THIS CRAZY DAY IN 1972: The bank time bomber revealed!
Weekly Compilation January 10-16, 1972
To access all contents, click on the rose icon in the upper left corner or HERE.
Why do we run this separate item peeking into newspapers from 1972? Because 1972 was part of the ancient times when everybody read a paper. Everybody, everybody, everybody. Even kids. So Steve Bertolucci, the 10-year-old hero of the novel serialized at this Substack, read the paper too—sometimes just to have something to do. These are some of the stories he read. If you’d like, keep up with the 1972 papers every day on Twitter, @RoselandChi1972.
Chicago Daily News, front page: Cubs sign Jenkins for $125,000!
Tribune: Highest Paid Chicago Pro? Jenkins Signs for 2 Years, $250,000
By Richard Dozer
“Ferguson Jenkins signed a two-year Cub contract Monday that makes him the highest-paid player in Chicago baseball history,” the News exclaims on the front page. Fergie is “a 20-game winner in each of the past five seasons”.
Fergie also won the Cy Young award last year for his 24-13 record. Fergie and Cub VP John Holland held a Wrigley Field press conference to announce the contract but then “would only say the figure was in excess of $100,000. But the contract terms for the 28-year-old Canadian righthander were learned from other sources.”
Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley has a “policy of secrecy on salary terms,” but they announced Billy Williams’ $100,000 contract last year.
The White Sox have offered “newly-acquired slugger Richie Allen $110,000, and Allen may push that figure up in negotiations.”
Technically, the Tribune covers this on January 11, but we’ll break with protocol and quote the Trib’s account today. The Trib’s Dozer called it a “hastily drawn press conference” where “Terms of the contract were not divulged beyond an understatement by the Cubs that Jenkins will receive ‘in excess of $100,000 per year”.
But “an impeccable source” put the number at $125,000, “which makes Fergie the highest paid baseball player in history.
“Some speculate that Jenkins may be the highest-paid athlete of any sort among Chicago’s varied sports franchises, although Bobby Hull, whose Black Hawks contact certainly is in six figures as well, likely is in the same range with equally mysterious wage arrangement.”
“Last year was the first time in several seasons that I felt strong at the end,” Fergie said. At the. Press conference. “I’m sure Leo [Manager Durocher] wants to start me every fourth day, and that’s what I want to do…Otherwise, I haven’t set any goals for myself, but Billy [Williams] and I probably will sit down and do that sometime before the season begins.”
Fergie attended the press conference with a “phalanx” of Canadian aides headed by attorney Dave Schatia, who said the National Film Board of Canada was financing a film about Fergie shot over the coming year, and “Two books will be written on Jenkins within the next year, too.”
Chicago Daily News: Smoky room called threat to nonsmoker
By Robert Gruenberg
Who knew?? Who could possibly predict that a daily habit that leaves its adherents hacking first thing in the morning and fills their homes and offices and cars with the same noxious substance that has already been determined causes cancer, could be a problem for everybody else?
“Nonsmokers may suffer serious health injury—especially if they have lung and heart disease—merely from being in the same room or car with smokers". That's the major finding in “The Health Consequences of Smoking”—the sixth smoking study by the U.S. Public Health Service.
“Carbon monoxide, a deadly gas, is an important part of tobacco smoke and, when combined with oxygen-carrying elements of the blood can be seriously harmful,” the report says. It supports the 1964 report that concluded “’cigarets are a major cause of death and disease,’ said Dr. Jesse L. Steineld, PHS surgeon general.”
Steinfeld says 29 million Americans have quit smoking since that 1964 report, though he “conceded” that 44 million Americans did not quit.
Chicago Sun-Times: Howard Hughes talks to newsmen by phone, disowns ‘autobiography”
By Marvin Miles, LA times
“Howard Hughes, an enigma for 15 years, has broken his long silence.”
FYR, Howard Hughes was THE eccentric billionaire of the 20th century. The Leonardo DiCaprio movie will catch you up nicely— “The Aviator.” You have to give it to Hughes: He really did design and fly experimental planes. Imagine if Elon Musk designed one of his rockets himself, and then was the first to fly it.
“From the Bahamas, the familiar voice from decades past discussed a wide range of subjects with apparent candor in a telephone press conference with seven newsmen gathered at the Sheraton Universal Hotel here Friday night.”
The reporters on this telephone press conference all knew Hughes before he disappeared from public view. They started by asking “a series of trap questions designed to confirm the identity of the man on the phone.” Remember, this is before Zoom!
