Germany To Social Media Sites: Remove Hate Speech In 24 Hours Or Face $57 Million Fines


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Following months of European scrutiny over the impact of major tech firms, Germany has passed a controversial law that could hold Facebook and Twitter highly accountable for the content they host.

Lawmakers in Germany passed a hotly debated law enabling the country to issue heavy fines to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms which leave up content that violates its laws governing hate speech. Known as the “Facebook law” among Germans, the approved Network Enforcement Act provides for fines of up to $57 million (€50 million) to companies which fail to take down “obviously illegal” content within 24 hours, and will go into effect in October.

As The Verge reported, Germany’s definition of such content includes hate speech, incitements to violence, and defamation–all of which have found their way onto Facebook in Germany, and virtually everywhere else. Under the new law, social media companies could face an initial fine of €5 million for continuing to host content considered illegal (not necessarily on the first offense), and see those fines rise as high as €50 million depending on subsequent steps and previous infractions.

Social media companies will also be required to publish semiannual reports on how many related complaints they’ve received about their content, and what was done about them. The Guardian noted that the new law also allows German authorities to issue fines of up to €5m to each company’s designated point-person for the issue if the company’s complaints procedure isn’t up to regulation.

– Photo: Syrian refugee Anas Modamani (C)  is suing Facebook over selfie photos of himself with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that he says were misused by Facebook users accusing him of being a terrorist or guilty of other crimes and which Facebook refused to remove. (Credit: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

Digital rights and free speech activists have criticized the law for its restrictiveness, and argued that it places too large a burden on social media companies to tackle the issue. German Justice Minister Heiko Maas argued today the ability to bring big consequences for companies was necessary in combating hate speech and radicalized content online. He commented in an address, “Experience has shown that, without political pressure, the large platform operators will not fulfill their obligations, and this law is therefore imperative … freedom of expression ends where criminal law begins.”

In an emailed statement, a Facebook representative told the Verge, “We believe the best solutions will be found when government, civil society and industry work together and that this law as it stands now will not improve efforts to tackle this important societal problem … We feel that the lack of scrutiny and consultation do not do justice to the importance of the subject. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure safety for the people on our platform.”

As The Guardian reported, the law has seen a few softening changes since Maas and other lawmakers began promoting the legislation. Companies will now have a week to consider flagged posts which aren’t as clearly illegal or protected, and can enlist outside vetters of content or even create shared vetting facilities. Users will also be able to appeal the decision if their content is removed.

Germany’s leading Jewish organization, the Central Council of Jews, told the Guardian that the law provides a “strong instrument against hate speech in social networks,” where Jews are being “exposed to antisemitic hatred [on] a daily basis.” Meanwhile, human rights experts have warned against potentially privatizing the censorship process and limiting free speech, and Germany’s leading nationalist part has announced it may challenge the law all the way to the top.








What does Facebook consider to be hate speech? | Facebook Help …

The Verge

Germany to Social Networks

Facebook: German bill isn’t ‘suitable’ to fight hate speech – Engadget

Bundestag passes law to fine social media companies for not deleting ..

Germany Votes To Fine Social Media Companies For Failing To … – NPR

Experts: Massive ‘Petya’ Attack Looks More Like State Cyber Warfare Than A Data Heist

Report: Facebook’s Content Rules ‘Favor Elites And Government’ Over Activists, People Of Color




Childish Gambino – Redbone


I wake up feeling like you won’t play right
I used to know, but now that shit don’t feel right

It made me put away my pride
So long
You made a nigga wait for some, so long
You make it hard-for-boy like that to go on

I’m wishing I could make this mine, oh

If you want it, yeah
You can have it, oh, oh, oh
If you need it, oooh
We can make it, oh
If you want it
You can have it

But stay woke
Niggas creepin’
They gon’ find you
Gon’ catch you sleepin’ (Oooh)
Now stay woke
Niggas creepin’
Now don’t you close your eyes

[Verse 2]
Too late
You wanna make it right, but now it’s too late

My peanut butter chocolate cake with Kool-Aid
I’m trying not to waste my time

If you want it, oh
You can have it, you can have it
If you need it
You better believe in something
We can make it
If you want it
You can have it, aaaaah!

But stay woke
Niggas creepin’
They gon’ find you
Gon’ catch you sleepin’
Put your hands up on me
Ooh, now stay woke
Niggas creepin’
Now, don’t you close your eyes
But stay woke, ooh
Niggas creepin’
They gon’ find you
Gon’ catch you sleepin’, ooh
Now stay woke
Niggas creepin’
Now, don’t you close your eyes

Baby get so scandalous, oh
How’d it get so scandalous?
Oh, oh, baby, you…
How’d it get…
How’d it get so scandalous?
Ooh, we get so scandalous
But stay woke
But stay woke


  • Childish Gambino sings on this sultry jam of his girlfriend with a caramel complexion. (“Redbone” is a term for a light-skinned black woman.) He begins the song by referencing the morning sex he isn’t getting with her and on the hook warns her to “stay woke” (vigilant) if they are going to make the relationship work.
  • Though there are no actual samples, the melody pays homage to the 1976 Bootsy Collins track “I’d Rather Be With You.” There are also similarities to bassist Jaco Pastorius’ 1976 instrumental “Portrait Of Tracy,” which is prominently sampled in SWV’s “Rain” and Chingy and Tyrese’s “Pullin’ Me Back.”
  • Did you think there was some vocal pitching by Gambino here? Turns out his singing on Awaken, My Love! was essentially untouched.

    “Actually, there wasn’t a ton of vocal stuff done,” Gambino insisted to Australia’s Triple J Breakfast radio show. “I think people hear ‘Redbone’ and like, ‘Oh, he pitched up his vocals.’ And there was no vocal pitching on the album. I just sang differently.”

  • The song soundtracks the opening credits of Jordan Peele’s horror film Get Out. Speaking to Hip Hop DX, Peele explained why he chose the Childish Gambino track for his movie:

    “Well, first of all, I love the ‘Stay Woke’ [lyric] – that’s what this movie is about,” he said. “I wanted to make sure that this movie satisfied the black horror movie audience’s need for characters to be smart and do things that intelligent and observant people would do.”

  • Childish Gambino penned the instrumentation with his frequent collaborator, the Swedish composer and producer Ludwig Göransson, who has handled most of the production of Gambino’s projects since his 2010 Culdesac mixtape. Göransson told Genius that he arrived at the studio without any preconceived ideas what the pair were going to do that day.

    “We were just chilling and then Donald started playing drums,” he recalled. “He was like, ‘I have this beat. Let’s just play this drum beat.’ We had all the instruments spread out in the whole room, in the whole studio, and just went from one to another to another, hearing ideas and basically just recording a bunch of tracks on top of each other. That was kind of the seed of the idea, that was sort of the first of ‘Redbone’ kind of started.”

  • “Redbone” is a Cajun term for a person of mixed race. The multiethnic group Redbone, who had a big hit in the ’70s with “Come And Get Your Love,” took their name from this term.





Childish Gambino – Redbone (Official Audio) – YouTube

Childish Gambino Lyrics – Redbone – AZLyrics

Redbone by Childish Gambino Songfacts

Childish Gambino’s Epic Freestyle on HOT97 for Rosenberg – YouTube

Childish Gambino – Rosenberg Freestyle Lyrics

Killed It: Childish Gambino Freestyles Over “Grindin My Whole Life …

Silent Hollywood: 1895-1927


“Various nations lay claim to the invention of moving pictures. but the cinema, like so many other technological innovations, has no precise originating moment and owes its birth to no particular country and no particular person. In fact, one can trace the origins of cinema to such diverse sources as sixteenth-century Italian experiments with the camera obscura, various early nineteenth-century optical toys, and a host of practices of visual representation such as dioramas and panoramas. In the last decade of the nineteenth century, efforts to project continuously moving images on to a screen intensified and inventors/ entrepreneurs in several countries presented the ‘first’ moving pictures to the marvelling public: Thomas Edison in the United States; the Lumière brothers in France; Max Skladanowsky in Germany; and William Friese-Greene in Great Britain.

In spite of the internationalization of both film style and technology, the United States and a few European countries retained hegemony over film production, distribution, and exhibition. Initially, French film producers were arguably the most important, if not in terms of stylistic innovation, an area in which they competed with the British and the Americans, then certainly in terms of market dominance at home and internationally. Pride of place must be given to the Lumière brothers, who are frequently, although perhaps inaccurately, credited with projecting the first moving pictures to a paying audience. Auguste and Louis Lumière owned a photographic equipment factory and experimented in their spare time with designing a camera that they dubbed the Cinématographe. It was first demonstrated on 22 March 1895 at a meeting of the Société d’Encouragement á I’Industrie Nationale. Subsequent to this prestigious debut, the Lumières continued to publicize their camera as a scientific instrument, exhibiting it at photographic congresses and conferences of learned societies. In December 1895, however, they executed their most famous and influential demonstration, projecting ten films to a paying audience at the Grand Café in Paris.

