading money around to get witnesses to leave town or make false affidavits. The Atlanta Georgian commented on Felders antics as he exited the stage: It is regarded as certain that Felder is eliminated entirely from the Phagan case. It had been believed that he really was in the employ of the Frank defense up to the time that he began to bombard the public with statements against Frank and went on record in saying he believed in the guilt of Frank. (Atlanta Georgian, May 26, 1913, Lay Bribery Effort to Franks Friends)

52. When Jim Conley finally admitted he wrote the death notes found near Mary Phagans body, Leo Franks reaction was powerful: Leo M. Frank was confronted in his cell by the startling confession of the negro sweeper, James Connally [sic]. What have you to say to this? demanded a Georgian reporter. Frank, as soon as he had gained the import of what the negro had told, jumped back in his cell and refused to say a word. His hands moved nervously and his face twitched as though he were on the verge of a breakdown, but he absolutely declined to deny the truth of the negros statement or make any sort of comment upon it. His only answer to the repeated questions that were shot at him was a negative shaking of the head, or the simple, I have nothing to say.’ (Atlanta Georgian, May 26, 1913, Negro Sweeper Says He Wrote Phagan Notes)

The mysterious death notes click for high resolution

53. When Jim Conley re-enacted, step by step, the sequence of events as he experienced them on the day of the murder, including the exact positions in which the body was found and detailing his assisting Leo Frank in moving Mary Phagans body and writing the death notes, Harry Scott of the Pinkerton Detective Agency stated: There is not a doubt but that the negro is telling the truth and it would be foolish to doubt it. The negro couldnt go through the actions like he did unless he had done this just like he said, said Harry Scott. We believe that we have at last gotten to the bottom of the Phagan mystery. (Atlanta Georgian, May 29, 1913 Extra, Conley Re-enacts in Plant Part He Says He Took in Slaying)

The last section of Jim Conleys startling affidavit

Conleys story diagrammed in the Atlanta Georgian click for high resolution

54. In early June, Felders name popped up in the press again. This time he was claiming that his nemesis A.S. Colyar had in his possession an affidavit from Jim Conley confessing to the murder of Mary Phagan, and that Colyar was withholding it from the police. The police immediately sweated Conley to see if there was any truth in this, but Conley vigorously denied the entire story, and stated that he had never even met Colyar. Chief of Police Lanford said this confirmed his belief that Felder had been secretly working for Frank all along: I attribute this report to Colonel Felders work, said the chief. It merely shows again that Felder is in league with the defense of Frank; that the attorney is trying to muddy the waters of this investigation to shield Frank and throw the blame on another. This first became noticeable when Felder endeavored to secure the release of Conley. His ulterior motive, I am sure, was the protection of Frank. He had been informed that the negro had this damaging evidence against Frank, and Felder did all in his power to secure the negros release. He declared that it was a shame that the police should hold Conley, an innocent negro. He protested strenuously against it. Yet not one time did Felder attempt to secure the release of Newt Lee or Gordon Bailey on the same grounds, even though both of these negroes had been held longer than Conley. This to me is significant of Felders ulterior motive in getting Conley away from the police.’ Are such underhanded shenanigans on the part of Franks team the actions of a truly innocent man? (Atlanta Georgian, June 6, 1913, Conley, Grilled by Police Again, Denies Confessing Killing)

55. Much is made by Frank partisans of Georgia Governor Slatons 1915 decision to commute Franks sentence from death by hanging to life imprisonment. But when Slaton issued his commutation order, he specifically stated that he was sustaining Franks conviction and the guilty verdict of the judge and jury: In my judgement, by granting a commutation in this case, I am sustaining the jury, the judge, and the appellate tribunals, and at the same time am discharging that duty which is placed on me by the Constitution of the State. He also added, of Jim Conleys testimony that Frank had admitted to killing Mary Phagan and enlisted Conleys help in moving the body: It is hard to conceive that any mans power of fabrication of minute details could reach that which Conley showed, unless it be the truth.

56. On May 8, 1913. the Coroners Inquest jury, a panel of six sworn men, voted with the Coroner seven to zero to bind Leo Frank over to the grand jury on the charge of murder after hearing the testimony of 160 witnesses.

57. On May 24, 1913, after hearing evidence from prosecutor Hugh Dorsey and his witnesses, the grand jury charged Leo M. Frank with the murder of Mary Phagan. Four Jews were on the grand jury of 21 persons. Although only twelve votes were needed, the vote was unanimous against Frank. An historian specializing in the history of anti-Semitism, Albert Lindemann, denies that prejudice against Jews was a factor and states that the jurors were persuaded by the concrete evidence that Dorsey presented. And this indictment was handed down even without hearing any of Jim Conleys testimony, which had not yet come out. (Lindemann, The Jew Accused: Three Anti-Semitic Affairs, Cambridge, 1993, p. 251)

58. On August 25, 1913, after more than 29 days of the longest and most costly trial in Southern history up to that time, and after two of Souths most talented and expensive attorneys and a veritable army of detectives and agents in their employ gave their all in defense of Leo M. Frank, and after four hours of jury deliberation, Frank was unanimously convicted of the murder of Mary Phagan by a vote of twelve to zero.

The jurors in the Leo Frank case

Luther Rosser and Reuben Arnold headed Franks defense team.

59. The trial judge, Leonard Strickland Roan, had the power to set aside the guilty verdict of Leo Frank if he believed that the defendant had not received a fair trial. He did not do so, effectively making the vote 13 to zero.

60. Judge Roan also had the power to sentence Frank to the lesser sentence of life imprisonment, even though the jury had not recommended mercy. On August 26, 1913, Judge Roan affirmed the verdict of guilt, and sentenced Leo Frank to death by hanging.

Judge Leonard Strickland Roan

61. On October 31, 1913, the court rejected a request for a new trial by the Leo Frank defense team, and re-sentenced Frank to die. The sentence handed down by Judge Benjamin H Hill was set to be carried out on Franks 30th birthday, April 17, 1914.

62. Supported by a huge fundraising campaign launched by the American Jewish community, and supported by a public relations campaign carried out by innumerable newspapers and publishing companies nationwide, Leo Frank continued to mount a prodigious defense even after his conviction, employing some of the most prominent lawyers in the United States. From August 27, 1913, to April 22, 1915 they filed a long series of appeals to every possible level of the United States court system, beginning with an application to the Georgia Superior Court. That court rejected Franks appeal as groundless.

63. The next appeal by Franks dream team of world-renowned attorneys was to the Georgia Supreme Court. It was rejected.

64. A second appeal was then made by Franks lawyers to the Georgia Supreme Court, which was also rejected as groundless.

65. The next appeal by Franks phalanx of attorneys was to the United States Federal District Court, which also found Franks arguments unpersuasive and turned down the appeal, affirming that the guilty verdict of the jury should stand.

66. Next, the Frank legal team appealed to the highest court in the land, the United States Supreme Court, which rejected Franks arguments and turned down his appeal.

67. Finally, Franks army of counselors made a second appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court which was also rejected, allowing Leo Franks original guilty verdict and sentence of death for the murder by strangulation of Mary Phagan to stand. Every single level of the United States legal system after carefully and meticulously reviewing the trial testimony and evidence voted in majority decisions to reject all of Leo Franks appeals, and to preserve the unanimous verdict of guilt given to Frank by Judge Leonard Strickland Roan and by the twelve-man jury at his trial, and to affirm the fairness of the legal process which began with Franks binding over and indictment by the seven-man coroners jury and 21-man grand jury.

68. It is preposterous to claim that these men, and all these institutions, North and South the coroners jury, the grand jury, the trial jury, and the judges of the trial court, the Georgia Superior Court, the Georgia Supreme Court, the U.S. Federal District Court, and the United States Supreme Court were motivated by anti-Semitism in reaching their conclusions.

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100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty | The American Mercury

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Post Leo Frank Lynching (Inspired the Founding of ADL of B’nai B’rith) Rich Jews Indict the State of Georgia, The Whole South Traduced. Watson’s Magazine, October 1915, Read by John de Nugent

This is John De Nugent’s fifth audio book about the Leo Frank case (January, March, August, September and October, 1915), in this hateful episode he reads part five of Senator Tom Watson’s serial about the Murder of Mary Phagan from Watson’s Magazine, October, 1915. Help expose De Nugent’s other hateful audio book works on archive.

Source: https://archive.org/details/WatsonFrankJewsIndictState

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Centennial Revival: Leo Frank “Jew Pervert” September 1915: The Most Anti-Semitic Audiobook of 2017 Read by John de Nugent

Publisher Tom Watson (U.S. Senator from Georgia 1920) wrote this article right after the Aug 17, 1915 hanging (conducted by the crème de la crème of the frustrated people of Georgia themselves after two years of spurious legal delays) of the pedophile, rapist, and murderer Leo Frank, a prominent Jewish official and businessman whom major Jewish-owned or influenced newspapers protested was a victim of antisemitism.

Watson defends the “lynching” (which carried out a death sentence supported by three juries and five levels of the court system) and goes beyond this to make his strongest statements yet about the bane of Jewish media sway over America.

He also discusses two other famous cases of that day of supposed “antisemitism,” the Captain Alfred Dreyfus case in France (regarding a Jewish officer convicted of espionage and treason) and the Menachem Beilis case in Ukraine/Russia (about a Jew convicted of ritually murdering and draining the blood from a little Slavic child).

Please ask the Internet Archive to delete this audio book, before people get a chance to download it and upload it to other file sharing websites. This audio book has had more than 6,000 views. We must stop this audio book, we must stop its propagation before people get a chance to back it up.

https://archive.org/details/Thomas-Watson-Leo-Frank-Jew-Pervert-Sept-1915

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Don’t Let Incident in Switzerland Distract From True Antisemitism – Algemeiner

Email a copy of “Dont Let Incident in Switzerland Distract From True Antisemitism” to a friend

The sign at the Swiss hotel asking Jews to shower before using a swimming pool. Photo: Twitter.

A sign that appeared to discriminate against Jewish guests was recently posted at the Aparthaus Paradies hotel in Switzerland. The sign which was met with ourtage requested that Jewish guests take a shower before using a swimming pool. But this non-incident is distracting us from the true face of antisemitism.

On August 17, 1915, Jewish-American Leo Frank was lynched in Marietta, Georgiathe beautiful suburban area where I currently live.Now, 102 yearslateralmost to the dayneo-Nazism has reared its ugly head in Charlottesville, Virginia, and elsewhere across the South.

Heres why the Switzerland incident doesnt remotely compare to what happened in Virginia.

The sign at the Swiss hotel was posted by an individual hotel manager, Ruth Thomann, and was not the policy of the hotel. According to reports, thesign was posted after specific complaints, and was not the result ofpure, antisemitic hate.

August 23, 2017 4:25 pm

In fact, one copy of the sign had a handwritten note on it: I am not a Jewish guest, and I think its racist. Further, all the copies of the sign werereportedly removed very shortly after being posted. In fact, according to the Telegraph, One Israeli guest told Channel 2 news that staff at the hotel had been very niceand they were shocked when they saw the signs. It was very strange and the sort of antisemitic incident we have not been exposed to before, the guest said.

Not only that, but the hotel was accommodating enough to store special kosher food for Jewish guests in the private staff refrigerator, and apparently treated the Jewish guests with utmost respect.

Weshould not bebusy wasting our outrage on this non-incident. Lets refocus our energy towards the insanity in our own backyardwhere there is not only smoke, but also a raging fire.

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Today in history: Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat began heading up the Hudson River on its successful round … – Burlington Times News

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 17, 1807, Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat began heading up the Hudson River on its successful round trip between New York and Albany.

On this date:

In 1863, Federal batteries and ships began bombarding Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor during the Civil War, but the Confederates managed to hold on despite several days of pounding.

In 1915, a mob in Cobb County, Georgia, lynched Jewish businessman Leo Frank, 31, whose death sentence for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan had been commuted to life imprisonment. (Frank, who’d maintained his innocence, was pardoned by the state of Georgia in 1986.)

