tv American History TV CSPAN September 21, 2014 3:35pm-4:01pm EDT
, come to st. paul. you can be here. you have to promise not to kill or rob anyone within the city limits of st. paul, and pay a bribe. as long as you're on your good behavior, you're welcome in our city. the deal between the crooks in the gangsters was tolerated for almost three decades. the people of saint hall would see the most notorious gangsters bankerica, wanted man like robber john dillinger, walking along the street. it was like the celebrity. but you would not fear for your life in saint paul in the 1930's, because you knew the crooks were on their best behavior. it is march 1934, and the most wanted man in america, public enemy number one, bank robber.
-- john dillinger, is living right behind us in apartment 303 of st. paul's lincoln court apartment. to basically regroup to get his bank robbery gang ready for a times the. he was here, enjoying time with his girlfriend. enjoying the movies just one block away from us here and meanwhile, his gang is getting weapons, getaway cars, and deciding which banks they would rob from their home base here in st. paul. the fbi did not know this was john dillinger, but they begin to get tips that a strange man was living in this apartment building. shades were always drawn to the bottom. john dillinger's girlfriend comment beautiful woman, would come out and hang up john dillinger's laundry, dressed in a halter top and short shorts.
80's, members 70 years ago when dillinger was here, i've talked to them. they said, this girl was so beautiful. they still remember his girlfriend. the fbi sent a crew here to knock on dillinger's door. but they did not know. thought it was someone else, his alias. -- walkingching toward john dillinger's apartment. all you know is that there is something suspicious in apartment 303. dillinger is in bed with his girlfriend, who opens the door, peace out, and you, the fbi, say, ma'am, we are here to speak to carl. the dear woman forgets her own alias. couldys carl, my husband the fbi are not fools.
they said, ma'am, we are staying here. you go and get carl. she runs an says, john, the jig is up here it john dillinger, cool as a cucumber, puts on his pants, gets his machine gun, comes to the store, opens it, leans out, and starts firing machine gun bullets out of the store. the police and the fbi start firing back at him. the door is chewed up by bullets. to give you a sense, john dillinger, not a master criminal, not a single bullet from his gun hits any of the fbi agents in the actual quarter you are in right now. one bullet from the fbi and the police is gone hits john dillinger in the fight. incredibly, john dillinger has escaped from the fbi shoe out -- chewed out. he comes out the store. dillinger is wounded in the leg,
so he races over here, stands here holding a submachine gun in one area -- one hand and a gun in the other, and tells his girlfriend, get the getaway car. literally, the most wanted man in america is standing here bleeding like a stuck take, a this building next door, sees a man who he recognizes as john dillinger, bank robber, reaches under his bed, takes out a shotgun, and aims it at dillinger, who is here. the kit is seconds from becoming the boy who killed john dillinger, when his mother, ,earing the stud -- the shots tackles her son, throws him to the ground, and dillinger is not killed in st. paul. he gets in the getaway car with his girl, and he roars away to wisconsin for a little rest and relaxation at the lodge. the deal between the crooks and the cops, which had stood for
years, meaning the crooks lived here but they do not kill or kidnap anyone here, fell apart. click the history of the building we're in right now, today called landmark center, but in the 1930's, the public enemies era, it was the old federal courts building, the history is incredible. above our heads on the fifth floor is the offices of the prohibition bureau. the man who headed the prohibition bureau was the man who wrote the american prohibition law. andrew, a congressman from granite falls, minnesota, who created prohibition in this building. then, when prohibition was repealed and all of these bootleggers, what were they going to do? liquor was legal. they turned to bank robbing, kidnapping, extortion, and murder, and that is what this building became here the fbi,
the federal bureau of investigation, had the building as their headquarters. as they say, if these walls could talk, what notorious stories they could tell. mid-1930's, john dillinger's girlfriend, evelyn, was tried successfully in this room. before she was found guilty of harboring her boyfriend, john dillinger, she tried to escape. she said she had to go to the ladies room. the federal marshals followed her through the door. then, the man, the marshall, somewhat shy, went back, allowing dillinger's girlfriend to go to the bathroom, at which point, she simply kept on going down the hallway and tried to escape. fortunately, the federal marshals overcame their shyness about a female convict and grabbed her and made sure she to the escape en route
powder room. the fbi was quite concerned the dillinger gang would try to come here with their machine guns and free dillinger's girlfriend. so in the porches you see behind my head, there were federal marshals armed with shotguns and some machine guns, waiting in case any members of the gang would show up to liberate their comrades. it never happened, but you can imagine what it was like in this room in the sweltering heat of the summers when all the gangsters were here and everybody was waiting to see if other gangsters with machine guns would come and try to free them. basement ofin the the landmark center, which is open to the public. right here is the radiator that the director of the f e i j edgar hoover, kept one of the
