Mae's back at court Aug. 17
MAE WEST and Fiorello LaGuardia have a curious connection.
• • In his column "A New Yorker at Large," Mark Barron shared insights about the Brooklyn bombshell and the ambitious politician Fiorello LaGuardia [11 December 1882 — 20 September 1947]. This installment of Barron's column was published on 28 January 1934.
• • Mark Barron wrote: New York — Mayor LaGuardia turned on the producers of risque shows, charging them with deliberately inviting police interference for the publicity it would bring.
• • Mark Barron noted: What is interesting in an ironic sort of way is the fact that it was an off-color show which led to the movement that — by increase and addition — eventually elected LaGuardia to his office. And, for that, some might say he owes thanks to Mae West.
• • Back in 1927, Miss West produced a play that brought a squadron of police censors tumbling about her with the turmoil of a Union Square red riot. As a result, Miss West was invited to spend a short vacation in the Welfare Island calaboose. [Mae's 1927 arrest and trial in Jefferson Market Court are dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West," which is based on true events during the Prohibition Era.]
• • Despite the avalanche of publicity, Mae was shocked, thinking that her attorney — a Tammany district leader — would be able to keep her this side of the steel bars.
• • A girl reporter was sent to interview Mae. In jail [i.e., Jefferson Jail — then located on Sixth Avenue], the reporter had a conversation with a girl prisoner who charged she'd been "framed" because she would not pay a bribe to a detective on the vice squad.
• • The resultant story started the inquiry into the women's courts, and it was this inquiry that brought Judge Samuel Seabury into such high esteem in the public mind. And it was Seabury whose master minding helped put LaGuardia in the mayor's office.
• • On Sunday 17 August 2008, during the "Mae West's Walk on the Wild Side" walking tour, the group will visit the little flower and a number from "Fiorello!" will be sung live by a vivacious actress, a native New Yorker who has performed in many musicals.
• • Source:http://jeffersonmarketcourthouseny.blogspot.com/atom.xml
• • Photo: Mae West's raid • • February 1927 • •
New York Public Library