In 1943, the Allied conquest of Sicily during World War II was completed as U.S. and British forces entered Messina.

In 1945, Indonesian nationalists declared their independence from the Netherlands. The George Orwell novel “Animal Farm,” an allegorical satire of Soviet Communism, was first published in London by Martin Secker & Warburg.

In 1962, East German border guards shot and killed 18-year-old Peter Fechter, who had attempted to cross the Berlin Wall into the western sector.

In 1969, Hurricane Camille slammed into the Mississippi coast as a Category 5 storm that was blamed for 256 U.S. deaths, three in Cuba.

In 1978, the first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight ended as Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman landed their Double Eagle II outside Paris.

In 1982, the first commercially produced compact discs, a recording of ABBA’s “The Visitors,” were pressed at a Philips factory near Hanover, West Germany.

In 1985, more than 1,400 meatpackers walked off the job at the Geo. A. Hormel and Co.’s main plant in Austin, Minnesota, in a bitter strike that lasted just over a year.

In 1987, Rudolf Hess, the last member of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle, died at Spandau Prison at age 93, an apparent suicide. The musical drama “Dirty Dancing,” starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, premiered in New York.

In 1996, the Reform Party announced Ross Perot had been selected to be its first-ever presidential nominee, opting for the third-party’s founder over challenger Richard Lamm.

In 1999, more than 17,000 people were killed when a magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Turkey.

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Today in history: Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat began heading up the Hudson River on its successful round … – Burlington Times News

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Parade (musical) – Wikipedia

Parade is a musical with a book by Alfred Uhry and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1998 and won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Original Score (out of nine nominations) and six Drama Desk Awards. The show has had a U.S. national tour and numerous professional and amateur productions in both the U.S. and abroad.

The musical dramatizes the 1913 trial of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank, who was accused and convicted of raping and murdering a thirteen-year-old employee, Mary Phagan. The trial, sensationalized by the media, aroused antisemitic tensions in Atlanta and the U.S. state of Georgia. When Frank’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison by the departing Governor of Georgia, John M. Slaton due to his detailed review of over 10,000 pages of testimony and possible problems with the trial, Leo Frank was transferred to a prison in Milledgeville, Georgia, where a lynching party seized and kidnapped him. Frank was taken to Phagan’s hometown of Marietta, Georgia, and he was hanged from an oak tree. The events surrounding the investigation and trial led to two groups emerging: the revival of the defunct KKK and the birth of the Jewish Civil Rights organization, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).[1]

Harold Prince turned to Brown to write the score after Stephen Sondheim turned the project down. Prince’s daughter, Daisy, had brought Brown to her father’s attention. Uhry, who grew up in Atlanta, had personal knowledge of the Frank story, as his great-uncle owned the pencil factory run by Leo Frank.[2]

In dramatizing the story, Prince and Uhry have emphasized the evolving relationship between Leo and his wife Lucille.[3] Their relationship shifts from cold to warm in songs like “Leo at Work/What am I Waiting For?,” “You Don’t Know This Man,” “Do it Alone,” and “All the Wasted Time”. The poignancy of the couple, who fall in love in the midst of adversity, is the core of the work. It makes the tragic outcome – the miscarriage of justice – even more disturbing.[4]

The show was Brown’s first Broadway production. His music, according to critic Charles Isherwood, has “subtle and appealing melodies that draw on a variety of influences, from pop-rock to folk to rhythm and blues and gospel.”[3]

The plot of the musical dramatizes the historical story and does not shy away from the conclusion of some that the likely killer was the factory janitor Jim Conley, the key witness against Frank at the trial. The true villains of the piece are portrayed as the ambitious and corrupt prosecutor Hugh Dorsey (later the governor of Georgia and then a judge) and the rabid, anti-semitic publisher Tom Watson (later elected a U.S. senator).

The musical opens in Marietta, Georgia, in the time of the American Civil War. The sounds of drums herald the appearance of a young Confederate soldier, bidding farewell to his sweetheart as he goes to fight for his homeland. The years pass and suddenly it is 1913. The young soldier has become an old one-legged veteran who is preparing to march in the annual Confederate Memorial Day parade (“The Old Red Hills of Home”). As the Parade begins (“The Dream of Atlanta”), Leo Frank, a Yankee Jew from Brooklyn, NYC, is deeply uncomfortable in the town in which he works and lives, feeling out of place due to his Judaism and his college education (“How Can I Call This Home?”). His discomfort is present even in his relationship with his wife, Lucille, who has planned an outdoor meal spoiled by Leos decision to go into work on a holiday. Meanwhile, two local teens, Frankie Epps and Mary Phagan, ride a trolley car and flirt. Frankie wants Mary to go to the picture show with him, but Mary playfully resists, insisting her mother will not let her (“The Picture Show”). Mary leaves to collect her pay from the pencil factory managed by Frank.

While Frank is at work, Lucille bemoans the state of their marriage, believing herself unappreciated by a man so wrapped up in himself. She reflects on her unfulfilled life and wonders whether or not Leo was the right match for her (“Leo at Work” / “What Am I Waiting For?”). Mary Phagan arrives in Leo’s office to collect her paycheck. That night, two policeman, Detective Starnes and Officer Ivey, rouse Frank from his sleep, and without telling him why, demand he accompany them to the factory, where the body of Mary Phagan has been found raped and murdered in the basement. The Police immediately suspects Newt Lee, the African-American night watchman who discovered the body (“Interrogation”). Throughout his interrogation, he maintains his innocence, but inadvertently directs Starnes’ suspicion upon Frank, who did not answer his telephone when Lee called him to report the incident. Leo is arrested, but not charged, and Mrs. Phagan, Mary’s mother, becomes aware of Mary’s death.

Across town, a reporter named Britt Craig is informed about Mary’s murder and sees the possibility of a career-making story (“Big News”). Craig attends Mary’s funeral, where the townspeople of Marietta are angry, mournful, and baffled by the tragedy that has so unexpectedly shattered the community. (“There is a Fountain” / “It Don’t Make Sense”). Frankie Epps swears revenge on Mary’s killer, as does Tom Watson, a writer for The Jeffersonian, an extremist right-wing newspaper (“Tom Watson’s Lullaby”) who has taken a special interest in the case. In the meantime, Governor Slaton pressures the local prosecutor Hugh Dorsey to get to the bottom of the whole affair. Dorsey, an ambitious politician with a “lousy conviction record”, resolves to find the murderer.

Dorsey, along with Starnes and Ivey interrogate Newt Lee, but they get no information. Dorsey releases Newt, reasoning that “hanging another Nigra ain’t enough this time. We gotta do better.” He then attaches the blame to Leo Frank, and sends Starnes and a reluctant Ivey out to find eyewitnesses (“Something Ain’t Right”). Craig exalts in his opportunity to cover a “real” story and begins an effective campaign vilifying Leo Frank. (“Real Big News”).

Leo meets with his lawyer, Luther Z. Rosser, who vows to “win this case, and send him home”. Meanwhile, Dorsey makes a deal with factory janitor and ex-convict Jim Conley to testify against Frank in exchange for immunity for a previous escape from prison. Lucille, hounded by reporters, collapses from the strain and privately rebukes Craig when he attempts to get an interview (“You Don’t Know This Man”). She tells her husband that she cannot bear to see his trial, but he begs her to stay in the courtroom, as her not appearing would make him look guilty.

The trial of Leo Frank begins, presided over by Judge Roan. A hysterical crowd gathers outside the courtroom, as Tom Watson spews invective (“Hammer of Justice”) and Hugh Dorsey begins the case for the prosecution (“Twenty Miles from Marietta”). The prosecution produces a series of witnesses, most of whom give trumped evidence which was clearly fed to them by Dorsey. Frankie Epps testifies, falsely, that Mary mentioned that Frank “looks at her funny” when they last spoke, a sentiment echoed verbatim by three of Marys teenage co-workers, Iola, Essie, and Monteen (“The Factory Girls”). In a fantasy sequence, Frank becomes the lecherous seducer of their testimony (“Come Up to My Office”). Testimony is heard from Mary’s mother (“My Child Will Forgive Me”) and Minnie McKnight before the prosecution’s star witness, Jim Conley, takes the stand, claiming that he witnessed the murder and helped Frank cover up the crime (“That’s What He Said”).

Leo is desperate. As prosecutor Hugh Dorsey whips the observers and jurors at the trial into a frenzy, Leo is given the opportunity to deliver a statement. Leo offers a heartfelt speech, pleading to be believed (“It’s Hard to Speak My Heart”), but it is not enough. He is found guilty and sentenced to hang. The crowd breaks out into a jubilant cakewalk as Lucille and Leo embrace, terrified (“Summation and Cakewalk”).

Leo has begun his process of appeal. The trial has been noted by the press in the north, and the reaction is strongly disapproving of the way in which it was conducted, but the African-American domestics wonder if the reaction would have been as strong if the victim had been black (“A Rumblin’ and a Rollin'”). Lucille tries to help Leo with his appeal, but reveals crucial information to Craig, provoking a fight between Leo and Lucille (“Do it Alone”). Lucille then finds Governor Slaton at a party (“Pretty Music”) and attempts to advocate for Leo. She accuses him of either being a fool or a coward if he accepts the outcome of the trial as is. Meanwhile, Tom Watson approaches Hugh Dorsey and tells him that he will support his bid for governor should he choose to make it.

Dorsey and Judge Roan go on a fishing trip, where they discuss the political climate and the upcoming election (“The Glory”).

The governor agrees to re-open the case, and Leo and Lucille rejoice (“This is Not Over Yet”). Slaton visits the factory girls, who admit to their exaggeration, and Minnie, who claims that Dorsey intimidated her and made her sign a statement. Slaton also visits Jim Conley, who is back in jail as an accessory to the murder, who refuses to change his story despite the noticeable inconsistencies with the evidence, and along with his Chain Gang, does not give any information, much to the chagrin of Slaton (“Blues: Feel the Rain Fall”).

After much consideration, he agrees to commute Frank’s sentence to life in prison in Milledgeville, Georgia, a move that effectively ends his political career. The citizens of Marietta, led by Dorsey and Watson, are enraged and riot (“Where Will You Stand When the Flood Comes?”). Leo has been transferred to a prison work-farm. Lucille visits and he realizes his deep love for his wife and how much he has underestimated her (“All the Wasted Time”). After Lucille departs from the prison, a party of masked men (Starnes, Ivey, Frankie Epps, the Fulton Tower guard and the Old Confederate Soldier) arrives and kidnaps Leo. They take him to Marietta and demand he confess to the murder on pain of death. Leo refuses, and although Ivey is convinced of his innocence, the rest of group is determined to kill him. As his last request, Leo has a sack tied around his waist, since he is wearing only his nightshirt, and gives his wedding ring to Ivey to be given to Lucille. The group hangs him from an oak tree (“Sh’ma”).

Some time later, a remorseful Britt Craig gives Leo’s ring, which has been delivered to him anonymously, to Lucille. He is surprised to discover that she has no plans to leave Georgia, which is now governed by Dorsey, but she refuses to let Leo’s ordeal be for nothing. Alone, she gives into her grief, but she takes comfort in believing that Leo is with God and free from his ordeal. The Confederate Memorial Day Parade begins again (“Finale”).

Most critics praised the show, especially the score.[5] However, the public and some critics received the show coolly. A number felt the show took too many liberties in the use of racial slurs. When the show closed, Livent had filed for bankruptcy protection (Chapter 11). Lincoln Center was the other producer solely responsible for covering the weekly running costs.[6]

The musical premiered on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater on December 17, 1998 and closed February 28, 1999, after 39 previews and 84 regular performances. Directed by Harold Prince, it starred Brent Carver as Leo Frank, Carolee Carmello as Lucille Frank, and Christy Carlson Romano as Mary Phagan.