public enemies handcuffed two, just before hoover dragged him into the court room to have him convicted. he pled guilty to the kidnapping of the 1930's. this is a photo of alvin, a fascinating character who has something of a heart. he promises many kids were around, he would make sure the kids were not he -- were not killed. if he did a shoot out with fbi. he pled guilty of kidnapping and spent decades in prison. all of the out, ill-gotten loot, his ransom and hank robbery loot, was in the bank. accruing full interest while carcass was in prison. purpose gets out of prison, an old man. a wealthy man. he goes to spain, where he is seen eating fried food, cavorting with 19-year-old
girlfriend's pure one night, he takes an overdose of sleeping pills and takes his own life. i think he just knew his time had come. he enjoyed the good life as a gangster and decided to end his life. this building is both the thattion of prohibition led to widespread organized crime all over america. that is how al capone got his start as a bootlegger. 84 and 1935 and 86, this is also the building bank robbers were tried and sent to alcatraz prison and other prisons across america. it is where it began and ended. every gangster in america came here. the 1930's, in would not call it las vegas, but it was a lively city.
had therohibition, you biggest jazz artists of the partially because the gangsters were wealthy. we're only a few yards away from river in downtown st. paul, but we are in the back in the-- 1920's and 1930's, this was called the castle royale, run as a gambling casino. underground caves has a fascinating history. made caves were naturally in soft limestone by water dripping from the mississippi river. when prohibition was passed, it is dark, cold, private, let's fill the room with illegal beer and then prohibition was repealed.
filled bootleggers who said, ok, here is legal. let's do nightclubs. the gangsters of st. paul and the good people who like partying with gangsters, this anda nightclub as well as other cave nearby, filled with sex he does, chandeliers, kitchens, but mind you, it was also where john dillinger and notorious gangsters also like to hang out. the appeal of the underground nightclub was that you were with the most wanted bank robbers in america. today, we look at the mafia with horror. organized, terrible people. but in those days, bank robbers
like john dillinger were seen .lmost like robin hood they were seen as post-depression, when the close -- the bank would foreclose on your house or farm or the banks were not really popular. kind of antiheroes who were evening the score after the .epression totally untrue. they were killers who wanted money. with them, you drank that they would not kill you. because there was a deal between the cost -- the cops and the crooks. bank robber orss kidnapper coming into minnesota coming to chicago.
there were rules. the rules were, you would identify. hello, my name is al capone. you would get a bride to police, here is a jewelry we still in chicago. here you go. if you needed a place to stay, police would arrange for housing for you as a bank robber. machine guns gun, in america were available to you here in st. paul. if you needed a getaway car, there were auto dealers in st. paul who specialized in bank robbery getaway cars, heavily armored on both sides to deflect police alerts. if you needed a girl, female companionship, the police would arrange. in fact, alvin the gangster met the love of his life here in st. paul. storeall was a department
, essentially, for gangsters. if you needed a girl, a gun, launder money, a getaway car, you came to st. paul and the police made sure you as a gangster got whatever you needed. the fbi were trustworthy and not corrupt. crazy thate fbi police in st. paul, minnesota, were in the pockets of gangsters . when ma barker was living on south roberts street in st. paul, only a few miles from where we're standing today, the fbi got a tripwhen ma barker wad her dad boys were there. the barker gang. the fbi raced to the house. by the time they got there, the barker gang was gone, tipped off by the same call police. there was no love lost between
the fbi of j edgar hoover, and the corrupt local police who were taking bribes, on the take from the underworld. to, in a way, live the high life and leave a good-looking corpse. that is what happened. they ate well and slept with you for women, drank wonderful line. i think the gangsters knew their lives were short and they lived that gangster life in st. paul. quests throughout the weekend, american history tv is featuring st. paul, minnesota. our tour staff recently traveled to learn about its rich history. tour more on c-span's city . you're watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend,
on c-span three. ♪ >> each week, american artifacts takes viewers into archives, museums, and historic sites around the country. next, we visit fort mchenry national monument and historic shrine in baltimore to learn about the birth of the "star spangled banner." >> we're now here on the gun deck of fort mchenry. we also call it the water battery. as would have been the main line of defense against the british ships. the war of 1812 was one of america's most unpopular wars. that is because the causes were complex.