Hughes spoke with “just a hint of a Texas drawl” and insisted “he doesn’t know and never has seen novelist Clifford Irving, who, it is claimed, interviewed Hughes for many months in developing a purported biography of the lanky, 66-year old industrialist.”
The book portrays Hughes as JPN—Just Plain Nuts, with finger and toe nails nine inches long. Americans have feasted on the crazy Howard Hughes anecdotes from excerpts in Life magazine.
McGraw-Hill and Life say they have the true Howard Hughes autobiography—and they’ll publish it in spring no matter what Hughes says. They claim to have a 10-page hand-written letter from Hughes, and that they paid him checks which he’s endorsed and cashed.
Hughes says the situation is “so fantastic that it taxes your imagination to believe that a thing like this could happen.”
Hughes says he’ll come back to Las Vegas from the Bahamas and stop being a hermit “in order not to be an oddity.” Hughes gave his last interview in 1957, and refused to testify in a 1961 lawsuit against him by Trans World Airlines, resulting in a $137 million default judgement against him.
Hughes “conceded that despite his wealth, reputed to be about $2.2 billion, he is not very happy because of litigation impediments on his freedom and activities.”
Hughes: “Am I happy and content? The answer is no.”
Chicago Sun-Times: Dunne pledges to slash 18 useless county jobs
By Thomas J. Moore
A Sun-Times-BGA investigation found traffic accident investigators for the Cook County Traffic Commission were doing a job that could be replaced by just having somebody mail accident reports to the Commission from suburban police departments.
Plus, four of them were ghost payrollers anyway.
Cook County Board President George Dunne says the County has investigated, and “The results of our study shows the same things that yours did.” So he’ll fire them all. You’ve gotta hand it to George Dunne—he can say these things with a straight face.
BGA head Terrence Brunner says a new BGA investigation also found the County Rabies Department budget grew from $94,000 to $351,000 over the last ten years even though the last dog with rabies was reported in 1954. Brunner “called for the abolition of that agency.”
Dunne said, “Just because there have been few cases of rabies, that doesn’t mean the surveillance should be discontinued. It means the department is effective.”
“When Brunner was asked at a Sunday press conference…if he thought the county’s 15 commissioners were aware of the waste, he said, ‘I don’t see how they could miss it. Just look at their new County Board room. The $20,000-a-year commissioners sit down in $236 red velvet chairs for their meetings. They put their cigarette ashes in $18.60 ashtrays and perhaps drop their cigarette wrappers into their $23 tortoise-shell leather waste-baskets with antique brass trim.”
“The County Board room was remodeled last year at a cost of $58,607, Brunner said. The redecorating job included solid walnut paneling and desks, red velvet drapes at $10.40 a yard and plush blue and yellow carpeting.”
Dunne on the remodeling: “They can talk all they want about the cost of a desk, but I don’t think there was anything that was excessive. Everything was taken at competitive bidding.”
Fun fact, long time BGA head Terry Brunner bore an uncanny resemblance to Johnny Carson. I wonder if he still does?
Chicago Daily News: Court row flares over temporary patronage
By Ed Kandlik
The Shakman Decree case seeking to limit Mayor Daley’s Democratic Machine patronage workers continues in front of Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz, Mayor Daley’s close personal friend. You read that right, Younger Readers.
Mike Royko on Marovitz & Daley in "Boss": "With the Hatch Act forbidding federal judges to do any politicking, what other judge spends every election night in the charmed inner office of Democratic Headquarters, sitting with Daley as the returns come in? That's friendship."
The Shakman Decree is named for attorney Michael Shakman, chairman of the Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI) in 1972. Judge Marovitz originally dismissed Shakman’s lawsuit, but the U.S. Supreme Court said not so fast. Shakman’s attorney negotiated the Decree with Democrats and Republicans to end firing or disciplining patronage workers who don’t do political work. But they’re still haggling over the details before officially signing off, scheduled for February 14.
Today, Republican Illinois Governor Ogilvie’s assistant attorney general Robert Tingler wants Judge Marovitz to strengthen the decree by eliminating “temporary” patronage jobs, which are summoned out of thin air to get around civil service requirements.
“We think the government should serve all the citizens and not just serve to produce Democratic machine puppets,” Tingler told Marovitz, Mayor Daley’s personal friend. “Ogilvie has estimated that the Daley organization has created about 11,000 temporary patronage jobs,” writes Daily News reporter Ed Kandlik.
Peter Fitzpatrick, representing the Democrats, jumped up and yelled, “I object!”