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)The ‘invention’ of the moving picture is often associated with the name of Thomas Alva Edison, but, in accordance with contemporary industrial practices, Edison’s moving picture machines were actually produced by a team of technicians working at his laboratories in West Orange, New Jersey, supervised by the Englishman William Kennedy Laurie Dickson. Dickson and his associates began working on moving pictures in 1889 and by 1893 had built the Kinetograph, a workable but bulky camera, and the Kinetoscope, a peep-show-like viewing machine in which a continuous strip of film between 40 and 50 feet long ran between an electric lamp and a shutter. They also developed and built the first motion picture studio, necessitated by the Kinetograph’s size, weight, and relative immobility. This was a shack whose resemblance to a police van caused it to be popularly dubbed the ‘Black Maria’. To this primitive studio came the earliest American film actors, mainly vaudeville performers who travelled to West Orange from nearby New York City to have their (moving) pictures taken. These pictures lasted anywhere from fifteen seconds to one minute and simply reproduced the various performers’ stage acts with, for example, Little Egypt, the famous belly-dancer, dancing, or Sandow the Strongman posing.

edison paperAs with the Lumières, Edison’s key position in film history stems more from marketing skill than technical ingenuity. His company was the first to market a commercially viable moving picture machine, albeit one designed for individual viewers rather than mass audiences. Controlling the rights to the Kinetograph and Kinetoscope, Edison immediately embarked upon plans for commercial exploitation, entering into business agreements that led to the establishment of Kinetoscope parlours around the country. The first Kinetoscope parlour, a rented store-front with room for ten of the viewing machines each showing a different film, opened in New York City in April 1894. The new technical marvel received a promotional boost when the popular boxing champion Gentleman Jim Corbett went six rounds against Pete Courtney at the Black Maria. The resulting film gained national publicity for Edison’s machine, as well as drawing the rapt attention of female viewers, who reportedly formed lines at the Kinetoscope parlours to sneak a peek at the scantily clad Gentleman Jim. Soon other Kinetoscope parlours opened and the machines also became a featured attraction at summer amusement parks. Until the spring of 1896 the Edison Company devoted itself to shooting films for the Kinetoscope, but, as the novelty of the Kinetoscope parlours wore off and sales of the machines fell off, Thomas Edison began to rethink his commitment to individually oriented exhibition.

He acquired the patents to a projector whose key mechanism had been designed by Thomas Armat and C. Francis Jenkins, who had lacked the capital for the commercial exploitation of their invention. The Vitascope, which projected an image on to a screen, was advertised under Edison’s name and premiered in New York City in April of 1896. Six films were shown, five produced by the Edison Company and one, Rough Sea at Dover, by the Englishman R. W. Paul. These brief films, 40 feet in length and lasting twenty seconds, were spliced end to end to form a loop, enabling each film to be repeated up to half a dozen times. The sheer novelty of moving pictures, rather than their content or a story, was the attraction for the first film audiences. Within a year there were several hundred Vitascopes giving shows in various locations throughout the United States.” [2]

Exhibition Expands

The Black Maria replica: world's first motion picture studio. The revolving studio captured the same daylight angles all day long.“After the first New York presentation of Edison’s Vitascope in April 1896, film venues spread rapidly across the country. The Vitascope was not for sale, but individual entrepreneurs bought the rights to exploit it in different states. During 1896 and 1897, however, many small companies marketed their own projectors, all designed to show 35 mm prints. Since movies were not yet copyrighted and prints were sold rather than rented, it was difficult to control the circulation of films. Edison’s pictures were often duplicated and sold, while Edison profited by duping films imported from France and England. Firms also frequently made direct imitations of each other’s movies.

Soon hundreds of projectors were in use, and films were shown at vaudeville houses, amusement parks, small storefront theaters, summer resorts, fairs, even churches and opera houses. The years from 1895 to 1897 were the novelty period of the cinema, because the primary appeal was simply the astonishment of seeing movement and unusual sights reproduced on the screen. By early 1898, however, films’ novelty had worn off. As attendance declined, many exhibitors went out of business. One event that helped revive the industry was the Spanish-American War of 1898. Patriotic fervor made audiences eager to see anything relating to the conflict, and companies in the United States and abroad profited by making both authentic and staged films.

Thomas Edison (center) with W.K.L. Dickson (standing on the left) and laboratory employees at Black Maria, 1893Another type of film that helped revive the industry was the Passion Play. Beginning in 1897, filmmakers made series of single-shot scenes from Jesus’ life-views that resembled illustrations in Bibles or magic-lantern slides. One such series of shots was released in February 1898 as The Passion Play of Oberammergau. (The title lent the film respectability, though it in fact had no connection with the traditional German spectacle.) As with many of the more elaborate films of the day, the exhibitor had the option of buying some or all of the shots and combining them, along with lantern slides and other religious material, to make a lengthy program. Prizefight films were also popular, especially since they often could be shown in places where live bouts were prohibited.

From 1898, then, the American film industry enjoyed a certain stability, with most films being shown in vaudeville theaters. Production increased during this period to meet the high demand.” [3]

Growing Rivaltry

“Following the premiere of the Vitascope in New York in April 1896, there was an instant and insatiable clamour nationwide for projected moving pictures. To satisfy demand, producers and exhibitors flagrantly ignored machine patents and exploited the absence of film-strip copyright. In 1897, armed with the patent on the Latham Loop, Edison began to fight back, systematically suing every company that used the loop in its cameras or projectors. Then, furious at the way Edison had taken the credit for the Vitascope and appropriated its mechanism for his own Projecting Kinetoscope, Thomas Armat also began issuing writs on the strength of the loop patent, including one against Edison himself. Eventually, in excess of two hundred legal actions came before the U.S. courts.” [1]

Officials of the American Mutoscope Company (including W.K.L. Dickson, second from right) in the firm's new rooftop studio. Like the Black Maria, the studio rotated on rails to catch the sun. The camera was sheltered in the metal booth, and simple painted sets were built against the framework.“The American Mutoscope Company did particularly well during the late 1890s, partly because of its clear 70mm images, displayed by the company’s own touring operators in vaudeville houses. By 1897, American Mutoscope was the most popular film company in America, and it attracted audiences abroad as well. American Mutoscope began filming in a new rooftop studio. The firm changed its name in 1899 to American Mutoscope and Biograph (AM&B), reflecting its double specialization in peepshow Mutoscope reels and projected films. Over the next several years, AM&B was hampered by a lawsuit brought against it by Edison, who consistently took competitors to court for infringing patents and copyrights. In 1902, however, AM&B won the suit, because its camera used rollers rather than sprocketed gears to move the film. The company’s prosperity grew. In 1903 it began to make and sell films in 35mm rather than 70mm, a change that boosted sales. Beginning in 1908, it employed one of the most important silent-era directors, D. W. Griffith.

Another important company that got its start during the early years of the cinema was American Vitagraph, founded in 1897 by J. Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Smith as an advertising firm. Vitagraph began producing popular films relating to the Spanish-American War. Like other production companies of this period, Vitagraph was threatened with patent- and copyright-infringement lawsuits by Edison, who hoped to control the American market. Vitagraph survived by agreeing to cooperate with Edison, making films for the Edison firm and in turn dealing in Edison films itself. AM&B’s 1902 legal triumph over Edison briefly reduced the risk of lawsuits throughout the industry by establishing that Edison’s patents did not cover all types of motion-picture equipment. As a result, Vitagraph expanded production. Within a few years, it would emerge as an important firm making artistically innovative films.” [3]

Edwin S. Porter, Edison’s Mainstay

“The rise in production at AM&B and Vitagraph in the wake of Edison’s failed lawsuit obliged Edison’s company to make more films to counter their competition. One successful tactic was to make longer films shot in the studio. In this endeavor, it had the assistance of the most important American filmmaker of this early period, Edwin S. Porter.

Porter was a film projectionist and an expert at building photographic equipment. In late 1900, he went to work for Edison, whom he greatly admired. He was assigned to improve the firm’s cameras and projectors. That year the Edison Company built a new glassenclosed rooftop studio on East 21st Street in New York City, where films could be shot using the typical painted stage-style scenery of the era. In early 1901, Porter began operating a camera there. At this point in cinema history, the cameraman was also the film’s director, and soon Porter was responsible for many of the company’s most popular films”. [3] For the next few years, he served as director-cameraman for much of Edison’s output, starting with simple one-shot films (Kansas Saloon Smashers, 1901) and progressing rapidly to trick films (The Finish of Bridget McKeen, 1901) and short multiscene narratives based on political cartoons and contemporary events (Sampson-Schley Controversy, 1901; Execution of Czolgosz, with Panorama of Auburn Prison, 1901). Porter also filmed the extraordinary Pan-American Exposition by Night (1901), which used time-lapse photography to produce a circular panorama of the exposition’s electrical illumination, and the 10-scene Jack and the Beanstalk (1902), a narrative that simulates the sequencing of lantern slides to achieve a logical, if elliptical, spatial continuity.