A U. S. national tour, directed by Prince, started at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta in June 2000, with Jason Robert Brown conducting at some venues.[7] It starred David Pittu as Leo, Andrea Burns as Lucille, Keith Byron Kirk as Jim Conley and Kristen Bowden as Mary Phagan. The Full Cast List was (including replacements): Randy Redd, Rick Hilsabeck, Carla Hargrove, John Paul Almon, Donald Grody, Daniel Frank Kelley, David Vosburgh, Elizabeth Brownlee, Siri Howard, Tim Salamandyk, Tim Howard, C. Mingo Long, Raissa Katona, Sandra DeNise, David Coolidge, Anne Allgood, Mimi Bessette, Jamie Sorrentini, Justin Bohon, Laura Marie Crosta, Sandra DeNise, David Dannehl, Jeff Edgerton, Jamie Johnsson, Corey Reynolds, Greg Roderick, Natasha Yvette Williams and Swings: Joe Duffy (Dance Captain) and Laura Shutter

The Los Angeles premiere, directed by Brady Schwind and choreographed by Imara Quinonez opened July 10, 2008 at the Neighborhood Playhouse of Palos Verdes with Craig D’Amico as Leo Frank, Emily Olson as Lucille Frank and Alissa Anderegg as Mary Phagan.[8]

The first major production in the United Kingdom played at the Donmar Warehouse from September 24 to November 24, 2007.[9] It was directed by Rob Ashford and starred Lara Pulver as Lucille Frank, Bertie Carvel as Leo and Jayne Wisener as Mary Phagan.[10] Pulver was nominated for the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical and Carvel was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical. A double-CD cast recording of this production has been released by First Night Records. The recording includes new material written by Brown for the production and contains all songs and dialogue from the Donmar production. In addition, the large orchestra used in the original Broadway production was reduced by David Cullen and Brown to a nine piece ensemble consisting of: Piano 1 (Musical Director), Piano 2/Accordion, Percussion, Bass, Clarinet (Bass, A, Bb), Horn, Violin, Viola and Cello.[11]

The Donmar production transferred to the Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, California, in September 2009, for a run through November 15, 2009. Lara Pulver reprised her role as Lucille opposite T.R. Knight as Leo Frank. The cast also included, in alphabetical order, Brad Anderson, Michael Berresse, Will Collyer, Charlotte dAmboise, Karole Foreman, Davis Gaines, Laura Griffith, P.J. Griffith, Curt Hansen, Deidrie Henry, Christian Hoff, Sarah Jayne Jensen, Lisa Livesay, Hayley Podschun, David St. Louis, Rose Sezniak (now Hemingway), Phoebe Strole, Josh Tower and Robert Yacko.[12]

On February 16, 2015, a concert production of Parade was staged at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center by Manhattan Concert Productions, directed by Gary Griffin and conducted by composer Jason Robert Brown. Jeremy Jordan and Laura Benanti starred as Leo and Lucille Frank, with Ramin Karimloo as Tom Watson, Joshua Henry as Jim Conley, Andy Mientus as Britt Craig, Emerson Steele as Mary Phagan, Katie Rose Clarke as Mrs. Phagan, John Ellison Conlee as Hugh Dorsey, Davis Gaines as Judge Roan/Old Soldier and Alan Campbell as Governor Slaton.[13]

Parade is set to be professionally staged at the worlds oldest working paper factory in September 2017. Staged at the Frogmore Papermill in Apsley, Hertfordshire, the production will be directed as a promenade production where audiences will follow the actors through the 19th-century building. [14]

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Like Trump, JFK was tested by white supremacists. Here’s what he finally did about it. – Washington Post

On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy responded to threats of violence and obstruction following desegregation attempts at the University of Alabama. (The Washington Post)

Since white supremacists swarmed into Charlottesvillethis month, leaving three dead in their wake, President Trump has repeatedly resisted calls to assume the moral leadership Americans expect from the White House. And he has been condemned for it by politicians across the spectrum, religious leaders of all denominations and corporate executives across the country.

More than 50 years ago, white supremacists tested the moral mettle of another president. No sooner had John F. Kennedy entered office than he confronted what Martin Luther King Jr. called Americas chief moral dilemma: the raging bigotry, hatred and segregation of the South.

For far too long, Kennedy was slow to respond, angering blacks and other Americans sympathetic to the civil rights movement. Kennedy felt politically hemmed in by powerful Southern senators eager to block his wider domestic agenda. In response, he addressed the waves of vicious attacks against African Americans as a law-and-order issue rather than a moral reckoning.

[Politicians blamed both sides during the civil rights movement: KKK and the NAACP]

Only gradually did Kennedy listen to the pleas of King on behalf of 20 million black Americans. Over two and a half years, thanks in large part to the prodding of King, Kennedy gained an education in empathy, conscience, tolerance and moral courage. And finally, on June 11, 1963, he stopped dithering, stopped looking the other way.

On that Tuesday evening, President Kennedy sat down before television cameras in the Oval Office and spoke to the nation.

We are confronted primarily with a moral issue, he declared. It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution. He then explained why segregation, discrimination and white supremacy were contrary to the values underlined by the Founders and enshrined in the Constitution. The heart of the question, he said, is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.

[The shadow of an assassinated American Nazi commander hangs over Charlottesville]

He told the country what he had learned that no one can understand the degradation of discrimination without thinking hard about itand what it means for those being targeted.

If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, the president said, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who will represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place?

It was a remarkable speech that Kennedy delivered in the midst of relentless violence against black Americans who were merely seeking their long-denied constitutional rights. Some weeks before, blacks marching in Birmingham, some as young as 6, were set upon by police dogs and blasted by high-powered fire hoses.

On the day of the speech, the racist governor of Alabama, George Wallace, a Democrat like Kennedy, had stood in the schoolhouse door to block the admission of two black students to the University of Alabama inTuscaloosa. Only after Kennedy sent the federalized Alabama National Guard onto the campus did Wallace back down.

Kennedy had dragged his feet on major civil rights action for more than two years. But on the night of his speech he announced plans to introduce legislation to rid the country of the scourge of segregation, and he spoke on the issue of bigotry and racism in moral language that had never passed from the lips of any president. Heinitiated what became a significant era of civil rights progress.

On the night of Kennedys transformative speech, many Americans rejoiced, but were also reminded of the setbacks and sacrifices on the road to progress.

[Unsolved and overlooked murders: Investigating cold cases of the civil rights era]

Several hours after the television cameras blinked off in the Oval Office, Medgar Evers, the field secretary of the NAACP in Jackson, Miss., climbed out of his 1962 light blue Oldsmobile and crossed toward his house under the bright lights of his carport.

About 200feet away, a sniper hidden in a honeysuckle thicket took aim through a telescopic sight on his rifle. A gunshot rang out, and a bullet passed through Everss back just below the right shoulder blade; it smashed through the front window of the house, ricocheted off the refrigerator and hit a coffeepot.

Evers managed to stagger a few steps toward the doorway before collapsing. An hour later, at 1:14 a.m., he was dead.

Fivemonths later, so was Kennedy.

The issues Kennedy stared down are very much with us today: Then, as now, we struggle with the need for conscience, compassion, and acceptance of our fellow Americans. Then, as now, we speak truth to power and demand that power listen and learn. Then, as now, our president guides the nation by the way he comports himself.

Kennedys experience stands as a model of the trials a president confronts and the obligation he possesses to grow in office. For much of his term Kennedy was distrusted by blacks, but he evolved as a politician and a man. For years after his brief term, three portraits adorned the walls of many African American homes: Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy.

Although slow to act, Kennedy at last recognized the need to go beyond just identifying hatred. He framed white supremacist behavior in moral terms and announced action to address it. If the country were genuinely to move forward, it had to face its racial ugliness head-on, call out its ungodly nature, and try to legislate change.

We face, therefore, a moral crisis as a country and as a people, he told the nation that night in 1963. It cannot be met by repressive police action. It cannot be left to increased demonstrations in the streets. It cannot be quieted by token moves or talk. It is time to act in the Congress, in your state and local legislative body and, above all, in all of our daily lives.

Changing peoples behavior, however, is a tricky business. As the president acknowledged that night: Law alone cannot make men see right.

But if the law cant change a mans soul, it at least can help rein in his evil intentions. Now, people will say, You cant legislate morals. Well, that may be true, Martin Luther King Jr. once said. It may be true that the laws cant make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think thats pretty important, also.

King knew that laws alone werent enough. Both legislation and education are required, he explained. We need religion and education to change attitudes and to change the hearts of men.

Fifty years on, were still working at it.

Steven Levingston is nonfiction editor of The Washington Post and author of Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights.

Read more Retropolis:

JFKs last birthday: Gifts, champagne and wandering hands on the presidential yacht

How statues of Robert E. Lee and other Confederates got into the U.S. Capitol

He just beat the hell out of me: When JFK met Khrushchev, the president felt strong-armed

The day 30,000 white supremacists in KKK robes marched in the nations capital

Death of a devil: The white supremacist got hit by a car. His victims celebrated.

Leo Frank was lynched for a murder he didnt commit. Now neo-Nazis are trying to rewrite history.

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Like Trump, JFK was tested by white supremacists. Here’s what he finally did about it. – Washington Post

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed

Leo Frank Trial – Famous Trials

The discovery of the body of a thirteen-year-old girl in the basement of an Atlanta pencil factory where she had gone to collect her pay check shocked the citizens of that crime-ravaged southern city and roused its public officials to find a suspect and secure a conviction. Unfortunately, it now seems, events and the South’s anti-Semitism conspired to lead to the conviction of the wrong man, the factory’s Jewish superintendent, Leo Frank. The case ultimately drew the attention of the United States Supreme Court and the Governor of Georgia, but neither the Constitution nor a Governor’s commutation could spare Frank a violent death at the end of rope strung from a Georgia oak tree. The Murder that Shocked Georgia Around 3 a.m. on April 27, 1913, Newt Lee, the night watchman for the National Pencil Factory, carried a lantern with him to the factory basement to help him light his way to the “Negro toilet.” When his light fell upon a prone human form, Lee called Atlanta police, who arrived ten minutes later. The body was that of a thirteen-year-old girl. Her skull was dented and caked with blood. A piece of jute rope was wrapped around her neck. A worker at the factory called to the scene identified the body: “Oh my God! That’s Mary Phagan!”….”Continued

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July 11, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed

The Leo Frank Case Research Library Information on the 1913 …

Notorious Case Raises Thorny Questions of Race and Hate By Paul Berger Published August 19, 2013, issue of August 23, 2013. A century ago, Cobb County, Ga., was a sleepy farming community outside Atlanta, home to about 25,000 people. Now the county is an affluent suburb with a population of 700,000, including a booming Jewish community of about 8,000 families served by four synagogues, two restaurants doling out bagels and deli food, and a Kroger supermarket with a large kosher section. Its changed so much by the influx of new people that its almost like a fairy tale that the lynching ever occurred, said Roy Barnes, former governor of Georgia, as he sat in his wood-paneled office just off the main square in Marietta, the countys largest city and its seat of government. But the lynching did occur, just a couple of miles from Barness law office, when an angry mob led by Mariettas elite including Barness wifes grandfather stormed a remote prison, kidnapped Leo Max Frank, brought him back to Marietta and hung him from an oak tree in what is believed to be the only lynching of a Jew in America. Franks lynching provided the denouement for one of the 20th centurys most contentious and consequential murder trials, galvanizing both the infancy of the Anti-Defamation League and the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan. The gruesome image of Frank dressed in only a nightshirt, his neck broken by the noose, his lifeless body dangling from a tree as townspeople rejoiced has become an iconic illustration of Southern anti-Semitism and hatred, an ugly trope that today still echoes in dark corners of the Internet. But the story began nearly two years earlier, on August 25, 1913, when Frank was convicted of murdering Mary Phagan, a 13-year-old white girl from Marietta who worked in the factory that Frank managed. Outside the courtroom, a crowd of 5,000 celebrated the verdict, while Northern Jews including Abraham Cahan, editor of the Forverts denounced the trial as a travesty of justice. Today, the oak tree where Frank was hung is long gone. Strip malls, the I-75 overpass and a 56-foot-tall metal hen, an advertisement for a fast-food restaurant referred to locally as The Big Chicken, have replaced the surrounding woods. The story of the Frank trial and lynching is buried deep beneath layers of trauma, embarrassment and shame. And 100 years after Franks conviction for the murder of Mary Phagan, the debate over his guilt or innocence continues. The case [against Frank] is not as feeble as most people say it is, said Steve Oney, a former staff writer at the Atlanta Journal Constitution whose 2003 book, And The Dead Shall Rise, on Phagans murder and Franks lynching, took 17 years to research and write. Read more here:Leo Frank Case Stirs Debate 100 Years After Jewish Lynch Victims Conviction