they were brought here and install in fort mchenry. 36 pound iron ball. over a mile. so, no wonder the british never wanted to get very close. if you look down here at the cannonball, you can see a difference between me 18 pound shot the fort fired, and the 36 pound spot. if i was the royal navy, i would not want to get that close to that. one more thing before we go into the fort is how strong these defenses were and why the british chose a long-range bombardment instead of trying to take the fort straight on. if you look behind me, you will see a lighthouse. that was not there at the time. at that neck of the channel, the american strong up the chain-link boon. imagine telephone poles chain together. that's blocked the channel. behind that, americans had a
rowboat with canon. behind that, the americans sunk ships. for the british to win the battle and get their vessels into the port of baltimore to destroy the city, they would have had to have knocked out that chain, saw through it, fight off the american boats, raise the sunken ship, and knock out all of the cannons of fort mchenry. it was tough. so the british decided on a long-range bombardment, hoping they can knock out the guns of the fort, maybe scare the americans. that is why they chose to rely on the five ships that could fire a 200-pound shell two miles. everyone knew that the cannons of the time are only good for a little more than one mile. they anchor halfway to the bridge.
the british had one rocket ship. a british rocket is as big as we are. they look like fiery fingers in the night sky. or during the day they look like a jet plane. they would come in, boom and explode in and around the fort. they were not that accurate, but if you have never seen one before and if you are a defender and it is your first battle, it was like shock of awe of 1814. >> you can watch this and many other american artifacts programs anytime by visiting our
website. , on they night communicators, wade baker, chief technology officer and security director for verizon on the recent data breaches of home depot, target, and jpmorgan chase. >> it is truly all of the above. we have worked with law enforcement agencies who have busted down doors and drag people through basements, literally. participated in fairly large scale arrests of multiple individuals that are very highly connected together, well organized. the east -- and they each have othersual specialized -- know how to watch the money and all of these things. they're just like physical, organized crime. then there are others that are definitely working on behalf of the government. there are pictures of it, recon
photos, all of that kind of thing, going out to work. they go to that building and that is their job. to hack in the company and steal information on behalf of the government. i have seen photos of eastern instance,owns, for that were just an insane number of people who jive lamborghinis ad things like this year it lot if that is the spam, the fake pharmaceuticals, tax fraud, medicare fraud, it is staggering amounts of money that are at some point along the chain stolen and stored at a corporation. >> c-span campaign 2014 debate coverage continues monday night.
the congressional district debate between the incumbent congressional candidate. they, the iowa senate debate. c-span campaign 2014 come more 100 days for the control of congress. >> the warren commission reportd its support -- into the assassination of john f. kennedy. on september 24, 1964, 60 years ago this month. just days before us, johnson called his friend and congress member russell of georgia. the president had two questions for russell. what did the commission concluded were the findings unanimous. now, an excerpt from that call.
>> hello? >> yes, sir. >> well you are always leaving towns. you must not like it appear. >> you left. the country could get along a whole lot that are without me than it could you. >> i do not know. >> so i got out. we got through the day and you know what i did, i got on the plane and came home. i did not even have a toothbrush. i got a few little things here. and i even have my pills. pills to take care of me. what you get in such a rush? >> just fighting over those reports. let's well, you ought to take another hour and go on and get your votes. >> no. no.
they're trying to prove the same bullet that hit kennedy was the one that hit -- went through him and went through his hand, his bone, into his leg, and everything else. a lot of stuff, we could not get all the evidence. i did redirect it. so i just, i don't know. i was the only fellow there who gets in and changed whatever. we have got a pretty good report difference does it make which bullet got him? >> it don't make much of a difference. the commission believes the same hitet that hit kennedy connally. i don't believe it. >> i don't either. >> i could not find it. i am not going through at that.
so i finally made them said there is a difference in the conviction of that. carter believe that was not so. he did not miss completely with that third shot,. to their theory, he not only miss the automobile, he missed the straight. anyhow, that is a little thing. did he do it for any reason? >> he was a general misanthropic fellow. he had never been satisfied. he had a desire to get his name in history.