Edwin S. Porter: Life of an American Fireman

It was probably Porter’s experience as a projectionist at the Eden Musée theatre in 1898 that ultimately led him in the early 1900s to the practice of continuity editing. The process of selecting one-shot films and arranging them into a 15-minute program for screen presentation was very much like that of constructing a single film out of a series of separate shots. Porter, by his own admission, was also influenced by other filmmakers – especially Méliès, whose Le Voyage dans la lune he came to know well in the process of duplicating it for illegal distribution by Edison in October 1902. Years later Porter claimed that the Méliès film had given him the notion of “telling a story in continuity form,” which resulted in The Life of an American Fireman (about 400 feet [122 metres], or six minutes, produced in late 1902 and released in January 1903). This film, which was also influenced by James Williamson’s Fire!, combined archival footage with staged scenes to create a nine-shot narrative of a dramatic rescue from a burning building. It was for years the subject of controversy because in a later version the last two scenes were intercut, or crosscut, into a 14-shot parallel sequence. It is now generally believed that in the earliest version of the film these scenes, which repeat the same rescue operation from an interior and exterior point of view, were shown in their entirety, one after the other. This repetition, or overlapping continuity, which owes much to magic lantern shows, clearly defines the spatial relationships between scenes but leaves temporal relationships underdeveloped and, to modern sensibilities, confused. Contemporary audiences, however, were conditioned by lantern slide projections and even comic strips; they understood a sequence of motion-picture shots to be a series of individual moving photographs, each of which was self-contained within its frame. Spatial relationships were clear in such earlier narrative forms because their only medium was space. Nevertheless, the technical innovations in the film are many: a close-up of the fire alarm being activated, the use of both medium and wide shots, the intercutting of actual footage with staged sequences, and the use of dissolves as transitions between scenes to suggest the passage of time.

Porter used revolutionary techniques of dramatic film editing in The Great Train Robbery (1903). The camera follows the escaping outlaws in scene 7.Motion pictures, however, exist in time as well as space, and the major problem for early filmmakers was the establishment of temporal continuity from one shot to the next. Porter’s The Great Train Robbery (1903) is widely acknowledged to be the first narrative film to have achieved such continuity of action. Comprising 14 separate shots of noncontinuous, nonoverlapping action, the film contains an early example of parallel editing, two credible back, or rear, projections (the projection from the rear of previously filmed action or scenery onto a translucent screen to provide the background for new action filmed in front of the screen), two camera pans, and several shots composed diagonally and staged in depth – a major departure from the frontally composed, theatrical staging of Méliès. “The film used intercutting for suspense (a telegraph operator knocked out at the beginning of the film is revived by a young girl who discovers him by accident; will he be able to spread the alarm in time?); parallel editing (the robbery takes place as the telegraph operator is being revived, and the robbery concludes as the posse is being formed to pursue the bandits); and camera angles that view the action from a variety of vantage points, usually to the left or right of the actors, rather than placing the actors directly in front of the camera.” [4]

The film’s popularity encouraged investors and led to the establishment of the first permanent film theatres, or nickelodeons, across the country. Running about 12 minutes, it also helped to boost standard film length toward one reel, or 1,000 feet (305 metres [about 16 minutes at the average silent speed]). Despite the film’s success, Porter continued to practice overlapping action in such conventional narratives as Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1903) and the social justice dramas The Ex-Convict (1904) and The Kleptomaniac (1905). He experimented with model animation in The Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906) and The Teddy Bears (1907) but lost interest in the creative aspects of filmmaking as the process became increasingly industrialized. He left Edison in 1909 to pursue a career as a producer and equipment manufacturer. Porter, like Méliès, could not adapt to the linear narrative modes and assembly-line production systems that were developing.

Birth of an American Industry

“Today, Hollywood dominates the international market in entertainment media, as it does in many other industries. Before World War I, however, the United States was not yet the world ‘s most economically important country. Great Britain still ruled the waves; its ships carried more goods than did those of any other country, and London was the globe’s financial center. It was the war that allowed the United States to surpass England and other European countries.

Prior to the war, American film firms concentrated on the swiftly expanding domestic demand and paid less attention to foreign markets. U.S. companies were also still struggling among themselves for power in the new industry. Between 1905 and 1912, American producers, distributors, and exhibitors tried to bring some stability to the shifting and confused film business. Only then would they be able to turn greater attention to export.” [3]

Nickels Count: The Nickleodeon Boom

“By 1905, films were showing in most of the available vaudeville houses, local theaters, and other venues. The main trend in the American film industry from 1905 to 1907 was the rapid multiplication of film theaters. These were typically small stores, installed with fewer than two hundred seats. Admission was usually a nickel (hence the term nickelodeon) or a dime for a program running fifteen to sixty minutes. Most nickelodeons had only one projector. During reel changes a singer might perform a current song, accompanied by lantern slides.

Interior of a nickelodeon theater in Pittsburg. It was claimed to be the first nickelodeon in the United States.Nickelodeons spread for several reasons. When production companies turned away from actualities toward story films, moviegoing became less a novelty and more a regular enterta inment. Shorter workweeks left more time for entertainment. In addition, film producers took to renting rather than selling films. Since exhibitors no longer had to keep running the same films until they made back their purchase price, they could change their programs two, three, even seven times a week. As a result, some of their patrons returned regularly. Nickelodeons could run the same brief programs over and over continuously, from late morning to midnight. Many exhibitors made huge profits.” [3]

“It is hard to recall today that many of the moguls who maintained such a tight grip on every aspect of American cinema had first entered the industry as small-time exhibitors hoping to cash in on what was still considered a disreputable novelty. However, men like Carl Laemmle (1867-1939), Adolph Zukor (1873-1976), William Fox (1879-1952), Jesse Lasky (1880-1958), Samuel Goldfish (later Goldwyn, 1882-1974), Marcus Loew (1870-1927) and Louis B. Mayer (1885-1957), mostly first-generation Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, had the acumen and courage to emerge victorious from the business wars of the 1910s.” [1]

The Cascade Theater in Newcastle, Pennsylvania was the first nickelodeon acquired by Jack, Albert, Sam, and Harry Warner. A sign promises 'Refined Entertainment for Ladies, Gentlemen, and Children.' The Warners went on to careers in exhibition and production, eventually establishing Warner Bros.“Nickelodeons had advantages over earlier forms of exhibition. Unlike amusement parks, they were not seasonal. They were cheaper than vaudeville houses and more regularly available than traveling exhibitions. Expenses were low. Spectators typically sat on benches or in simple wooden seats. There were seldom newspaper advertisements to alert patrons in advance concerning programs. Patrons usually either attended on a regular basis or simply dropped in. The front of the theater displayed hand-painted signs with the names of the films, and there might be a phonograph or barker attracting the attention of passersby.

There was almost always some sound accompaniment. The exhibitor might lecture along with the film, but piano or phonograph accompaniment was probably more common. In some cases, actors stood behind the screen and spoke dialogue in synchronization with the action on the screen. More frequently, people used noisemakers to create appropriate sound effects.

In the days before 1905, when films had mainly been shown in vaudeville theaters or by touring lecturer exhibitors, admission prices were often twenty-five cents or more – too much for most blue-collar workers. Nickel theaters, however, opened films to a mass audience, many of them immigrants. Nickelodeons clustered in business districts and working-class neighborhoods in cities. Bluecollar workers could attend theaters near their homes, while secretaries and office boys caught a show during the lunch hour or before taking public transport home after work. Women and children made up a significant proportion of city audiences, stopping in for a break while shopping. In small towns, a nickelodeon might be the only place showing films, and people from all strata of society would watch movies together.” [3]

The Motion Picture Patents War

The MPPC founders gather at the Edison Laboratory on December 18, 1908. First row (left to right): Frank L. Dyer, Sigmund Lubin, William T. Rock, Thomas A. Edison, J. Stuart Blackton, Jeremiah J. Kennedy, George Kleine, and George K. Spoor. Second row: Frank J. Marion, Samuel Long, William N. Selig, Albert E. Smith, Jacques A. Berst, Harry N. Marvin, Thomas Armat(?), and George Scull(?).“In the meantime, an exhibition revolution was taking place. Movies had been part of vaudeville bills or fairground attractions before the opening of the first permanent venue, Thomas L. Tally’s Electric Palace in Los Angeles in 1902. The first ‘store-front’ theatre opened in 1905 and by 1910 there were some 10,000 of these ‘nickelodeons’ across the U.S., drawing up to 80 million patrons each week. Previously, exhibitors had bought strips outright at so much per foot depending on the production costs and the fdm’s box-office potential. However, audiences were now demanding regular changes of programme and to facilitate such rapid turnover, a new player entered the industry. The distributor bought or leased films from the producer and then rented them to the exhibitor, thus guaranteeing a market for the producer and cost-effective availability for the exhibitor. This three-tier system is largely still in effect today.