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February 11, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed

100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty | The American Mercury

Published by Penelope Lee on April 26, 2013 Proving That Anti-Semitism Had Nothing to Do With His Conviction and Proving That His Defenders Have Used Frauds and Hoaxes for 100 Years by Bradford L. Huieexclusive to The American Mercury MARY PHAGAN was just thirteen years old. She was a sweatshop laborer for Atlanta, Georgias National Pencil Company. Exactly 100 years ago today Saturday, April 26, 1913 little Mary (pictured, artists depiction) was looking forward to the festivities of Confederate Memorial Day. She dressed gaily and planned to attend the parade. She had just come to collect her $1.20 pay from National Pencil Company superintendent Leo M. Frank at his office when she was attacked by an assailant who struck her down, ripped her undergarments, likely attempted to sexually abuse her, and then strangled her to death. Her body was dumped in the factory basement. Leo M. Frank (Listen to the audio book version of this article by pressing the play button below:) Leo Frank, who was the head of Atlantas Bnai Brith, a Jewish fraternal order, was eventually convicted of the murder and sentenced to hang. After a concerted and lavishly financed campaign by the American Jewish community, Franks death sentence was commuted to life in prison by an outgoing governor. But he was snatched from his prison cell and hung by a lynching party consisting, in large part, of leading citizens outraged by the commutation order and none of the lynchers were ever prosecuted or even indicted for their crime. One result of Franks trial and death was the founding of the still-powerful Anti-Defamation League. Today Leo Franks innocence, and his status as a victim of anti-Semitism, are almost taken for granted. But are these current attitudes based on the facts of the case, or are they based on a propaganda campaign that began 100 years ago? Lets look at the facts. It has been proved beyond any shadow of doubt that either Leo Frank or National Pencil Company sweeper Jim Conley was the killer of Mary Phagan. Every other person who was in the building at the time has been fully accounted for. Those who believe Frank to be innocent say, without exception, that Jim Conley must have been the killer. Jim Conley On the 100th anniversary of the inexpressibly tragic death of this sweet and lovely girl, let us examine 100 reasons why the jury that tried him believed (and why we ought to believe, once we see the evidence) that Leo Max Frank strangled Mary Phagan to death 100 reasons proving that Franks supporters have used multiple frauds and hoaxes and have tampered with the evidence on a massive scale 100 reasons proving that the main idea that Franks modern defenders put forth, that Leo Frank was a victim of anti-Semitism, is the greatest hoax of all. 1. Only Leo Frank had the opportunity to be alone with Mary Phagan, and he admits he was alone with her in his office when she came to get her pay and in fact he was completely alone with her on the second floor. Had Jim Conley been the killer, he would have had to attack her practically right at the entrance to the building where he sat almost all day, where people were constantly coming and going and where several witnesses noticed Conley, with no assurance of even a moment of privacy. 2. Leo Frank had told Newt Lee, the pencil factorys night watchman, to come earlier than usual, at 4 PM, on the day of the murder. But Frank was extremely nervous when Lee arrived (the killing of Mary Phagan had occurred between three and four hours before and her body was still in the building) and insisted that Lee leave and come back in two hours. 3. When Lee then suggested he could sleep for a couple of hours on the premises and there was a cot in the basement near the place where Lee would ultimately find the body Frank refused to let him. Lee could also have slept in the packing room adjacent to Leo Franks office. But Frank insisted that Lee had to leave and have a good time instead. This violated the corporate rule that once the night watchman entered the building, he could not leave until he handed over the keys to the day watchman. Newt Lee, though strongly suspected at first, was manifestly innocent and had no reason to lie, and had had good relations with Frank and no motive to hurt him. 4. When Lee returned at six, Frank was even more nervous and agitated than two hours earlier, according to Lee. He was so nervous, he could not operate the time clock properly, something he had done hundreds of times before. (Leo Frank officially started to work at the National Pencil Company on Monday morning, August 10, 1908. Twenty-two days later, on September 1, 1908, he was elevated to the position of superintendent of the company, and served in this capacity until he was arrested on Tuesday morning, April 29, 1913.) Newt Lee 5. When Leo Frank came out of the building around six, he met not only Lee but John Milton Gantt, a former employee who was a friend of Mary Phagan. Lee says that when Frank saw Gantt, he visibly jumped back and appeared very nervous when Gantt asked to go into the building to retrieve some shoes that he had left there. According to E.F. Holloway, J.M. Gantt had known Mary for a long time and was one of the only employees Mary Phagan spoke with at the factory. Gantt was the former paymaster of the firm. Frank had fired him three weeks earlier, allegedly because the payroll was short about $1. Was Gantts firing a case of the dragon getting rid of the prince to get the princess? Was Frank jealous of Gantts closeness with Mary Phagan? Unlike Frank, Gantt was tall with bright blue eyes and handsome features. J.M. Gantt 6. After Frank returned home in the evening after the murder, he called Newt Lee on the telephone and asked him if everything was all right at the factory, something he had never done before. A few hours later Lee would discover the mutilated body of Mary Phagan in the pencil factory basement. 7. When police finally reached Frank after the body of Mary Phagan had been found, Frank emphatically denied knowing the murdered girl by name, even though he had seen her probably hundreds of times he had to pass by her work station, where she had worked for a year, every time he inspected the workers area on the second floor and every time he went to the bathroom and he had filled out her pay slip personally on approximately 52 occasions, marking it with her initials M. P. Witnesses also testified that Frank had spoken to Mary Phagan on multiple occasions, even getting a little too close for comfort at times, putting his hand on her shoulder and calling her Mary. 8. When police accompanied Frank to the factory on the morning after the murder, Frank was so nervous and shaking so badly he could not even perform simple tasks like unlocking a door. 9. Early in the investigation, Leo Frank told police that he knew that J.M. Gantt had been intimate with Mary Phagan, immediately making Gantt a suspect. Gantt was arrested and interrogated. But how could Frank have known such a thing about a girl he didnt even know by name? 10. Also early in the investigation, while both Leo Frank and Newt Lee were being held and some suspicion was still directed at Lee, a bloody shirt was discovered in a barrel at Lees home. Investigators became suspicious when it was proved that the blood marks on the shirt had been made by wiping it, unworn, in the liquid. The shirt had no trace of body odor and the blood had fully soaked even the armpit area, even though only a small quantity of blood was found at the crime scene. This was the first sign that money was being used to procure illegal acts and interfere in the case in such a way as to direct suspicion away from Leo M. Frank. This became a virtual certainty when Lee was definitely cleared. A few members of Mary Phagans family; originally published in the Atlanta Georgian Mary Phagan and her aunt, Mattie Phagan 11. Leo Frank claimed that he was in his office continuously from noon to 12:35 on the day of the murder, but a witness friendly to Frank, 14-year-old Monteen Stover, said Franks office was totally empty from 12:05 to 12:10 while she waited for him there before giving up and leaving. This was approximately the same time as Mary Phagans visit to Franks office and the time she was murdered. On Sunday, April 27, 1913, Leo Frank told police that Mary Phagan came into his office at 12:03 PM. The next day, Frank made a deposition to the police, with his lawyers present, in which he said he was alone with Mary Phagan in his office between 12:05 and 12:10. Frank would later change his story again, stating on the stand that Mary Phagan came into his office a full five minutes later than that. 12. Leo Frank contradicted his own testimony when he finally admitted on the stand that he had possibly unconsciously gone to the Metal Room bathroom between 12:05 and 12:10 PM on the day of the murder. Floor plan of the National Pencil Company click for high resolution 13. The Metal Room, which Frank finally admitted at trial he might have unconsciously visited at the approximate time of the killing (and where no one else except Mary Phagan could be placed by investigators), was the room in which the prosecution said the murder occurred. It was also where investigators had found spots of blood, and some blondish hair twisted on a lathe handle where there had definitely been no hair the day before. (When R.P. Barret left work on Friday evening at 6:00 PM, he had left a piece of work in his machine that he intended to finish on Monday morning at 6:30 AM. It was then he found the hair with dried blood on it on his lathe. How did it get there over the weekend, if the factory was closed for the holiday? Several co-workers testified the hair resembled Mary Phagans. Nearby, on the floor adjacent to the Metal Rooms bathroom door, was a five-inch-wide fan-shaped blood stain.) The Metal Room, where the blood spots and hair were found; and the basement of the National Pencil Company, where Mary Phagans strangled and dragged body was found Closeup of the artists representation of the hair found on the lathe handle 14. In his initial statement to authorities, Leo Frank stated that after Mary Phagan picked up her pay in his office, She went out through the outer office and I heard her talking with another girl. This other girl never existed. Every person known to be in the building was extensively investigated and interviewed, and no girl spoke to Mary Phagan nor met her at that time. Monteen Stover was the only other girl there, and she saw only an empty office. Stover was friendly with Leo Frank, and in fact was a positive character witness for him. She had no reason to lie. But Leo Frank evidently did. (Atlanta Georgian, April 28, 1913) 15. In an interview shortly after the discovery of the murder, Leo Frank stated I have been in the habit of calling up the night watchman to keep a check on him, and at 7 oclock called Newt. But Newt Lee, who had no motive to hurt his boss (in fact quite the opposite) firmly maintained that in his three weeks of working as the factorys night watchman, Frank had never before made such a call. (Atlanta Georgian, April 28, 1913) Three-dimensional diagram of the National Pencil Company headquarters in the Venable building 16. A few days later, Frank told the press, referring to the National Pencil Company factory where the murder took place, I deeply regret the carelessness shown by the police department in not making a complete investigation as to finger prints and other evidence before a great throng of people were allowed to enter the place. But it was Frank himself, as factory superintendent, who had total control over access to the factory and crime scene who was fully aware that evidence might thereby be destroyed and who allowed it to happen. (Atlanta Georgian, April 29, 1913) 17. Although Leo Frank made a public show of support for Newt Lee, stating Lee was not guilty of the murder, behind the scenes he was saying quite different things. In its issue of April 29, 1913, the Atlanta Georgian published an article titled Suspicion Lifts from Frank, in which it was stated that the police were increasingly of the opinion that Newt Lee was the murderer, and that additional clews furnished by the head of the pencil factory [Frank] were responsible for closing the net around the negro watchman. The discovery that the bloody shirt found at Lees home was planted, along with other factors such as Lees unshakable testimony, would soon change their views, however. 18. One of the clews provided by Frank was his claim that Newt Lee had not punched the companys time clock properly, evidently missing several of his rounds and giving him time to kill Mary Phagan and return home to hide the bloody shirt. But that directly contradicted Franks initial statement the morning after the murder that Lees time slip was complete and proper in every way. Why the change? The attempt to frame Lee would eventually crumble, especially after it was discovered that Mary Phagan died shortly after noon, four hours before Newt Lees first arrival at the factory. 