“Marovitz, a Democrat and close friend of Daley, sternly admonished Tingler,” writes Kandlik. “’Don’t use this courtroom for political speech,’Marovitz said. ‘Whatever you say about the Democratic Party is applicable to the Republicans. You can take your publicity releases outside this courtroom.’”
Shakman originally wanted the entire patronage system eliminated. The ACLU, which represented him, says it will probably file a new suit to try that again.
Chicago Daily News: Uniforms stolen
(DUBLIN)—A spokesman for the IRA said the organization has stolen 200 British army uniforms from a Londderry dry cleaners.
Chicago Daily News: New ‘lib’ group is tax-exempt
“Gloria Steinem announced Wednesday formation of the Women’s Action Alliance, a tax-exempt organization designed ‘to assist women working on practical, local action projects.’”
Steinem said the alliance “is a natural result of the success of the women’s movement to date”. The women’s Action Alliance will “offer research and technical assistance to local groups, serve as a referral and information service, and serve as a communications center between local action groups.”
Chicago Daily News: ‘Evidence’ of mass forgery on Berg petitions filed by IVI
By Edmund J. Rooney
The saga of the obviously forged nominating petitions for Mayor Daley’s candidate for state’s attorney, Traffic Court Judge Raymond Berg, keeps going and going.
Mike Royko broke the story that when Daley dumped indicted state’s attorney Ed Hanrahan from the Democratic ticket for Judge Berg on the very day petitions were due to get on the ballot, Machine flunkies spent the day forging 20,000 signatures.
The IVI sued Daley and the Board of Election Commissioners in federal court to get voter records to compare signatures with the petitions. But the Election Board took so long to get voter records, the IVI couldn’t analyze them in time for its hearing before the entity that hears challenges to nominating petitions, the County Electoral Board. The Electoral Board refused to give the IVI an extension and threw the case out. See Mike’s January 6 column, “Why they OKd the petitions” for a fun Q & A on that fiasco.
Today the IVI is back in federal court with U.S. District Court Judge Thomas McMillen, trying to force the Electoral Board to reopen the case. They filed evidence today proving, among other things, that two signatures are definitely from dead people, there are signatures from people who say they didn’t sign, and petition circulator signatures from people who did not circulate petitions.
Chicago Daily News: FBI hunting GI, says he planted bombs in banks
By Henry Hanson and Dennis Sodomka
His prints on letter to Daily News
By Edmund J. Rooney
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and Atty Gen. John Mitchell jointly announce that last week’s time bomber is former University of Chicago research associate Ronald Kaufman. Must be a pretty big deal, to get those two guys in a room together.
Kaufman put time bombs in safe deposit boxes in three of Chicago’s biggest banks, three New York banks and two San Francisco banks—which were all disarmed successfully. Kaufman also mailed letters to media alerting them to the bombs, demanding “FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS” and threatening more bombs.
Kaufman is an “AWOL Army private with a PhD from Stanford University” who was Abbie Hoffman’s “almost constant sidekick” during the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. If convicted, he’d face up to 81 years in prison. The FBI says he “should be considered armed and dangerous.”
How did the FBI finger Kaufman? Fingerprints for one thing—right on the letter he mailed to Mike Royko at the Daily News. See this week’s compilation of Mike Royko 50 Years Ago Today for Mike’s reply to his new pen pal, posted later this afternoon.
Kaufman also sent letters to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Tom Fitzpatrick, Chicago Today’s Jack Mabley, Ch 5’s Walter Jacobson, the Chicago Journalism Review and the Seed. Kaufman left his fingerprints on safe deposit box contracts too, plus the safe deposit boxes and the bombs. And we thought University of Chicago students were so smart.
The Daily News says federal sources report Kaufman was never arrested, but his fingerprints were on file from his stints in the army—the first one 1956-58, under his own name; and second one this year under a different name starting on Aug. 10, 1971. Kaufman finished basic training but went AWOL a week ago.
Kaufman’s letter to Royko said he’d placed a bomb in a safe deposit box at Continental Bank, 231 S. LaSalle, and included the key. Kaufman opened savings accounts at all the banks under the name Christopher Mohr, deposited a dollar, and came back later to rent the safe deposit boxes and plant the bombs.
The bank employees didn’t recognize the FBI’s picture of Kaufman with long hair. They said he “had short hair and was well groomed.” Shown the photo, one Continental Bank employee shook her head and said, “Not with that hairdo.”
January 13, 1972
Chicago Daily News: Yellow Pages ad
No big deal, I just haven’t seen a Yellow Pages in so long.
FYR: Before the internet, if you needed to find a particular type of service or company, like say a plumber or a lamp store, this is how you found it.