Edison hoped to exploit the new commercial structure to exclude the mavericks once and for all. In 1908 he invited Armat, the distributor George Kleine and the seven leading companies – Biograph, Vitagraph, Essanay, Selig, Pathe, Lubin and Kalem – to form the Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC), to which Melies was added the following year. Pooling their patents, the members agreed not to lease or sell to any distributor who dealt with any independent company. To strengthen their hand, they signed a deal with Eastman giving them exclusive access to perforated celluloid stock. Effectively, American production lay in the hands of just nine companies, while distribution was limited to the members of the General Film Company, who charged exhibitors a weekly $2 licence fee for the privilege of renting MPPC pictures. To protect their assets further from the moral backlash that accompanied the movie boom, the MPPC also founded the National Board of Censorship in 1908 (renamed the National Board of Review in 1915) to establish a consistent code of standards and principles. But no sooner had the Patents War ended than the Trust War broke out.” [1]

The Trust versus the Independents

“The Trust was a combination of ten leading American and European producers of movies and manufacturers of cameras and projectors, who in 1908 combined to form a trust to inflate the prices of equipment they alone could manufacture. The Trust pooled patents and made thousands of short films. Only co-operating companies, licensed by the Trust, could manufacture ‘legal’ films and film equipment. The Trust extracted profits by charging for use of its patents. To use a projector legally an exhibitor needed to hand over a few dollars; to make movies, producers paid more.” [2]

Carl Laemmle, the founder of IMP (Independent Movie Picture Company), and later Universal Pictures“Unwilling to brook the MPPC monopoly, the distributors William Swanson and Carl Laemmle went ‘independent’ and began to produce their own films. Others, including Fox and Zukor, followed suit and by 1910 they, and companies such as Reliance, Eclair, Majestic, Powers, Rex, Champion, Nestor, Lux and Comet, had united to form the Motion Picture Distributing and Sales Company, which sued the MPPC under government anti-trust laws. The MPPC responded violently, employing gangs to destroy equipment and intimidate casts and crews, but despite such strongarm tactics, the independents prospered and by the time the courts outlawed the MPPC in 1917 most of its constituents had already folded. The last, Vitagraph, was taken over by Warners in 1925.” [1]

“The independents fought back the Trust by differentiating their products, making longer and more complicated narratives while the Trust tended to stick with two-reel, fifteen-minute stories. The independents raided pulp magazines, public domain novels, and successful plays for plots. Westerns supplied the most popular of these ‘new’ movie genres and helped spark interest in shooting on location ‘out West’. In time the independents found their home in southern California, 2,000 miles away from the New York headquarters of the Trust and, with its temperate climate, cheap land, and lack of unions, an ideal place to make their new low-cost ‘feature-length’ motion pictures.

By 1912 the independents were producing enough films to fill theatrical bills. Each movie became a unique product, heavily advertised. With more than 20,000 cinemas open in the USA by 1920, the ever-increasing number of feature-length ‘photoplays’ easily found an audience. Distribution into foreign markets proved a bonus; in this era of the silent cinema, specialists quickly translated intertitles, and produced foreign versions for minimal added production costs.

The independents also began to take control of exhibition in the USA. They did not attempt to buy up all the 20,000 existing movie houses, concentrating instead on the new movie palaces in the largest cities. By 1920 these 2,000 picture palaces, showing exclusive first-runs, were capturing over three-quarters of the revenue of the average film. From these chains of movie palaces from New York City to Chicago to Los Angeles. the major Hollywood companies, led by Paramount. Fox, and MGM, were able to collect millions of dollars per year in profit.

By this time the independents were independents no longer. The most successful of these former independents succeeded at what the well financed members of the Trust had failed to accomplish control of the production, distribution, and exhibition of movies. From this massive base they moved to dominate the world.” [2]

Social Pressures and Self-Censorship

Slide shown between films (c. 1908–14)“The quick spread of nickelodeons led to social pressures aimed at reforming the cinema. Many religious groups and social workers considered the nickel theaters sinister places where young people could be led astray. The movies were seen as a training ground for prostitution and robbery. French films were criticized for treating adultery in a comic fashion. Violent subject matter such as reenacted executions and murders were common fare early in the nickelodeon boom.

In late 1908, the mayor of New York briefly succeeded in closing down all the city’s nickelodeons, and local censorship boards were formed in several towns. A concerned group of New York citizens formed the Board of Censorship in March 1909. This was a private body, aimed at improving the movies and thus forestalling the federal government from passing a national censorship law. Producers were to submit films voluntarily, and films that passed could include a notice of approval. As a way of gaining respectability, MPPC members allowed their films to be examined, and they even supported the board financially. This cooperation led the group to change its name to the National Board of Censorship (and, in 1915, to the National Board of Review). Although censorship boards continued to be formed on the municipal and state levels, no national censorship law was – or ever has been – passed. Variants of this policy of voluntary self-censorship have existed in the American film industry ever since.

Slide shown between films (c. 1908–14)Both the MPPC and the independents also tried to improve the public image of the movies by releasing more prestigious films that would appeal to middle- and upper-class spectators. Films became longer and more complex in their narratives. Stories derived from celebrated literature or portraying important historical events counterbalanced the popular slapstick chases and crime films. Some of these prestigious films, such as L’assassinat du duc de Guise (The Assassination of the Duc de Guise, 1908) and La caduta di Troia (The Fall of Troy, 1911), came from abroad. American producers increasingly turned to similar source material. In 1909, D.W. Griffith, on his way to becoming the most important American silent director, filmed Robert Browning’s verse play Pippa Passes, quoting lines from the original as intertitles. Adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays condensed to one or two reels became common.

Along with this move to appeal to refined audiences came a change in the theaters where films were shown. Some nickelodeons continued to operate well into the 1910s, but from 1908 on, exhibitors also began to build or convert larger theaters for showing films. These establishments might charge ten or twenty-five cents, or even more, for longer programs. Some theaters combined films and live vaudeville acts. Popular song slides, which were perceived as lower class, gradually disappeared as the better-class theaters began to use two projectors – and hence had no need for a song to cover the change of reels. Musical accompaniment by orchestras or pipe organs, ornate decorations, and occasional educational lectures accompanying the films were all designed to create an atmosphere very different from that of the nickel movie houses.” [3]

The Star System

An advertisement from October 1911 names Owen Moore and Mary Pickford as the stars of an upcoming release by an independent producer, Majestic.“In the earliest years of the cinema, films were advertised as novelties. Once the nickelodeon boom and the formation of the Motion Picture Patents Company had regularized the American industry, companies sold films by brand name. Spectators knew that they were seeing an Edison or a Vitagraph or a Pathe picture, but filmmakers and actors received no screen credit. In vaudeville, the legitimate theater, and the opera, the star system was well established. Film actors’ names, however, were not publicized – in part because fame would allow them to demand higher wages.

Indeed, before 1908, few actors worked regularly enough in films to be recognized. At about that time, however, producers started signing actors to longer contracts, and audiences began to see the same faces in film after film. By 1909, viewers were spontaneously demonstrating interest in their favorites, asking theater managers the actors’ names or writing to the studios for photographs. Fans made up names for the most popular stars: Florence Lawrence, who regularly appeared in Griffith’s films, became “the Biograph Girl”; Florence Turner was “the Vitagraph Girl”; and Vitagraph’s heartthrob, Maurice Costello, was dubbed “Dimples”. Reviewers picked up this way of referring to anonymous stars. Of Griffith’s 1909 film Lady Helen’s Escapade, a commentator remarked, “Of course, the chief honors of the picture are borne by the now famous Biograph girl, who must be gratified by the silent celebrity she has achieved. This lady combines with very great personal attractions very fine dramatic abilities indeed.”

By 1910, some companies responded to audience demand and began exploiting their popular actors for publicity purposes. Kalem supplied theaters with photographs to display in their lobbies. Personal appearances by stars in theaters became an institution. In 1911, the first fan magazine, The Motion Picture Story Magazine, appeared. That same year, an enterprising firm began selling photo postcards of popular players. Stars were named in advertisements aimed at exhibitors. Still, films seldom included credits until 1914.” [3]

The Movies Move to Hollywood

“Entrenched in Hollywood folklore is the tradition that the film industry settled there because its distance from the MPPC’s New York offices and its proximity to the Mexican border made it an ideal Trust-War haven. In fact, units had been shooting in such suntraps as Jacksonville, San Antonio, Santa Fe and Cuba since 1907 to maintain production levels during the East Coast winter. But in addition to long daylight hours, southern California also offered a diversity of scenery – mountains, valleys, islands, lakes, coastlines, deserts and forests – that could plausibly evoke locations anywhere in the world. Moreover, Los Angeles was a thriving theatrical centre, with a plentiful supply of casual labour, low taxes and an abundance of cheap land, which the companies bought for their studios, standing sets and ‘back lots’.” [1]

Hollywood in 1910“The first American film companies were located in New Jersey and New York. Other producers emerged in Chicago (Selig, Essanay), Philadelphia (Lubin), and elsewhere in the East and the Midwest. Because filmmakers worked outdoors or in sunlit glass studios, poor weather could hamper production. After the formation of the MPPC in 1908, some film companies sent production units to sunnier climes for the winter: New York-based firms might head to Florida, while Chicago companies tended to go west.