19. Almost immediately after the murder, pro-Frank partisans with the National Pencil Company hired the Pinkerton detective agency to investigate the crime. But even the Pinkertons, being paid by Franks supporters, eventually were forced to come to the conclusion that Frank was the guilty man. (The Pinkertons were hired by Sigmund Montag of the National Company at the behest of Leo Frank, with the understanding that they were to ferret out the murderer, no matter who he was. After Leo Frank was convicted, Harry Scott and the Pinkertons were stiffed out of an investigation bill totaling some $1300 for their investigative work that had indeed helped to ferret out the murderer, no matter who he was. The Pinkertons had to sue to win their wages and expenses in court, but were never able to fully collect. Mary Phagans mother also took the National Pencil Company to court for wrongful death, and the case settled out of court. She also was never able to fully collect the settlement. These are some of the unwritten injustices of the Leo Frank case, in which hard-working and incorruptible detectives were stiffed out of their money for being incorruptible, and a mother was cheated of her daughters life and then cheated out of her rightful settlement as well.) (Atlanta Georgian, May 26, 1913, Pinkerton Man says Frank Is Guilty Pencil Factory Owners Told Him Not to Shield Superintendent, Scott Declares) 20. That is not to say that were not factions within the Pinkertons, though. One faction was not averse to planting false evidence. A Pinkerton agent named W.D. McWorth three weeks after the entire factory had been meticulously examined by police and Pinkerton men miraculously discovered a bloody club, a piece of cord like that used to strangle Mary Phagan, and an alleged piece of Mary Phagans pay envelope on the first floor of the factory, near where the factorys Black sweeper, Jim Conley, had been sitting on the fatal day. This was the beginning of the attempt to place guilt for the killing on Conley, an effort which still continues 100 years later. The discovery was so obviously and patently false that it was greeted with disbelief by almost everyone, and McWorth was pulled off the investigation and eventually discharged by the Pinkerton agency. W.D. McWorth 21. It also came out that McWorth had made his finds while chief Pinkerton investigator Harry Scott was out of town. Most interestingly, and contrary to Scotts direct orders, McWorths discoveries were reported immediately to Franks defense team, but not at all to the police. A year later, McWorth surfaced once more, now as a Burns agency operative, a firm which was by then openly working in the interests of Frank. One must ask: Who would pay for such obstruction of justice? and why? (Frey, The Silent and the Damned, page 46; Indianapolis Star, May 28, 1914; The Frank Case, Atlanta Publishing Co., p. 65) City Detective Black, left; and Pinkerton investigator Harry Scott, right 22. Jim Conley told police two obviously false narratives before finally breaking down and admitting that he was an accessory to Leo Frank in moving of the body of Mary Phagan and in authoring, at Franks direction, the death notes found near the body in the basement. These notes, ostensibly from Mary Phagan but written in semi-literate Southern black dialect, seemed to point to the night watchman as the killer. To a rapt audience of investigators and factory officials, Conley re-enacted his and Franks conversations and movements on the day of the killing. Investigators, and even some observers who were very skeptical at first, felt that Conleys detailed narrative had the ring of truth. 23. At trial, the leading and most expensive criminal defense lawyers in the state of Georgia could not trip up Jim Conley or shake him from his story. 24. Conley stated that Leo Frank sometimes employed him to watch the entrance to the factory while Frank chatted with teenage girl employees upstairs. Conley said that Frank admitted that he had accidentally killed Mary Phagan when she resisted his advances, and sought his help in the hiding of the body and in writing the black-dialect death notes that attempted to throw suspicion on the night watchman. Conley said he was supposed to come back later to burn Mary Phagans body in return for $200, but fell asleep and did not return. 25. Blood spots were found exactly where Conley said that Mary Phagans lifeless body was found by him in the second floor metal room. 26. Hair that looked like Mary Phagans was found on a Metal Room lathe immediately next to where Conley said he found her body, where she had apparently fallen after her altercation with Leo Frank. Rare diagram/photograph showing rear of the National Pencil Company building and insets detailing where blood, hair, and body of Mary Phagan were found (click for a large, high-resolution version) 27. Blood spots were found exactly where Conley says he dropped Mary Phagans body while trying to move it. Conley could not have known this. If he was making up his story, this is a coincidence too fantastic to be accepted. 28. A piece of Mary Phagans lacy underwear was looped around her neck, apparently in a clumsy attempt to hide the deeply indented marks of the rope which was used to strangle her. No murderer could possibly believe that detectives would be fooled for an instant by such a deception. But a murderer who needed another mans help for a few minutes in disposing of a body might indeed believe it would serve to briefly conceal the real nature of the crime from his assistant, perhaps being mistaken for a lace collar. Mary Phagan autopsy photograph 29. If Conley was the killer and it had to be Conley or Frank he moved the body of Mary Phagan by himself. The lacy loop around Mary Phagans neck would serve absolutely no purpose in such a scenario. 30. The dragging marks on the basement floor, leading to where Mary Phagans body was dumped near the furnace, began at the elevator exactly matching Jim Conleys version of events. 31. Much has been made of Conleys admission that he defecated in the elevator shaft on Saturday morning, and the idea that, because the detectives crushed the feces for the first time when they rode down in the elevator the next day, Conleys story that he and Frank used the elevator to bring Mary Phagans body to the basement on Saturday afternoon could not be true thus bringing Conleys entire story into question. But how could anyone determine with certainty that the crushing was the first crushing? And nowhere in the voluminous records of the case including Governor Slatons commutation order in which he details his supposed tests of the elevator can we find evidence that anyone made even the most elementary inquiry into whether or not the bottom surface of the elevator car was uniformly flat. 32. Furthermore, the so-called shit in the shaft theory of Franks innocence also breaks down when we consider the fact that detectives inspected the floor of the elevator shaft before riding down in the elevator, and found in it Mary Phagans parasol and a large quantity of trash and debris. Detective R.M. Lassiter stated at the inquest into Mary Phagans death, in answer to the question Is the bottom of the elevator shaft of concrete or wood, or what? that I dont know. It was full of trash and I couldnt see. There was so much trash there, the investigator couldnt even tell what the floor of the shaft was made of! There may well have been enough trash, and arranged in such a way, to have prevented the crushing of the waste material when Frank and Conley used the elevator to transport Mary Phagans body to the basement. In digging through this trash, detectives could easily have moved it enough to permit the crushing of the feces the next time the elevator was run down. 33. The defenses theory of Conleys guilt involves Conley alone bringing Mary Phagans body to the basement down the scuttle hole ladder, not the elevator. But Lassiter was insistent that the dragging marks did not begin at the ladder, stating at the inquest: No, sir; the dragging signs went past the foot of the ladder. I saw them between the elevator and the ladder. Why would Conley pointlessly drag the body backwards toward the elevator, when his goal was the furnace? Why were there no signs of his turning around if he had done so? If Mary Phagans body could leave dragging marks on the irregular and dirty surface of the basement, why were there no marks of a heavy body being dumped down the scuttle hole as the defense alleged Conley to have done? Why did Mary Phagans body not have the multiple bruises it would have to have incurred from being hurled 14 feet down the scuttle hole to the basement floor below? 34. Leo Frank changed the time at which he said Mary Phagan came to collect her pay. He initially said that it was 12:03, then said that it might have been 12:05 to 12:10, maybe 12:07. But at the inquest he moved his estimates a full five minutes later: Q: What time did she come in? A: I dont know exactly; it was 12:10 or 12:15. Q: How do you fix the time that she came in as 12:10 or 12:15? A: Because the other people left at 12 and I judged it to be ten or fifteen minutes later when she came in. He seems to have no solid basis for his new estimate, so why change it by five minutes, or at all? 35. Pinkerton detective Harry Scott, who was employed by Leo Frank to investigate the murder, testified that he was asked by Franks defense team to withhold from the policeany evidence his agency might find until after giving it to Franks lawyers. Scott refused. 36. Newt Lee, who was proved absolutely innocent, and who never tried to implicate anyone including Leo Frank, says Frank reacted with horror when Lee suggested that Mary Phagan might have been killed during the day, and not at night as was commonly believed early in the investigation. The daytime was exactly when Frank was at the factory, and Lee wasnt. Here Detective Harry Scott testifies as to part of the conversation that ensued when Leo Frank and Newt Lee were purposely brought together: Q: What did Lee say? A: Lee says that Frank didnt want to talk about the murder. Lee says he told Frank he knew the murder was committed in daytime, and Frank hung his head and said Lets dont talk about that!’ (Atlanta Georgian, May 8, 1913, Lee Repeats His Private Conversation With Frank) 37. When Newt Lee was questioned at the inquest about this arranged conversation, he confirms that Frank didnt want to continue the conversation when Lee stated that the killing couldnt possibly have happened during his evening and nighttime watch: Q: Tell the jury of your conversation with Frank in private. A: I was in the room and he came in. I said, Mr. Frank, it is mighty hard to be sitting here handcuffed. He said he thought I was innocent, and I said I didnt know anything except finding the body. Yes, Mr. Frank said, and you keep that up we will both go to hell! I told him that if she had been killed in the basement I would have known it, and he said, Dont lets talk about that let that go!’ (Atlanta Georgian, May 8, 1913, Lee Repeats His Private Conversation With Frank) 38. Former County Policeman Boots Rogers, who drove the officers to Franks home and then took them all, including Frank, back to the factory on the morning of April 27, said Frank was so nervous that he was hoarse even before being told of the murder. (Atlanta Georgian, May 8, 1913, Rogers Tells What Police Found at the Factory) Boots Rogers 39. Rogers also states that he personally inspected Newt Lees time slip the one that Leo Frank at first said had no misses, but later claimed the reverse. The Atlanta Georgian on May 8 reported what Rogers saw: Rogers said he looked at the slip and the first punch was at 6:30 and last at 2:30. There were no misses, he said. Frank, unfortunately, was allowed to take the slip and put it in his desk. Later a slip with several punches missing would turn up. How can this be reconciled with the behavior of an innocent man? 40. The curious series of events surrounding Lees time slip is totally inconsistent with theory of a police frame-up of Leo Frank. At the time these events occurred, suspicion was strongly directed at Lee, and not at Frank. 41. When Leo Frank accompanied the officers to the police station later on during the day after the murder, Rogers stated that Leo Frank was literally so nervous that his hands were visibly shaking. 42. Factory Foreman Lemmie Quinn would eventually testify for the defense that Leo Frank was calmly sitting in his office at 12:20, a few minutes after the murder probably occurred. As to whether this visit really happened, there is some question. Quinn says he came to visit Schiff, Franks personal assistant, who wasnt there was he even expected to be there on a Saturday and holiday? and stayed only two minutes or so talking to Frank in the office. Frank at first said there was no such visit, and only remembered it days later when Quinn refreshed his memory. 43. As reported by the Atlanta Georgian, City detective John Black said even Quinn initially denied that there was such a visit! Q: What did Mr. Quinn say to you about his trip to the factory Saturday? A: Mr. Quinn said he was not at the factory on the day of the murder. Q: How many times did he say it? A: Two or three times. I heard him tell Detective Starnes that he had not been there. (Atlanta Georgian, May 8, 1913, Black Testifies Quinn Denied Visiting Factory) 44. Several young women and girls testified at the inquest that Frank had made improper advances toward them, in one instance touching a girls breast and in another appearing to offer money for compliance with his desires. The Atlanta Georgian reported: Girls and women were called to the stand to testify that they had been employed at the factory or had had occasion to go there, and that Frank had attempted familiarities with them. Nellie Pettis, of 9 Oliver Street, declared that Frank had made improper advances to her. She was asked if she had ever been employed at the pencil factory. No, she answered. Q: Do you know Leo Frank? A: I have seen him once or twice. Q: When and where did you see him? A: In his office at the factory whenever I went to draw my sister-in-laws pay. Q: What did he say to you that might have been improper on any of these visits? A: He didnt exactly say he made gestures. I went to get sisters pay about four weeks ago and when I went into the office of Mr. Frank I asked for her. He told me I couldnt see her unless I saw him first. I told him I didnt want to see him. He pulled a box from his desk. It had a lot of money in it. He looked at it significantly and then looked at me. When he looked at me, he winked. As he winked he said: How about it? I instantly told him I was a nice girl. Here the witness stopped her statement. Coroner Donehoo asked her sharply: Didnt you say anything else? Yes, I did! I told him to go to hl! and walked out of his office.’ (Atlanta Georgian, May 9, 1913, Phagan Case to be Rushed to Grand Jury by Dorsey) 45. In the same article, another young girl testified to Franks pattern of improper familiarities: Nellie Wood, a young girl, testified as follows: Q: Do you know Leo Frank? A: I worked for him two days. Q: Did you observe any misconduct on his part? A: Well, his actions didnt suit me. Hed come around and put his hands on me when such conduct was entirely uncalled for. Q: Is that all he did? A: No. He asked me one day to come into his office, saying that he wanted to talk to me. He tried to close the door but I wouldnt let him. He got too familiar by getting so close to me. He also put his hands on me. Q: Where did he put his hands? He barely touched my breast. He was subtle in his approaches, and tried to pretend that he was joking. But I was too wary for such as that. Q: Did he try further familiarities? A: Yes. 46. In May, around the time of disgraced Pinkerton detective McWorths attempt to plant fake evidence which caused McWorths dismissal from the Pinkerton agency attorney Thomas Felder made his loud but mysterious appearance. Colonel Felder, as he was known, was soliciting donations to bring yet another private detective agency into the case Pinkertons great rival, the William Burns agency. Felder claimed to be representing neighbors, friends, and family members of Mary Phagan. But Mary Phagans stepfather, J.W. Coleman, was so angered by this misrepresentation that he made an affidavit denying there was any connection between him and Felder. It was widely believed that Felder and Burns were secretly retained by Frank supporters. The most logical interpretation of these events is that, having largely failed in getting the Pinkerton agency to perform corrupt acts on behalf of Frank, Franks supporters decided to covertly bring another, and hopefully more cooperative, agency into the case. Felder and his unselfish efforts were their cover. Felders representations were seen as deception by many, which led more and more people to question Franks innocence. (Atlanta Georgian, May 15, 1913, Burns Investigator Will Probe Slaying) Colonel Thomas Felder 47. Felders efforts collapsed when A.S. Colyar, a secret agent of the police, used a dictograph to secretly record Felder offering to pay $1,000 for the original Coleman affidavit and for copies of the confidential police files on the Mary Phagan case. C.W. Tobie, the Burns detective brought into the case by Felder, was reportedly present. Colyar stated that after this meeting I left the Piedmont Hotel at 10:55 a.m. and Tobie went from thence to Felders office, as he informed me, to meet a committee of citizens, among whom were Mr. Hirsch, Mr. Myers, Mr. Greenstein and several other prominent Jews in this city. (Atlanta Georgian, May 21, 1913, T.B. Felder Repudiates Report of Activity for Frank) 48. Felder then lashed out wildly, vehemently denied working for Franks friends, and declared that he thought Frank guilty. He even made the bizarre claim, impossible for anyone to believe, that the police were shielding Frank. It was observed of Felder that when ones reputation is near zero, one might want to attach oneself to the side one wants to harm in an effort to drag them down as you fall. (Atlanta Georgian, May 21, 1913, T.B. Felder Repudiates Report of Activity for Frank) 49. Interestingly, C.W. Tobie, the Burns man, also made a statement shortly afterward when his firm initially withdrew from the case that he had come to believe in Franks guilt also: It is being insinuated by certain forces that we are striving to shield Frank. That is absurd. From what I developed in my investigation I am convinced that Frank is the guilty man. (Atlanta Constitution, May 27, 1913, Burns Agency Quits the Phagan case) 50. As his efforts crashed to Earth, Felder made this statement to an Atlanta Constitution reporter: Is it not passing strange that the city detective department, whose wages are paid by the taxpayers of this city, should hob-nob daily with the Pinkerton Detective Agency, an agency confessedly employed in this investigation to work in behalf of Leo Frank; that they would take this agency into their daily and hourly conference and repose in it their confidence, and co-operate with it in every way possible, and withhold their co-operation from W.J. Burns and his able assistants, who are engaged by the public and for the public in ferreting out this crime. But what Felder failed to mention was that the Pinkertons main agent in Atlanta, Harry Scott, had proved that he could not be corrupted by the National Pencil Companys money, so it is reasonable to conclude that the well-heeled pro-Frank forces would search elsewhere for help. The famous William Burns agency was really the only logical choice. To think that Felder and Mary Phagans neighbors were selflessly employing Burns is naive in the extreme: It means that Franks wealthy friends would just sit on their money and stick with the not at all helpful Pinkertons, who had just fired the only agent who tried to help Frank. (Atlanta Constitution, May 25, 1913, Thomas Felder Brands the Charges of Bribery Diabolical Conspiracy) 51. Colyar, the man who exposed Felder, also stated that Franks friends were spreading money around to get witnesses to leave town or make false affidavits. The Atlanta Georgian commented on Felders antics as he exited the stage: It is regarded as certain that Felder is eliminated entirely from the Phagan case. It had been believed that he really was in the employ of the Frank defense up to the time that he began to bombard the public with statements against Frank and went on record in saying he believed in the guilt of Frank. (Atlanta Georgian, May 26, 1913, Lay Bribery Effort to Franks Friends) 52. When Jim Conley finally admitted he wrote the death notes found near Mary Phagans body, Leo Franks reaction was powerful: Leo M. Frank was confronted in his cell by the startling confession of the negro sweeper, James Connally [sic]. What have you to say to this? demanded a Georgian reporter. Frank, as soon as he had gained the import of what the negro had told, jumped back in his cell and refused to say a word. His hands moved nervously and his face twitched as though he were on the verge of a breakdown, but he absolutely declined to deny the truth of the negros statement or make any sort of comment upon it. His only answer to the repeated questions that were shot at him was a negative shaking of the head, or the simple, I have nothing to say.’ (Atlanta Georgian, May 26, 1913, Negro Sweeper Says He Wrote Phagan Notes) The mysterious death notes click for high resolution 53. When Jim Conley re-enacted, step by step, the sequence of events as he experienced them on the day of the murder, including the exact positions in which the body was found and detailing his assisting Leo Frank in moving Mary Phagans body and writing the death notes, Harry Scott of the Pinkerton Detective Agency stated: There is not a doubt but that the negro is telling the truth and it would be foolish to doubt it. The negro couldnt go through the actions like he did unless he had done this just like he said, said Harry Scott. We believe that we have at last gotten to the bottom of the Phagan mystery. (Atlanta Georgian, May 29, 1913 Extra, Conley Re-enacts in Plant Part He Says He Took in Slaying) The last section of Jim Conleys startling affidavit Conleys story diagrammed in the Atlanta Georgian click for high resolution 54. In early June, Felders name popped up in the press again. This time he was claiming that his nemesis A.S. Colyar had in his possession an affidavit from Jim Conley confessing to the murder of Mary Phagan, and that Colyar was withholding it from the police. The police immediately sweated Conley to see if there was any truth in this, but Conley vigorously denied the entire story, and stated that he had never even met Colyar. Chief of Police Lanford said this confirmed his belief that Felder had been secretly working for Frank all along: I attribute this report to Colonel Felders work, said the chief. It merely shows again that Felder is in league with the defense of Frank; that the attorney is trying to muddy the waters of this investigation to shield Frank and throw the blame on another. This first became noticeable when Felder endeavored to secure the release of Conley. His ulterior motive, I am sure, was the protection of Frank. He had been informed that the negro had this damaging evidence against Frank, and Felder did all in his power to secure the negros release. He declared that it was a shame that the police should hold Conley, an innocent negro. He protested strenuously against it. Yet not one time did Felder attempt to secure the release of Newt Lee or Gordon Bailey on the same grounds, even though both of these negroes had been held longer than Conley. This to me is significant of Felders ulterior motive in getting Conley away from the police.’ Are such underhanded shenanigans on the part of Franks team the actions of a truly innocent man? (Atlanta Georgian, June 6, 1913, Conley, Grilled by Police Again, Denies Confessing Killing) 55. Much is made by Frank partisans of Georgia Governor Slatons 1915 decision to commute Franks sentence from death by hanging to life imprisonment. But when Slaton issued his commutation order, he specifically stated that he was sustaining Franks conviction and the guilty verdict of the judge and jury: In my judgement, by granting a commutation in this case, I am sustaining the jury, the judge, and the appellate tribunals, and at the same time am discharging that duty which is placed on me by the Constitution of the State. He also added, of Jim Conleys testimony that Frank had admitted to killing Mary Phagan and enlisted Conleys help in moving the body: It is hard to conceive that any mans power of fabrication of minute details could reach that which Conley showed, unless it be the truth. 56. On May 8, 1913. the Coroners Inquest jury, a panel of six sworn men, voted with the Coroner seven to zero to bind Leo Frank over to the grand jury on the charge of murder after hearing the testimony of 160 witnesses. 57. On May 24, 1913, after hearing evidence from prosecutor Hugh Dorsey and his witnesses, the grand jury charged Leo M. Frank with the murder of Mary Phagan. Four Jews were on the grand jury of 21 persons. Although only twelve votes were needed, the vote was unanimous against Frank. An historian specializing in the history of anti-Semitism, Albert Lindemann, denies that prejudice against Jews was a factor and states that the jurors were persuaded by the concrete evidence that Dorsey presented. And this indictment was handed down even without hearing any of Jim Conleys testimony, which had not yet come out. (Lindemann, The Jew Accused: Three Anti-Semitic Affairs, Cambridge, 1993, p. 251) 58. On August 25, 1913, after more than 29 days of the longest and most costly trial in Southern history up to that time, and after two of Souths most talented and expensive attorneys and a veritable army of detectives and agents in their employ gave their all in defense of Leo M. Frank, and after four hours of jury deliberation, Frank was unanimously convicted of the murder of Mary Phagan by a vote of twelve to zero. The jurors in the Leo Frank case Luther Rosser and Reuben Arnold headed Franks defense team. 59. The trial judge, Leonard Strickland Roan, had the power to set aside the guilty verdict of Leo Frank if he believed that the defendant had not received a fair trial. He did not do so, effectively making the vote 13 to zero. 60. Judge Roan also had the power to sentence Frank to the lesser sentence of life imprisonment, even though the jury had not recommended mercy. On August 26, 1913, Judge Roan affirmed the verdict of guilt, and sentenced Leo Frank to death by hanging. Judge Leonard Strickland Roan 61. On October 31, 1913, the court rejected a request for a new trial by the Leo Frank defense team, and re-sentenced Frank to die. The sentence handed down by Judge Benjamin H Hill was set to be carried out on Franks 30th birthday, April 17, 1914. 62. Supported by a huge fundraising campaign launched by the American Jewish community, and supported by a public relations campaign carried out by innumerable newspapers and publishing companies nationwide, Leo Frank continued to mount a prodigious defense even after his conviction, employing some of the most prominent lawyers in the United States. From August 27, 1913, to April 22, 1915 they filed a long series of appeals to every possible level of the United States court system, beginning with an application to the Georgia Superior Court. That court rejected Franks appeal as groundless. 63. The next appeal by Franks dream team of world-renowned attorneys was to the Georgia Supreme Court. It was rejected. 64. A second appeal was then made by Franks lawyers to the Georgia Supreme Court, which was also rejected as groundless. 65. The next appeal by Franks phalanx of attorneys was to the United States Federal District Court, which also found Franks arguments unpersuasive and turned down the appeal, affirming that the guilty verdict of the jury should stand. 66. Next, the Frank legal team appealed to the highest court in the land, the United States Supreme Court, which rejected Franks arguments and turned down his appeal. 67. Finally, Franks army of counselors made a second appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court which was also rejected, allowing Leo Franks original guilty verdict and sentence of death for the murder by strangulation of Mary Phagan to stand. Every single level of the United States legal system after carefully and meticulously reviewing the trial testimony and evidence voted in majority decisions to reject all of Leo Franks appeals, and to preserve the unanimous verdict of guilt given to Frank by Judge Leonard Strickland Roan and by the twelve-man jury at his trial, and to affirm the fairness of the legal process which began with Franks binding over and indictment by the seven-man coroners jury and 21-man grand jury. 68. It is preposterous to claim that these men, and all these institutions, North and South the coroners jury, the grand jury, the trial jury, and the judges of the trial court, the Georgia Superior Court, the Georgia Supreme Court, the U.S. Federal District Court, and the United States Supreme Court were motivated by anti-Semitism in reaching their conclusions.