January 13, 1972
Chicago Daily News: Suspect ‘quiet and nonviolent’
By Henry Hanson
The radical who planted time bombs in three Chicago banks is “quiet and nonviolent” according to unnamed sources, though the FBI calls him “armed and dangerous.”
Unnamed sources dish great gossip to reporter Henry Hanson on Ronald Kaufman, who left his fingerprints all over the bombs and letters he sent to the media. I'll throw in some extra info from the main story to round out Kaufman's bio.
Kaufman, 33, was the “almost constant sidekick” of Abbie Hoffman during the 1968 Chicago convention, says one source. “‘They gave him the nickname “Abbie’s Jewish mama.” That was because he was always worried about Abbie. He would chauffeur Abbie around town. He would try to talk Abbie out of doing things that he thought were too wild….He didn’t go along with the blood-letting philosophy of the Weathermen at that time. He said he was against that kind of violence.’”
Another friend says Kaufman was “’an upper echelon’ leader in running the Conspiracy 7 office before and during the conspiracy trial. ‘He was very level headed, a structure freak who was good at organizing things, keeping books and the budgets,’ said a friend.”
Kaufman “grew up in the wealthy Milwaukee suburb of Bayside,” “was an honor student in psychology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison” between 1955 and 1961, and served in the army 1956-58. He then earned a master’s and doctorate from Stanford, and later spent nine months in 1967 at University of Chicago as a psychiatry research associate.
Kaufman lived at 6021 S. Kimbark during his U of C days, which seems to an alley now.
Kaufman lived at 1437 W. Belmont (between Southport and Greenview) in 1968, when he was hosting Abbie Hoffman. A friend says during summer 1968, “Kaufman’s constant uniform was a yellow hard hat, a T-shirt and blue jeans.”
Kaufman mysteriously re-enlisted in the army six months ago under an assumed name—but went AWOL last week after completing basic training. That gave him time to come to Chicago to mail letters to the media, including Mike Royko, identifying where all the bombs were.
January 14, 1972
Chicago Daily News: Maxine: An ear for the troubled
By Sandra Pesmen
Can you believe the Daily News didn't have an advice columnist? Dear Abby and Ann Landers are already taken. Maxine B. Inlander starts next Monday as "Dear Maxine."
She would never become a celebrity like those two sisters, but Maxine was in the Daily News, and that made her family for Daily News families, whether you agreed with her not. Which of course is pretty much the definition of family.
Maxine B. Inlander graduated from the University of Chicago. “I worked on the Daily Maroon…and later was a copywriter at several ad agencies before settling down to the business of being wife and mother,” she told Sandra Pesmen.
She worked part-time in market research, volunteered for the PTA, and most recently worked part-time as public relations director of the Highland Park Hospital. “In all these activities, Maxine has been listening to people with problems.” The article mentions Maxine has a “staff of experts”.
Maxine gives an example of a young teacher who wrote that she wanted to skip a dinner at her mother-in-law’s after work one day because she was so tired. “’But she forced herself to wash her face and put on eyelashes and go. When she arrived, her mother-in-law commented, “I see you were too tired to put yourself together.” We helped the girl understand her mother-in-law’s problem before we tried to solve hers,’ Maxine grinned.”
January 15-16, 1972
The Chicago Daily News: Insurers out to foil ghetto arsonists
By Lois Wille
Lois Wille, one of the first female reporters to break out of “women’s” stories at the Daily News, reports that the Illinois Fair Plan Association will change its procedures to hopefully spot properties in danger of arson.
The Daily News did a lengthy indepth series looking at the 1,600 fires in one square mile of Woodlawn in 1970, “most of them suspected to be arson.” “At least $1 million in insurance claims was paid in that neighborhood in an 18-month period.”
The Illinois Fair Plan Association was funded by the federal government three years ago and “permits insurance companies to pool risks in inner-city areas. It was designed to insure owners who had been turned down by individual companies, but insurance executives suspect some owners have used it to make money.”
Now the Fair Plan Association will oversee the policies directly. Chairman Clarence Rauter thinks owners “who profit from arson will be easier to spot under the new system.”
This reminded me of a recent episode of Chicago History Podcast (on Apple podcasts)— “Chicago’s Skid Row Flophouse Fires”. The ‘60s and early ‘70s are a time when fires and more particularly arson fires are widespread in Chicago’s poor areas.
January 15-16, 1972
Chicago Daily News: L.F. Palmer Jr column
A mother’s campaign for amnesty
“Lu” Palmer’s regular Saturday column today focuses on the Vietnam War, which is still not over in 1972, including for some men who refused to be drafted.