As early as 1908, a producing unit from the Selig company filmed on location in the Los Angeles area. It returned there to set up a makeshift studio in 1909 and a more substantial one in 1910 In 1909, New York Motion Picture Company also established operations there. Several other firms began working around Los Angeles in 1910. American Biograph began sending Griffith there during the winter season.

Hollywood Boulevard in 1927 at the opening of Hells Angels at Grauman's ChineseDuring the early 1910s, the Los Angeles area emerged as the country’s major production center. It had several advantages. Its clear, dry weather permitted filming outdoors most days of the year. Southern California offered a variety of landscapes, including ocean, desert, mountain, forest, and hillside. The Western had emerged as one of the most popular American genres and such films looked more a uthentic when filmed in the real West rather than in New Jersey.

The small suburb of Hollywood was one of several where studios were established, and its name eventually came to stand for the entire American filmmaking industry – despite the fact that many decisions were still made in New York, in the head offices of the companies. Studios in the Hollywood area would soon grow from small open-air stages to sizable complexes with large enclosed studios and numerous departments.” [3] “By the early 1920s the social impact of Hollywood’s glamorous image was enormous. As early as 1920, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce was obliged to run advertisements begging aspiring actors and actresses to stay at home, pleading: ‘Please Don’t Try to Break into the Movies’.” [2]

The Rise of the Studio System

“Around the year 1910 a number of film companies set up business in and around the small suburb of Hollywood to the west of Los Angeles. Within a decade. the system they created came to dominate the cinema, not only in the United States but throughout the world. By concentrating production into vast factory-like studios, and by vertically integrating all aspects of the business, from production to publicity to distribution to exhibition, they created a model system – the ‘studio system’ – which other countries had to imitate in order to compete. But attempts at imitating the American system were only partially successful, and by 1925 it was the ‘Hollywood’ system, rather than the studio system as such, which dominated the market from Britain to Bengal, from South Africa to Norway and Sweden. By that time, Hollywood had not only seized control of the majority of world markets but had made its products and its stars, such as Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford, the most famous cultural icons in the world.” [2]

The Majors and the Minors

MGM studios“It was during the teens in Hollywood, too, that the major studios as we know them today began to take shape. Carl Laemmle folded his IMP Company into a group of smaller companies to create Universal Pictures in 1912; the aforementioned William Fox, Laemmle’s ally in the war against the Edison Trust, created the Fox Film Corporation in 1915; it would later merge with Twentieth Century Pictures in 1935, under impresario Darryl F. Zanuck. Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), with its famous lion logo at the start of each film and the motto “Ars Gratia Artis” (Art for Art’s Sake) boldly emblazoned across the screen, followed in 1924, rising out the combined talents of Samuel Goldwyn, Marcus Loew, Louis B. Mayer, and financial wizard Nicholas Schenck. Goldwyn would soon leave the group to form the eponymous Goldwyn Pictures, and Louis B. Mayer would become undisputed chief of production for decades, although he, too, had to answer to Schenck, whose offices were in New York, on all major financial matters. Adolph Zukor’s Famous Players merged with Jesse Lasky’s Feature Play Company to form Paramount Pictures (also known as Paramount Publix), using the Paramount distribution exchange to market their pictures to a series of wholly owned theaters across the United States; by the mid-1930s, Paramount would effectively have a monopoly on film production and distribution through Zukor’s strategy of “vertical integration,” in which studio-owned theaters could play only Paramount product, thus ensuring a steady market for the studio’s films.

Paramount studiosJack, Sam, Albert, and Harry Warner formed Warner Bros. in 1923; soon, Jack L.Warner emerged as the head of production in Hollywood though he also had to answer to a higher power – in his case his brother Harry – on matters of finance. United Artists was moving along at a solid clip, buoyed by the success of Mary Pickford’s star vehicles and Douglas Fairbanks Sr.’s swashbucklers. Columbia Pictures was founded by Jack and Harry Cohn in 1924, with Jack emerging as the financial czar and Harry as perhaps the most ruthless studio boss in Hollywood, eventually nicknamed “White Fang” by writer Ben Hecht and later “King Cohn” for his brutal manner of doing business. But although Harry Cohn may have been the most abrasive of the studio bosses, all these men were exceptionally tough businessmen in a business that was rapidly consolidating its hold on the American public.” [4]

The Hollywood oligopoly replaced the Edison monopoly. Within this new system, a pecking order was soon established which left little room for any newcomers. At the top were the five major studios, 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, RKO Pictures, and Warner Bros. Beneath them were Columbia Pictures, United Artists, and Universal Studios. Finally there was “Poverty Row”, a catch all term used to encompass any other smaller studio that managed to fight their way up into the increasingly exclusive movie business. It is worth noting that though the small studios that made up Poverty Row could be characterized as existing “independently” of any major studio, they utilized the same kind of vertically and horizontally integrated systems of business as the larger players in the game. Though the eventual breakup of the studio system and its restrictive chain-theater distribution network would leave independent movie houses eager for the kind of populist, seat-filling product of the Poverty Row studios, that same paradigm shift would also lead to the decline and ultimate disappearance of “Poverty Row” as a Hollywood phenomenon.

The Poverty Row included Republic Pictures, which specialized in westerns and children’s serials and absorbed the smaller Mascot Pictures corporation of Nat Levine, which also dealt primarily in action fare; Monogram, which would come to its greatest prominence in the 1940s as the home of an interminable series of Bela Lugosi horror movies and Bowery Boys comedies; and Producers’ Releasing Corporation (PRC), reputedly the cheapest studio in Hollywood history, where two-day westerns were cranked out with alarming regularity in the 1940s, along with five-day film noirs dealing with the darker side of human existence.

The Big Five majors The Little Three majors Poverty Row
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer United Artists Grand National
Paramount Pictures Columbia Pictures Republic Pictures
20th Century Fox Universal Studios Monogram Pictures
Warner Bros. Producers Releasing Corporation (aka PRC)
RKO Pictures Majestic

In the 1950s, such independents as American International Pictures would come along to challenge the system, but from the 1910s through 1955, the majors reigned supreme. There were, of course, exceptions. Although he released his films through United Artists, Chaplin remained a true independent, with his own studio facility in Los Angeles (now the home of A & M Records).” [4]

The Production System

“During the late 1910s and early 1920s, the successful companies, led by Adolph Zukor’s Famous Players-Lasky corporation, developed a system by which to manufacture popular films on a large scale. This system was much admired abroad, and film industries the world over sent their representatives over to Hollywood to study and, if possible, copy it.

The centrepiece of the product offered by the Hollywood companies was the feature film, generally about ninety minutes long. Ten-minute newsreels or animated subjects might provide a complement, but it was the feature that sold the show. Ironically, inspiration for this had come from Europe. Through the 1910s foreign features repeatedly demonstrated that longer films could draw sizeable audiences. The then independents imported epics from European film-makers who did not care to book through the Trust. The success of prestigious Italian productions such as Dante’s Inferno (1911) not only proved there existed a market for longer fare, but helped to give the new medium much-needed respectability in the eyes of the traditional middle class.

Queen Elizabeth (1912) starring Sarah BernhardtHollywood centred its promotional efforts on the star system. Publicists had to acquire the art of manipulating the new techniques of mass advertising and mass communication to create something special in the minds of the growing middle-class public. Stars provided an effective means of differentiating feature films, making each individual title an unrnissable attraction. In 1909, for example, Carl Laemmle lured Florence Lawrence from Biograph, and named her his ‘IMP Girl’ – the letters representing his Independent Motion Picture Company (later Universal). Laernmle then sent his star on tour and planted story after story in the newspapers, including one falsely reporting her death.

Others plucked their stars from the legitimate stage. Adolph Zukor’s pioneering company Famous Players (later Paramount), whose slogan was ‘Famous Players in Famous Plays’, achieved early successes with The Count of Monte Cristo (1913) starring James O’Neill, The Prisoner of Zenda (1913) starring James Hackett, Queen Elizabeth (1912) starring Sarah Bernhardt, and Tess of the D’Urbervilles starring Minnie Maddern Fiske.