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October 17, 2017   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed

Post Leo Frank Lynching (Inspired the Founding of ADL of B’nai B’rith) Rich Jews Indict the State of Georgia, The Whole South Traduced. Watson’s Magazine, October 1915, Read by John de Nugent

This is John De Nugent’s fifth audio book about the Leo Frank case (January, March, August, September and October, 1915), in this hateful episode he reads part five of Senator Tom Watson’s serial about the Murder of Mary Phagan from Watson’s Magazine, October, 1915. Help expose De Nugent’s other hateful audio book works on archive.Source: […]

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October 1, 2017   Posted in: Abraham Foxman, Anti-Defamation League, Leo Frank  Comments Closed

Centennial Revival: Leo Frank “Jew Pervert” September 1915: The Most Anti-Semitic Audiobook of 2017 Read by John de Nugent

Publisher Tom Watson (U.S. Senator from Georgia 1920) wrote this article right after the Aug 17, 1915 hanging (conducted by the crème de la crème of the frustrated people of Georgia themselves after two years of spurious legal delays) of the pedophile, rapist, and murderer Leo Frank, a prominent Jewish official and businessman whom major […]

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September 1, 2017   Posted in: Abraham Foxman, Anti-Defamation League, B'nai B'rith, Leo Frank  Comments Closed

Don’t Let Incident in Switzerland Distract From True Antisemitism – Algemeiner

Email a copy of “Dont Let Incident in Switzerland Distract From True Antisemitism” to a friend The sign at the Swiss hotel asking Jews to shower before using a swimming pool. Photo: Twitter. A sign that appeared to discriminate against Jewish guests was recently posted at the Aparthaus Paradies hotel in Switzerland. The sign which was met with ourtage requested that Jewish guests take a shower before using a swimming pool. But this non-incident is distracting us from the true face of antisemitism. On August 17, 1915, Jewish-American Leo Frank was lynched in Marietta, Georgiathe beautiful suburban area where I currently live.Now, 102 yearslateralmost to the dayneo-Nazism has reared its ugly head in Charlottesville, Virginia, and elsewhere across the South. Heres why the Switzerland incident doesnt remotely compare to what happened in Virginia. The sign at the Swiss hotel was posted by an individual hotel manager, Ruth Thomann, and was not the policy of the hotel. According to reports, thesign was posted after specific complaints, and was not the result ofpure, antisemitic hate. August 23, 2017 4:25 pm In fact, one copy of the sign had a handwritten note on it: I am not a Jewish guest, and I think its racist. Further, all the copies of the sign werereportedly removed very shortly after being posted. In fact, according to the Telegraph, One Israeli guest told Channel 2 news that staff at the hotel had been very niceand they were shocked when they saw the signs. It was very strange and the sort of antisemitic incident we have not been exposed to before, the guest said. Not only that, but the hotel was accommodating enough to store special kosher food for Jewish guests in the private staff refrigerator, and apparently treated the Jewish guests with utmost respect. Weshould not bebusy wasting our outrage on this non-incident. Lets refocus our energy towards the insanity in our own backyardwhere there is not only smoke, but also a raging fire.

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed

Today in history: Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat began heading up the Hudson River on its successful round … – Burlington Times News

Today’s Highlight in History: On August 17, 1807, Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat began heading up the Hudson River on its successful round trip between New York and Albany. On this date: In 1863, Federal batteries and ships began bombarding Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor during the Civil War, but the Confederates managed to hold on despite several days of pounding. In 1915, a mob in Cobb County, Georgia, lynched Jewish businessman Leo Frank, 31, whose death sentence for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan had been commuted to life imprisonment. (Frank, who’d maintained his innocence, was pardoned by the state of Georgia in 1986.) In 1943, the Allied conquest of Sicily during World War II was completed as U.S. and British forces entered Messina. In 1945, Indonesian nationalists declared their independence from the Netherlands. The George Orwell novel “Animal Farm,” an allegorical satire of Soviet Communism, was first published in London by Martin Secker & Warburg. In 1962, East German border guards shot and killed 18-year-old Peter Fechter, who had attempted to cross the Berlin Wall into the western sector. In 1969, Hurricane Camille slammed into the Mississippi coast as a Category 5 storm that was blamed for 256 U.S. deaths, three in Cuba. In 1978, the first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight ended as Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman landed their Double Eagle II outside Paris. In 1982, the first commercially produced compact discs, a recording of ABBA’s “The Visitors,” were pressed at a Philips factory near Hanover, West Germany. In 1985, more than 1,400 meatpackers walked off the job at the Geo. A. Hormel and Co.’s main plant in Austin, Minnesota, in a bitter strike that lasted just over a year. In 1987, Rudolf Hess, the last member of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle, died at Spandau Prison at age 93, an apparent suicide. The musical drama “Dirty Dancing,” starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, premiered in New York. In 1996, the Reform Party announced Ross Perot had been selected to be its first-ever presidential nominee, opting for the third-party’s founder over challenger Richard Lamm. In 1999, more than 17,000 people were killed when a magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Turkey.

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed

Parade (musical) – Wikipedia

Parade is a musical with a book by Alfred Uhry and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1998 and won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Original Score (out of nine nominations) and six Drama Desk Awards. The show has had a U.S. national tour and numerous professional and amateur productions in both the U.S. and abroad. The musical dramatizes the 1913 trial of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank, who was accused and convicted of raping and murdering a thirteen-year-old employee, Mary Phagan. The trial, sensationalized by the media, aroused antisemitic tensions in Atlanta and the U.S. state of Georgia. When Frank’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison by the departing Governor of Georgia, John M. Slaton due to his detailed review of over 10,000 pages of testimony and possible problems with the trial, Leo Frank was transferred to a prison in Milledgeville, Georgia, where a lynching party seized and kidnapped him. Frank was taken to Phagan’s hometown of Marietta, Georgia, and he was hanged from an oak tree. The events surrounding the investigation and trial led to two groups emerging: the revival of the defunct KKK and the birth of the Jewish Civil Rights organization, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).[1] Harold Prince turned to Brown to write the score after Stephen Sondheim turned the project down. Prince’s daughter, Daisy, had brought Brown to her father’s attention. Uhry, who grew up in Atlanta, had personal knowledge of the Frank story, as his great-uncle owned the pencil factory run by Leo Frank.[2] In dramatizing the story, Prince and Uhry have emphasized the evolving relationship between Leo and his wife Lucille.[3] Their relationship shifts from cold to warm in songs like “Leo at Work/What am I Waiting For?,” “You Don’t Know This Man,” “Do it Alone,” and “All the Wasted Time”. The poignancy of the couple, who fall in love in the midst of adversity, is the core of the work. It makes the tragic outcome – the miscarriage of justice – even more disturbing.[4] The show was Brown’s first Broadway production. His music, according to critic Charles Isherwood, has “subtle and appealing melodies that draw on a variety of influences, from pop-rock to folk to rhythm and blues and gospel.”[3] The plot of the musical dramatizes the historical story and does not shy away from the conclusion of some that the likely killer was the factory janitor Jim Conley, the key witness against Frank at the trial. The true villains of the piece are portrayed as the ambitious and corrupt prosecutor Hugh Dorsey (later the governor of Georgia and then a judge) and the rabid, anti-semitic publisher Tom Watson (later elected a U.S. senator). The musical opens in Marietta, Georgia, in the time of the American Civil War. The sounds of drums herald the appearance of a young Confederate soldier, bidding farewell to his sweetheart as he goes to fight for his homeland. The years pass and suddenly it is 1913. The young soldier has become an old one-legged veteran who is preparing to march in the annual Confederate Memorial Day parade (“The Old Red Hills of Home”). As the Parade begins (“The Dream of Atlanta”), Leo Frank, a Yankee Jew from Brooklyn, NYC, is deeply uncomfortable in the town in which he works and lives, feeling out of place due to his Judaism and his college education (“How Can I Call This Home?”). His discomfort is present even in his relationship with his wife, Lucille, who has planned an outdoor meal spoiled by Leos decision to go into work on a holiday. Meanwhile, two local teens, Frankie Epps and Mary Phagan, ride a trolley car and flirt. Frankie wants Mary to go to the picture show with him, but Mary playfully resists, insisting her mother will not let her (“The Picture Show”). Mary leaves to collect her pay from the pencil factory managed by Frank. While Frank is at work, Lucille bemoans the state of their marriage, believing herself unappreciated by a man so wrapped up in himself. She reflects on her unfulfilled life and wonders whether or not Leo was the right match for her (“Leo at Work” / “What Am I Waiting For?”). Mary Phagan arrives in Leo’s office to collect her paycheck. That night, two policeman, Detective Starnes and Officer Ivey, rouse Frank from his sleep, and without telling him why, demand he accompany them to the factory, where the body of Mary Phagan has been found raped and murdered in the basement. The Police immediately suspects Newt Lee, the African-American night watchman who discovered the body (“Interrogation”). Throughout his interrogation, he maintains his innocence, but inadvertently directs Starnes’ suspicion upon Frank, who did not answer his telephone when Lee called him to report the incident. Leo is arrested, but not charged, and Mrs. Phagan, Mary’s mother, becomes aware of Mary’s death. Across town, a reporter named Britt Craig is informed about Mary’s murder and sees the possibility of a career-making story (“Big News”). Craig attends Mary’s funeral, where the townspeople of Marietta are angry, mournful, and baffled by the tragedy that has so unexpectedly shattered the community. (“There is a Fountain” / “It Don’t Make Sense”). Frankie Epps swears revenge on Mary’s killer, as does Tom Watson, a writer for The Jeffersonian, an extremist right-wing newspaper (“Tom Watson’s Lullaby”) who has taken a special interest in the case. In the meantime, Governor Slaton pressures the local prosecutor Hugh Dorsey to get to the bottom of the whole affair. Dorsey, an ambitious politician with a “lousy conviction record”, resolves to find the murderer. Dorsey, along with Starnes and Ivey interrogate Newt Lee, but they get no information. Dorsey releases Newt, reasoning that “hanging another Nigra ain’t enough this time. We gotta do better.” He then attaches the blame to Leo Frank, and sends Starnes and a reluctant Ivey out to find eyewitnesses (“Something Ain’t Right”). Craig exalts in his opportunity to cover a “real” story and begins an effective campaign vilifying Leo Frank. (“Real Big News”). Leo meets with his lawyer, Luther Z. Rosser, who vows to “win this case, and send him home”. Meanwhile, Dorsey makes a deal with factory janitor and ex-convict Jim Conley to testify against Frank in exchange for immunity for a previous escape from prison. Lucille, hounded by reporters, collapses from the strain and privately rebukes Craig when he attempts to get an interview (“You Don’t Know This Man”). She tells her husband that she cannot bear to see his trial, but he begs her to stay in the courtroom, as her not appearing would make him look guilty. The trial of Leo Frank begins, presided over by Judge Roan. A hysterical crowd gathers outside the courtroom, as Tom Watson spews invective (“Hammer of Justice”) and Hugh Dorsey begins the case for the prosecution (“Twenty Miles from Marietta”). The prosecution produces a series of witnesses, most of whom give trumped evidence which was clearly fed to them by Dorsey. Frankie Epps testifies, falsely, that Mary mentioned that Frank “looks at her funny” when they last spoke, a sentiment echoed verbatim by three of Marys teenage co-workers, Iola, Essie, and Monteen (“The Factory Girls”). In a fantasy sequence, Frank becomes the lecherous seducer of their testimony (“Come Up to My Office”). Testimony is heard from Mary’s mother (“My Child Will Forgive Me”) and Minnie McKnight before the prosecution’s star witness, Jim Conley, takes the stand, claiming that he witnessed the murder and helped Frank cover up the crime (“That’s What He Said”). Leo is desperate. As prosecutor Hugh Dorsey whips the observers and jurors at the trial into a frenzy, Leo is given the opportunity to deliver a statement. Leo offers a heartfelt speech, pleading to be believed (“It’s Hard to Speak My Heart”), but it is not enough. He is found guilty and sentenced to hang. The crowd breaks out into a jubilant cakewalk as Lucille and Leo embrace, terrified (“Summation and Cakewalk”). Leo has begun his process of appeal. The trial has been noted by the press in the north, and the reaction is strongly disapproving of the way in which it was conducted, but the African-American domestics wonder if the reaction would have been as strong if the victim had been black (“A Rumblin’ and a Rollin'”). Lucille tries to help Leo with his appeal, but reveals crucial information to Craig, provoking a fight between Leo and Lucille (“Do it Alone”). Lucille then finds Governor Slaton at a party (“Pretty Music”) and attempts to advocate for Leo. She accuses him of either being a fool or a coward if he accepts the outcome of the trial as is. Meanwhile, Tom Watson approaches Hugh Dorsey and tells him that he will support his bid for governor should he choose to make it. Dorsey and Judge Roan go on a fishing trip, where they discuss the political climate and the upcoming election (“The Glory”). The governor agrees to re-open the case, and Leo and Lucille rejoice (“This is Not Over Yet”). Slaton visits the factory girls, who admit to their exaggeration, and Minnie, who claims that Dorsey intimidated her and made her sign a statement. Slaton also visits Jim Conley, who is back in jail as an accessory to the murder, who refuses to change his story despite the noticeable inconsistencies with the evidence, and along with his Chain Gang, does not give any information, much to the chagrin of Slaton (“Blues: Feel the Rain Fall”). After much consideration, he agrees to commute Frank’s sentence to life in prison in Milledgeville, Georgia, a move that effectively ends his political career. The citizens of Marietta, led by Dorsey and Watson, are enraged and riot (“Where Will You Stand When the Flood Comes?”). Leo has been transferred to a prison work-farm. Lucille visits and he realizes his deep love for his wife and how much he has underestimated her (“All the Wasted Time”). After Lucille departs from the prison, a party of masked men (Starnes, Ivey, Frankie Epps, the Fulton Tower guard and the Old Confederate Soldier) arrives and kidnaps Leo. They take him to Marietta and demand he confess to the murder on pain of death. Leo refuses, and although Ivey is convinced of his innocence, the rest of group is determined to kill him. As his last request, Leo has a sack tied around his waist, since he is wearing only his nightshirt, and gives his wedding ring to Ivey to be given to Lucille. The group hangs him from an oak tree (“Sh’ma”). Some time later, a remorseful Britt Craig gives Leo’s ring, which has been delivered to him anonymously, to Lucille. He is surprised to discover that she has no plans to leave Georgia, which is now governed by Dorsey, but she refuses to let Leo’s ordeal be for nothing. Alone, she gives into her grief, but she takes comfort in believing that Leo is with God and free from his ordeal. The Confederate Memorial Day Parade begins again (“Finale”). Most critics praised the show, especially the score.[5] However, the public and some critics received the show coolly. A number felt the show took too many liberties in the use of racial slurs. When the show closed, Livent had filed for bankruptcy protection (Chapter 11). Lincoln Center was the other producer solely responsible for covering the weekly running costs.[6] The musical premiered on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater on December 17, 1998 and closed February 28, 1999, after 39 previews and 84 regular performances. Directed by Harold Prince, it starred Brent Carver as Leo Frank, Carolee Carmello as Lucille Frank, and Christy Carlson Romano as Mary Phagan. A U. S. national tour, directed by Prince, started at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta in June 2000, with Jason Robert Brown conducting at some venues.[7] It starred David Pittu as Leo, Andrea Burns as Lucille, Keith Byron Kirk as Jim Conley and Kristen Bowden as Mary Phagan. The Full Cast List was (including replacements): Randy Redd, Rick Hilsabeck, Carla Hargrove, John Paul Almon, Donald Grody, Daniel Frank Kelley, David Vosburgh, Elizabeth Brownlee, Siri Howard, Tim Salamandyk, Tim Howard, C. Mingo Long, Raissa Katona, Sandra DeNise, David Coolidge, Anne Allgood, Mimi Bessette, Jamie Sorrentini, Justin Bohon, Laura Marie Crosta, Sandra DeNise, David Dannehl, Jeff Edgerton, Jamie Johnsson, Corey Reynolds, Greg Roderick, Natasha Yvette Williams and Swings: Joe Duffy (Dance Captain) and Laura Shutter The Los Angeles premiere, directed by Brady Schwind and choreographed by Imara Quinonez opened July 10, 2008 at the Neighborhood Playhouse of Palos Verdes with Craig D’Amico as Leo Frank, Emily Olson as Lucille Frank and Alissa Anderegg as Mary Phagan.[8] The first major production in the United Kingdom played at the Donmar Warehouse from September 24 to November 24, 2007.[9] It was directed by Rob Ashford and starred Lara Pulver as Lucille Frank, Bertie Carvel as Leo and Jayne Wisener as Mary Phagan.[10] Pulver was nominated for the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical and Carvel was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical. A double-CD cast recording of this production has been released by First Night Records. The recording includes new material written by Brown for the production and contains all songs and dialogue from the Donmar production. In addition, the large orchestra used in the original Broadway production was reduced by David Cullen and Brown to a nine piece ensemble consisting of: Piano 1 (Musical Director), Piano 2/Accordion, Percussion, Bass, Clarinet (Bass, A, Bb), Horn, Violin, Viola and Cello.[11] The Donmar production transferred to the Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, California, in September 2009, for a run through November 15, 2009. Lara Pulver reprised her role as Lucille opposite T.R. Knight as Leo Frank. The cast also included, in alphabetical order, Brad Anderson, Michael Berresse, Will Collyer, Charlotte dAmboise, Karole Foreman, Davis Gaines, Laura Griffith, P.J. Griffith, Curt Hansen, Deidrie Henry, Christian Hoff, Sarah Jayne Jensen, Lisa Livesay, Hayley Podschun, David St. Louis, Rose Sezniak (now Hemingway), Phoebe Strole, Josh Tower and Robert Yacko.[12] On February 16, 2015, a concert production of Parade was staged at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center by Manhattan Concert Productions, directed by Gary Griffin and conducted by composer Jason Robert Brown. Jeremy Jordan and Laura Benanti starred as Leo and Lucille Frank, with Ramin Karimloo as Tom Watson, Joshua Henry as Jim Conley, Andy Mientus as Britt Craig, Emerson Steele as Mary Phagan, Katie Rose Clarke as Mrs. Phagan, John Ellison Conlee as Hugh Dorsey, Davis Gaines as Judge Roan/Old Soldier and Alan Campbell as Governor Slaton.[13] Parade is set to be professionally staged at the worlds oldest working paper factory in September 2017. Staged at the Frogmore Papermill in Apsley, Hertfordshire, the production will be directed as a promenade production where audiences will follow the actors through the 19th-century building. [14]