“The U.S. District Court in New Orleans last April freed Oscar E. Clinton on a charge that he refused to be drafted,” writes Palmer, because “only two members of his draft board were residents of the area it served. Clinton is white.”
Three days later, the same court upheld the guilty verdict for draft resister Walter Collins, who is Black, even though his draft board included only one member from the area—and the entire draft board was white when 2/3 of the men registered in its jurisdiction are black. “In a direct violation of the Selective Service Act, the draft board chairman lived in another county.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Collins’ appeal, and he’s serving a five-year sentence in federal prison. Palmer talks with Walter Collins’ mother, “who is on the final leg of a 42-state tour…trying to win support for her son and for all young men who have been punished…because ‘they refuse to participate in an immoral and illegal war.’”
“Mrs. Collins says her son was given a particularly harsh sentence” because “He had worked on voter registration drives in the Deep South and started organizing opposition to the Vietnam War in the New Orleans black community in 1966.”
However, “Mrs. Collins is not battling just for her own son. ‘I am trying to help bring about amnesty for all men and women jailed, exiled, indicted, arrested, fired from jobs, or otherwise hurt for working to end the war and the draft,’ she said.”
“Mrs. Collins’ brave and vigorous fight for her son points to more than the racism that is and has been an inherent part of the draft system in this country. For young whites, too, have resisted the draft, gone underground to do battle with American imperialism, and died on the home front in defiance of American repression.”
“Like nothing else, the Vietnam war has unmasked official America for what it is.”
January 15, 1972
Chicago Daily News:
-15 in the city – A super freeze!
By Dennis Byrne
Girl, 5, freezes lips to railing
Chicago is in the middle of an artic blast, and apparently also “A Christmas Story.”
Between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. Saturday, temperatures dropped one degree per hour until Midway Airport registered 15 below—“only one degree short of the previous record for Jan. 5”. Midway, BTW, was the official Chicago weather station 1942-1980, when it moved to O’Hare and stayed there.
It’s a massive cold front from the Dakotas, with a -55 windchill that’s brought a “rash of fires, power failures, and auto and train breakdowns”. One West Side woman is dead from a hotel fire.
And a 5-year-old girl “put her tongue and lips on a metal railing outside of the John Hancock Building Friday night in subzero weather”, getting them instantly “frozen to the metal.”
The little girl “was freed by her mother who poured hot water on the railing. Saturday, the girl was resting comfortably with a swollen lip. The girl is the daughter of Louis Sudler Jr., a Chicago realtor and head of Sudler and Co., which manages the building.” I bet that comes up every year at the Sudler family holidays!
Say, where was Chicago’s weather station before Midway? A quick search got the answer, aided by Google Streetview:
First, 181 W. Washington (formerly 162 Washington)--in 1870. Seems to be the southeast corner of Washington and Wells.
This building, “a modest, 12-story parking garage”, turns out to have a secret past revealed recently by Dennis Rodkin in a fabulous deep dive via WBEZ’s “Reset with Sasha-Ann Simons: “Today, the building is conventional, boxy and drab. But it has long-hidden a secret: It was once an ornate skyscraper, built in the 1890s with a peaked roof and columns of bay windows running up its brick façade to a frilly terra cotta crown.”
2) 427 W. Randolph (formerly 10 W ) in 1871. The closest spot now seems to be River Center at the northwest corner of Randolph and Canal.
3). 20 N. Wacker Drive (80 S. Market) 1872-73. This address seems to be taken up by the Civic Opera House building, northwest corner of Wacker and Madison.
4) The original Roanoke Building, SE corner of Madison & LaSalle, 1873-87. The current Roanoke Building includes a giant Residence Inn by Marriott.
5) The Chicago Opera House, SW corner Clark & Washington, 1887-1890. This building was demolished 1912. The spot now hosts Burnham Center, kitty-corner from Daley Center plaza. For more on the Opera House, see Chicagology’s terrific entry here.
6) Adler & Sullivan’s beloved Auditorium Tower 1890-1905.
7) U.S. Court House at 219 S. Dearborn, 1905-1925, which appears to be the southeast corner of Dearborn and Adams, now the Dirksen Federal Building.
8) Last, the University of Chicago’s Rosenwald Hall at 58th and University 1926-1942.
Do you dig spending some time in 1972? If you came to THIS CRAZY DAY IN 1972 from social media, you may not know it’s part of the book being serialized here, one chapter per month: “Roseland, Chicago: 1972” —FREE. It’s the story of Steve Bertolucci, 10-year-old Roselander in 1972, and what becomes of him. Check it out here.