Zukor soon saw the need to develop his own stars, not simply buy up already established names. Mary Pickford saw her salary increase from $100 a week in 1909 to $10,000 per week in 1917 as Zukor made her the biggest star of her day. Zukor’s rivals developed their own ‘Little Marys’, and ‘inked’ them to exclusive, long-run contracts. The Hollywood companies then fashioned elaborately prepared scenarios as centrepieces for their stars. But the stars were quick to realize that, if they were so important to the studios, they had bargaining power of their own. Although many remained tied to exploitative contracts, some of the most successful broke loose from the system. On 15 January 1919, major luminaries Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford joined with director D. W. Griffith to create United Artists, and issued a declaration of independence from their former studio bosses. United Artists announced it would distribute star-produced features so their makers could extract the riches their star power had generated.

United Artists: Griffith,Chaplin,Pickford,FairbanksUnited Artists was an anomaly. The standard Hollywood system of feature film-making sought to guarantee the shipment of attractive films to theatres on a weekly basis, and the studios developed efficient and cost-effective production methods to produce films that filled theatres. This factory system would prove the best method by which to provide a regular supply of films.

Gradually during the 1910s, as the demand for narrative films increased, specialists were trained to assist the director to make movies faster. Writers thought up story lines, scenic artists painted backgrounds, and designers fashioned appropriate costumes.

Soon film-makers realized that it was less expensive to shoot the story out of order, rather than chronologically record it as it might be staged in a theatre. Once all planned scenes were filmed, an editor could reassemble them, following the dictates of the script. All this required a carefully thought out, prearranged plan to calculate the minimum cost in advance. Such a plan became known as the shooting script.

Studio bosses planned a programme of films a year in advance. Sets were efficiently used over and over again, and adapted for different stories. Art directors designed and constructed sets; casting directors found the talent; make-up artists perfected the glamorous movie look; and cinematographers were picked to shoot scripts as written. Time was of the essence. so actors were shuttled from film to film. Often multiple cameras were used for complicated shots (for example, a battlefield sequence) to avoid having to stage them twice. And always present was the continuity clerk. who checked that, when shooting was completed, the film could be easily reassembled.” [2]

Distribution and Control of the Market

“By 1921 Zukor had fashioned the largest film company in the world-his Famous Players. Five years earlier he had merged twelve producers and the distributor, Paramount, to form the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. By 1917 his new company included stars such as Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Gloria Swanson. Pauline Frederick, and Blanche Sweet. Two years later, about the time Pickford and Fairbanks left to form United Artists, a quarter of the cinemas in the USA were regularly presenting Famous Players films.

Famous Players began to block book its yearly output of 50 to 100 feature films. which meant that the theatre owner who sought to show the films of Mary Pickford had also to take pictures featuring less well-known Famous Players stars. In turn, Famous Players used these guaranteed bookings to test and develop new stars, and to try new story genres. When major theatre owners began to baulk at the risks involved, Zukor stepped in, acquired theatres. and set up his own theatre chain.

Certificate from the Famous Players - Lasky Corporation of CaliforniaDuring the 1920s Famous Players became a high-flyer on the New York Stock Exchange. Others soon followed. Marcus Loew put together Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. William Fox expanded his film company as did Carl Laemmle with his Universal Studios. Even stalwart independents United Artists built a theatre chain. Thus a handful of major, vertically integrated companies came to dominate and define Hollywood.

It was not enough, however, that this small handful of companies controlled all the movie stars and theatres. They sought to expand their markets beyond the US border, to establish distribution all over the world. The First World War offered a crucial opening. While other national cinemas were constrained. the leading Hollywood companies moved to make the world their marketplace. To maintain conditions for maximizing profits abroad, the major Hollywood companies formed an association, the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association of America (MPPDA), and hired former Postmaster-General Will H. Hays to keep these international markets open.

By the mid-1920s. Hollywood dominated not only the major English-speaking markets of Great Britain, Canada, and Australia, but most of continental Europe except for Germany and the Soviet Union, and had successfully expanded into South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Indeed Hollywood’s continued international monopoly forced film entrepreneurs in other countries to struggle to please their native audiences, somehow to ‘better’ Hollywood. But with their control of international distribution, the Hollywood corporations could and would define appropriate standards of film style, form, content, and money-making. Imitation would not work, however competitive the product.” [2]

The Picture Palace

Roxy Theatre postcard“The production and distribution of films constituted only two of the three essential pegs of institutional Hollywood power. Movie moguls knew that money came through the theatrical box-office and thus sought some measure of control over exhibition, the third crucial sector of the film business. If ‘Hollywood’ was initially a group of California studios and offices for distribution throughout the world, it also came to include a cluster of movie palaces situated on main streets from New York to Los Angeles, Chicago to Dallas, and, within a short time, London and Paris as well.

The modern movie palace era commenced in 1914 with Samuel’Roxy’ Rothapfel’s opening of the 3,000-seat Strand in 1914 in New York. Roxy combined a live vaudeville show with movies. His vaudeville ‘presentation’ offered a little something extra that attracted audiences away from more ordinary movie houses down the street. Roxy’s shows opened with a house orchestra of fifty musicians playing the national anthem. Then came a newsreel, a travelogue, and a comic short, followed by the live stage show. Only then came the feature film.

The stage and orchestra pit of the Roxy TheatreThe movie palace itself was far more than just a theatre. The splendour of its architecture and the ‘touch of class’ lent by the ubiquitous ushers evoked a high-class fantasyland. Adolph Zukor soon caught on to Roxy’s innovations and swooped in to purchase a string of movie palace theatres, thus gaining control of a fully integrated system of motion picture production, distribution, and exhibition.

Roxy was never able to sustain his economic enterprise and sold out. Chicago’s Balaban & Katz, however, developed an economic system for making millions of dollars from their movie palace empire and, in the period immediately after the First World War, pioneering exhibitors took their cue for maximizing profits from the extraordinary success of this Chicago corporation, Indeed, Adolph Zukor approached Balaban & Katz and the two operations merged and created Paramount Pictures in 1925, marking the true affirmation of the Hollywood studio system in its three-part strategy of domination.

The architecture of the movie palace insulated the public from the outside world and provided an opulent stage for the entertainment. The Chicago architectural firm headed by the brothers George and C. W. Rapp designed the new-style theatres by mixing design elements from nearly all past eras and contemporaneous locales, among them classic French and Spanish designs and contemporary art deco renderings. Film-goers soon came to expect triumphal arches, monumental staircases, and grand, column-lined lobbies (inspired by the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles). Façades were equally dramatic. Strong vertical lines were accentuated by ascending pilasters, windows, and towers, sweeping high above the tiny adjacent shop-fronts. The actual theatre building was made from a rigid, steel shell, on which plaster-made decorations hung in brilliant purples, golds, azures, and crimsons. Massive steel trusses supported thousands of people in one or two balconies.

Balaban & Katz TheatreOutside, colossal electric signs could be seen for miles. The upright signs towered several storeys high, flashing forth their messages in several colours. Behind them, stained-glass windows reflected the lights into the lobby, evoking an ecclesiastical atmosphere and linking the theatre to the traditional, respected institutional architecture of the past.

Once inside, patrons weaved through a series of vestibules, foyers, lobbies, lounges, promenades, and waiting rooms designed to impress and excite. The lobbies and foyers were, if anything, more spectacular than the architectural fantasy outside. Decorations included opulent chandeliers, classical drapery on walls and entrances, luxurious chairs and fountains, and grand spaces for piano or organ accompaniment for waiting crowds. And since there always seemed to be a queue, keeping newly arriving customers happy was as important as entertaining those already seated. Inside the auditorium, everyone had a perfect view of the screen, and careful acoustical planning ensured the orchestral accompaniment to the silent films could be heard even in the furthest reaches of the balcony.

Balaban & Katz TheatreBalaban & Katz offered free child care, rooms for smoking, and picture galleries in the foyers and lobbies. In the basement of each movie palace a complete playground included slides, sand-pits, and other objects of fun for younger children left in the care of nurses while their parents upstairs enjoyed the show.

Ushers maintained a constant quiet decorum within the auditorium proper. They guided patrons through the maze of halls and foyers, assisted the elderly and small children, and handled any emergencies. Balaban & Katz recruited their corps from male college students, dressed them in red uniforms with white gloves and yellow epaulettes, and demanded they be obediently polite even to the rudest of patrons. All requests had to end with a ‘thank you’; under no circumstances could tips be accepted.

Balaban & Katz TheatreMost of the features described above could be easily copied by any theatre chain willing to make the necessary investment. One part of the Balaban & Katz show, however, was unique. Balaban & Katz offered the first air-conditioned movie theatres in the world, providing summertime comfort no middle-class citizen in the sweltering Midwestern states could long resist. After 1926 most important movie palaces either installed air conditioning or built the new theatre around it.