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed

Like Trump, JFK was tested by white supremacists. Here’s what he finally did about it. – Washington Post

On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy responded to threats of violence and obstruction following desegregation attempts at the University of Alabama. (The Washington Post) Since white supremacists swarmed into Charlottesvillethis month, leaving three dead in their wake, President Trump has repeatedly resisted calls to assume the moral leadership Americans expect from the White House. And he has been condemned for it by politicians across the spectrum, religious leaders of all denominations and corporate executives across the country. More than 50 years ago, white supremacists tested the moral mettle of another president. No sooner had John F. Kennedy entered office than he confronted what Martin Luther King Jr. called Americas chief moral dilemma: the raging bigotry, hatred and segregation of the South. For far too long, Kennedy was slow to respond, angering blacks and other Americans sympathetic to the civil rights movement. Kennedy felt politically hemmed in by powerful Southern senators eager to block his wider domestic agenda. In response, he addressed the waves of vicious attacks against African Americans as a law-and-order issue rather than a moral reckoning. [Politicians blamed both sides during the civil rights movement: KKK and the NAACP] Only gradually did Kennedy listen to the pleas of King on behalf of 20 million black Americans. Over two and a half years, thanks in large part to the prodding of King, Kennedy gained an education in empathy, conscience, tolerance and moral courage. And finally, on June 11, 1963, he stopped dithering, stopped looking the other way. On that Tuesday evening, President Kennedy sat down before television cameras in the Oval Office and spoke to the nation. We are confronted primarily with a moral issue, he declared. It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution. He then explained why segregation, discrimination and white supremacy were contrary to the values underlined by the Founders and enshrined in the Constitution. The heart of the question, he said, is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. [The shadow of an assassinated American Nazi commander hangs over Charlottesville] He told the country what he had learned that no one can understand the degradation of discrimination without thinking hard about itand what it means for those being targeted. If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, the president said, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who will represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? It was a remarkable speech that Kennedy delivered in the midst of relentless violence against black Americans who were merely seeking their long-denied constitutional rights. Some weeks before, blacks marching in Birmingham, some as young as 6, were set upon by police dogs and blasted by high-powered fire hoses. On the day of the speech, the racist governor of Alabama, George Wallace, a Democrat like Kennedy, had stood in the schoolhouse door to block the admission of two black students to the University of Alabama inTuscaloosa. Only after Kennedy sent the federalized Alabama National Guard onto the campus did Wallace back down. Kennedy had dragged his feet on major civil rights action for more than two years. But on the night of his speech he announced plans to introduce legislation to rid the country of the scourge of segregation, and he spoke on the issue of bigotry and racism in moral language that had never passed from the lips of any president. Heinitiated what became a significant era of civil rights progress. On the night of Kennedys transformative speech, many Americans rejoiced, but were also reminded of the setbacks and sacrifices on the road to progress. [Unsolved and overlooked murders: Investigating cold cases of the civil rights era] Several hours after the television cameras blinked off in the Oval Office, Medgar Evers, the field secretary of the NAACP in Jackson, Miss., climbed out of his 1962 light blue Oldsmobile and crossed toward his house under the bright lights of his carport. About 200feet away, a sniper hidden in a honeysuckle thicket took aim through a telescopic sight on his rifle. A gunshot rang out, and a bullet passed through Everss back just below the right shoulder blade; it smashed through the front window of the house, ricocheted off the refrigerator and hit a coffeepot. Evers managed to stagger a few steps toward the doorway before collapsing. An hour later, at 1:14 a.m., he was dead. Fivemonths later, so was Kennedy. The issues Kennedy stared down are very much with us today: Then, as now, we struggle with the need for conscience, compassion, and acceptance of our fellow Americans. Then, as now, we speak truth to power and demand that power listen and learn. Then, as now, our president guides the nation by the way he comports himself. Kennedys experience stands as a model of the trials a president confronts and the obligation he possesses to grow in office. For much of his term Kennedy was distrusted by blacks, but he evolved as a politician and a man. For years after his brief term, three portraits adorned the walls of many African American homes: Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. Although slow to act, Kennedy at last recognized the need to go beyond just identifying hatred. He framed white supremacist behavior in moral terms and announced action to address it. If the country were genuinely to move forward, it had to face its racial ugliness head-on, call out its ungodly nature, and try to legislate change. We face, therefore, a moral crisis as a country and as a people, he told the nation that night in 1963. It cannot be met by repressive police action. It cannot be left to increased demonstrations in the streets. It cannot be quieted by token moves or talk. It is time to act in the Congress, in your state and local legislative body and, above all, in all of our daily lives. Changing peoples behavior, however, is a tricky business. As the president acknowledged that night: Law alone cannot make men see right. But if the law cant change a mans soul, it at least can help rein in his evil intentions. Now, people will say, You cant legislate morals. Well, that may be true, Martin Luther King Jr. once said. It may be true that the laws cant make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think thats pretty important, also. King knew that laws alone werent enough. Both legislation and education are required, he explained. We need religion and education to change attitudes and to change the hearts of men. Fifty years on, were still working at it. Steven Levingston is nonfiction editor of The Washington Post and author of Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights. Read more Retropolis: JFKs last birthday: Gifts, champagne and wandering hands on the presidential yacht How statues of Robert E. Lee and other Confederates got into the U.S. Capitol He just beat the hell out of me: When JFK met Khrushchev, the president felt strong-armed The day 30,000 white supremacists in KKK robes marched in the nations capital Death of a devil: The white supremacist got hit by a car. His victims celebrated. Leo Frank was lynched for a murder he didnt commit. Now neo-Nazis are trying to rewrite history.

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed


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