There had been crude experiments with blowing air across blocks ofice, but prior to Balaban & Katz’s Central Park Theatre most movie houses simply closed during the summer or opened to tiny crowds. The movie palace airconditioning apparatus took up an entire basement room with more than 15,000 feet of heavy-duty pipe, giant 240-horsepower electric motors, and two 1,000-pound flywheels. Soon summer became the peak movie-going season. With its five-part strategy-location, architecture, service, stage shows, and air conditioning-Balaban & Katz set the scene for a redefinition of movie-going in the USA.

With the merger with Famous Players, Sam Katz successfully transferred the Balaban & Katz system to Paramount’s national chain of theatres. Other companies quickly followed suit: Marcus Loew with MGM, and Warner Bros. with their First National chain. But none could rival the success of Adolph Zukor and Paramount. As the silent era drew to a close, it was Zukor and Paramount who had the top stars, the most world-wide distribution, and the most extensive and prestigious theatre chain-the very model of the integrated business through which Hollywood’s power was asserted.” [2]

Early Movie Stars

Mary Pickford (1892-1979)“While Chaplin was one of the greatest of the early cinema stars, he had considerable competition from a number of newcomers, many of whom, like Chaplin, hailed from vaudeville or the music hall stage. John Bunny, a rotund comic, became the screen’s first lovable fat man until his death in 1915; Francis X. Bushman and Beverly Bayne were one of the screen’s first romantic teams – married in real life, they were forced to keep their nuptials a secret to appease their fans. Alla Nazimova became the screen’s first sophisticated European leading lady in such films as Billions (1920), while Mary Pickford, whose salary demands rivaled those of Chaplin, was dubbed “America’s sweetheart” for a succession of films in which she portrayed a poor young woman adrift in an often hostile world, such as Paul Powell’s Pollyanna (1920). Pickford’s later films used oversized props and children’s clothing to continue the deception that she was still the ageless young waif of her earlier films. When sound came, Pickford failed to adapt and shortly thereafter retired from the screen.

‘Instant read’ typecasting also became popular, with a readily recognizable hero and heroine as the center of the plot, attended to or menaced by a gallery of iconic maternal and paternal figures, swarthy villains, or seductive women, better known as vamps. Theda Bara (real name Theodosia Goodman) became the screen’s first femme fatale in her groundbreaking vehicle A Fool There Was (1915), starting a craze for decadent romances that lasted throughout the 1910s and revived in a slightly less theatrical manner in the 1940s.

Buster Keaton (1895-1966), The Great StonefaceMabel Normand, a Mack Sennett protégée, was perhaps the screen’s greatest silent comedienne, and also tried her hand at directing. Outrageous comics like Ben Turpin (famous for his trademark crossed eyes); Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, an amply proportioned slapstick comedy master; and Larry Semon, an expert in pie fights and thrill chase comedies, all took their place on the screen. Along with Chaplin, the most important comics of the era were undoubtedly Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, both masters of the sight gag, but in a very different fashion.

Keaton entered the cinematic arena in 1917 and worked mostly with Fatty Arbuckle in his initial efforts. But by 1919, following Chaplin’s example, Keaton opened his own production company and created some of his finest short films, such as Cops (1922) and The Balloonatic (1923), both co-directed by the gifted Edward F. Cline. By 1924, with Sherlock Jr., he had entered feature filmmaking with a decisive impact, and he followed it up with The General (1926, co-directed with Clyde Bruckman), often acknowledged to be his finest film. Keaton’s humor derived from his lack of expression or emotion, no matter how perilous the situation in which he might find himself. Nicknamed “the Great Stoneface,” he remained seemingly impassive in the face of perpetual comic disaster and enjoyed his greatest success during the silent era. With the coming of sound, his roles diminished, and he was often teamed – much to his detriment – with the fasttalking verbal comedian Jimmy Durante.

Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926), the Great LoverHarold Lloyd had much the same career trajectory; a specialist in “thrill” comedy, Lloyd would climb buildings and seemingly risk his life in such classic shorts as Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor’s Safety Last! (1923), in which his fresh-faced persona seemed at odds with the danger his character incessantly courted on the screen. Lloyd did many of his own stunts, though he “cheated” distance and perspective in some of his most ambitious thrill comedies to heighten the effect. Born in Nebraska in 1893, he began his career working for Edison and later moved over to Mack Sennett’s Keystone Studios, but the two comic geniuses didn’t click. It was at Hal Roach’s studio that Roach and Lloyd came up with the basic character for Lloyd’s most successful screen comedies: a mild-mannered, bespectacled man, unwittingly caught in situations of dire peril.

Early film serials, such as Charles Brabin’s What Happened to Mary? (1912), Louis J. Gasnier and Donald MacKenzie’s The Perils of Pauline (1914), and Howard Hansel’s The Million Dollar Mystery (1914), introduced audiences to the self-reliant heroine, in stories that ran as long as twenty chapters or more. Each new installment played weekly, leaving the protagonist in impossible danger in a cliffhanger ending, only to find a way to safety in the next installment. In the wake of “Broncho Billy” Anderson, whose cowboy films were by his own admission fanciful romances, former Shakespearean actor William S. Hart brought a new realism to the screen, directing and appearing in such westerns as The Gun Fighter (1917). Hart’s films galvanized the public with a new vision of the West as a hostile, unforgiving terrain. In contrast to Broncho Billy’s films, many of Hart’s westerns have tragic endings.He typically portrayed women as vamps or seductresses, bent on his own character’s destruction. Using spare sets, harsh lighting, minimal makeup, and scenarios that highlighted suffering and pathos, his vision of the West is closest to films of Clint Eastwood, such as Unforgiven (1992), in their uncompromising depiction of the desolate American frontier.

The Man of a Thousand Faces: Lon Chaney (1883-1930)Other stars of the period included Pola Negri, a seductive vamp of the period who also excelled in straight dramatic roles, such as in Ernst Lubitsch’s Forbidden Paradise (1924), and Clara Bow, known as the “It” girl for her numerous portrayals of flaming youth run wild in the early 1920s (the name derived from her vivacious appearance, with plenty of sex appeal, in Clarence G. Badger’s 1927 film It). Rudolph Valentino was the personification of the Latin lover, in a series of ornate costume dramas such as Joseph Henabery’s A Sainted Devil (1924), Rex Ingram’s The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), and his signature role in George Melford’s The Sheik (1921). Rin Tin Tin became one of the first animal stars, as the “wonder dog” who could do anything – a precursor of Lassie.

Horror films boosted the great Lon Chaney Sr., better known as “the Man of a Thousand Faces,” who dominated the genre in the 1920s with such films as Wallace Worsley’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and Rupert Julian’s The Phantom of the Opera (1925). Though in his early years he also worked as a writer and director, Chaney, an expert at makeup, created all the fantastic faces for which he became known as an actor, appearing in over 150 films before his death in 1930, shortly after the release of his only talking film, Jack Conway’s The Unholy Three, a remake of his 1925 hit film (directed by Tod Browning) of the same name.” [4]

A Breathe of Scandal

“In the midst of production and prosperity, a storm was brewing. It would not fully come to a boil until 1934, the early sound era, but the 1920s saw the beginning of a phenomenon that the studios both feared and ultimately capitulated to: organized censorship. A series of scandals erupted, including the murder of director William Desmond Taylor in 1922, who left behind love letters naming the popular stars Mabel Normand and Mary Miles Minter as two of his better-known paramours.

The Fatty Arbuckle scandal makes newsAlso in 1922, Fatty Arbuckle was indicted in the death of young star Virginia Rappe; it was said that Arbuckle had raped her at a party that had turned into an orgy, although Arbuckle was eventually acquitted of the charge. Arbuckle, Minter, and Normand were all forced to leave the screen as a result of the ensuing bad publicity; pathetically, Arbuckle tried to make a comeback several years later under the name Will B. Good, but to no avail. At the same time, one of the silent era’s most popular stars, Wallace Reid, died in 1923 as a result of morphine addiction and alcoholism at the age of thirty-one, and mainstream America demanded that the motion picture industry clean house.

In late 1922, the motion picture studios chose Will H. Hays, then the postmaster general in the Harding administration, to head the newly formed Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, or the MPPDA. Soon known informally as the Hays Office, the MPPDA set about to police the private lives of the stars, inserting morality clauses in the contracts of all studio personnel that subjected them to immediate dismissal if they failed to live up to a stringent code of personal conduct. Not coincidentally, Wallace Reid’s wife, actress Dorothy Davenport Reid, became a director in 1923 with her production of Human Wreckage (in which she also starred), about the evils of narcotics – made with the approval and assistance of the Hays Office.” [4]

“The Hollywood system crested in the heady days prior to the Great Depression. Hollywood as an industrial institution had come to dominate the world of popular entertainment as no institution had before. The coming of sound simply eliminated competition from the stage and vaudeville. But change was on its way, precipitated by the Depression and by the rise of the new technologies of radio and television. Hollywood at the end of the 1920s and throughout the 1930s was faced by a series of shocks – falling audiences, the loss of some overseas markets, threats of censorship, and anti-monopoly legislation. But it adjusted and survived, thanks to the solid foundations laid by its pioneers.” [2]

Related Articles

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The Early Years (1895 – 1906) The International Expansion (1906 – 1912)
Sir Arne's Treasure (1919) Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924)
National Cinemas (1913 – 1919) The Late Silent Era (1919 – 1927)




History of film technology

A Chronology of Cinema, 1889-1896 – jstor

The History of The Discovery of Cinematography – 1895 – 1900



The 1965 Voting Rights Act and the Violence in Selma, Alabama


, , , ,


This list includes the principal files in the Johnson Library that contain material relating to the Voting Rights Act and the events in Selma, Alabama, in March, 1965. It is not definitive, however, and researchers should consult with the Library’s archivists about other potentially useful files. The guide includes those collections which have been opened for research in part or in whole, and those collections which are currently unprocessed or unavailable. The Library has also prepared lists of material available on the following related topics: Civil Rights; The 1957 Civil Rights Bill; Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP); George Wallace.

Box #
FG 135, Department of Justice
183-184, 187
FG 155-18, Community Relations Service
FG 634, Commission on Civil Rights
HU 2, Equality of the Races
HU 2/ST 1, Equality of the Races/Alabama
HU 2-7, Voting
LE/HU 2, Legislation/Equality of the Races
LE/HU 2-7, Legislation/Voting
66-67, 72
LG/Selma, Local Government/Selma
SP 2-3/1965/HU 2-7, Voting Rights Message
SP 3-102, Signing Ceremony of the Voting Rights Bill


This permanent White House office was the main filing unit during the Johnson presidency, although not the primary file for foreign policy documents. Material was filed under 60 major subject headings, several of which are pertinent to the Voting Rights Act and the Selma incident. For descriptions of the major subject headings, see the finding aid for the WHCF, Subject File.

Box #
FG 135, Department of Justice 28
FG 155-18, Community Relations Service 29
FG 634, Commission on Civil Rights 39
HU 2, Equality of the Races 56 [1 of 2]
HU 2/ST 1, Equality of the Races/Alabama 56 [2 of 2]
HU 2-7, Voting 57 [1 of 2]
LE/HU 2, Legislation/Equality of the Races 63 [2 of 2]
LE/HU 2-7, Legislation/Voting 63 [2 of 2]
SP 2-3/1965/HU 2-7, Voting Rights Message 88
[U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 1965 Report: “Voting in Mississippi” and
“Hearings before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, vol. 1, Voting, 2/16-

CONFIDENTIAL FILE (CF)Arranged in the same subject

Arranged in the same subject categories as the WHCF Subject File, this file contains material that was security classified or otherwise sensitive.The CF Name File serves as a name index to the CF Subject File. The CF has been processed, but some documents remain classified.

Ceil Bellinger Box #
“Voting Registration” 18
Horace Busby
“Voting Rights, Bill Signing, etc.” 3
“Voting Rights Message” 3
Richard Goodwin
“Civil Rights: Background Material” 20
Harry McPherson
“Civil Rights – 1965” [3 folders] 21
“Civil Rights” [1 of 5] 21
Mike Manatos
“Voting Rights” 10
Bill Moyers
“Voting Rights Message” [1 of 2] 6


Many White House aides maintained office files of their own, physically separate from the White House Central Files. The files of each aide reflect his or her responsibilities. This list is not definitive, but it does include most pertinent folder titles. Please consult the finding aids for more detailed information on White House aides and their files.

“Voting Rights Message” [2 of 2] 6
Fred Panzer
“Voting Participation & Registration” 500
Will Sparks
“Voting Rights Act” 22
Mildred Stegall
Civil Rights and Related Matters April 1964-September 1965 –
General (8 Reports)
63 A
Race Relations and Related Matters January thru April, 1965 (59
Reports) [2 folders]
71 B [1 of 2]
Race Relations and Related Matters May thru December, 1965 (98
Reports) [3 folders]
71 B [1 of 2]
Hobart Taylor
Chron. file from 1/65 – 9/65 2-3
Lee White
“Civil Rights–Poll Tax” 3
“Voting Rights 1965” 3
“Civil Rights–Alabama” 6
“Civil Rights–Mississippi” 6
“Mississippi Summer Project Voter Registration” 6
Henry Wilson
“Civil Rights” 6
“Voting Rights” 10


Status reports on the President’s legislative program and other legislation of interest.
March 17, 1965 – August 6, 1965

Box 10-13


Prepared by the Director of the Legislative Reference Office of the Bureau of the Budget, these reports cover both private and public bills and joint resolutions submitted to the President for his approval. The reports include the purpose of the act, agency recommendations, and discussions of the ramifications of the legislation. For more information see the Special Files finding aid.
PL 89-10, Voting Rights Act Box 22


At the end of the Johnson administration each agency and department prepared a history of its activities and accomplishments. Please see the finding aid for more information and tables of contents for each administrative history.
Department of Justice: Vol. 7, Civil Rights, Pt. X, Civil Rights Division Box 5-6


This file, compiled in 1968 by White House staff members, contains background documentation for significant legislative achievements and major domestic crises during the Johnson presidency.
Voting Rights Act of 1965 Box 1-2


The Diary Cards in the Reading Room provide an alphabetically arranged name index to the President’s appointments. Consult the card file for the names of individuals such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and George Wallace. Once the date of an appointment has been determined, check the “Diaries and Logs” finding aid for the number of the appropriate boxes in both the Daily Diary and the President’s

Appointment File [Diary Backup]

The Daily Diary is a log sheet of appointments and phone calls maintained by the White House secretaries.
The Diary Backup contains preparation material, press releases, and schedules for meetings and appointments, as well as some reports and notes from the meetings.


This chronologically-arranged file includes speeches and remarks made by Lyndon Johnson throughout his career, together with speech drafts, memoranda, teleprompter texts, note cards, and other supporting material. Also consult the cumulative index to the 10-volume printed work The Public Papers of the Presidents: Lyndon B. Johnson (available in the Reading Room).
Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union 1/4/65 135-136
Statement by the President on the Situation in Selma, Alabama 3/09/65 141
Selma [missing – “out to D.T., 3/19/71”] 3/15/65 141
Special Message to the Congress: The American Promise 3/15/65 141
Letter to the President of the Senate Proposing Legislation to Eliminate
Barriers to the Right to Vote
3/17/65 141
Statement by the President in Response to a Telegram From the
Governor of Alabama
3/18/65 141
The President’s News Conference at the LBJ Ranch 3/20/65 141
Statement by the President on the Eve of Senate Consideration of the
Voting Rights Bill
4/20/65 144

Statement by the President Following Passage of the Voting Rights Bill
by the House of Representatives
7/10/65 152
Remarks of the President in the Capitol Rotunda at the Signing of the
Voting Rights Act
8/06/65 156


These collections from individuals or organizations came to the Library separately from President Johnson’s papers. See the Personal Papers finding aid for more detailed information about their contents and availability.
Ramsey Clark Box
“Civil Rights Division 1965” 62
“Civil Rights Division (Briefs, etc.) 1966” 63
“Civil Rights Division 1966” 63
[Report on the Activities of the Civil Rights Division Oct. 1966] [folder 2 of 2] 74
“Democratic National Committee” 85
“Election Day – Nov. 5, 1968” 87


The Johnson Library staff has processed the recordings and transcripts of President Johnson’s telephone conversations. The collection includes over 6,000 recordings of conversations with members of Congress, other public officials, foreign leaders, members of the press, friends and family. A detailed finding aid, including descriptions of individual conversations, is available on the Johnson Library web site at


Transcripts of most oral history interviews may be downloaded as PDFs from our web site or the Scripps Digital Library site at the Miller Center of Public Affairs (Univ. of Virginia). Transcripts not found on the Internet but available for research may viewed in the Reading Room or borrowed by writing to the Interlibrary Loan Archivist, Lyndon B. Johnson Library, 2313 Red River Street, Austin, Texas, 78705. A complete list of oral histories is available in the Reading Room and on our web site.
Morris Abram AC 94-6
Warren I. Cikins AC 87-47
Ramsey Clark AC 79-34
Charles Evers AC 79-106
James Farmer AC 74-58-B
Nicholas deB. Katzenbach AC 78-24
Burke Marshall AC 74-215
Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. AC 73-24
Lawrence O’Brien AC 92-23, Interview XI
Stephen Pollak AC 84-15, 84-16
Bayard Rustin AC 74-65
Harold Barefoot Sanders AC 74-248

Richard M. Scammon AC 75-15
Strom Thurmond AC 80-64
George Wallace AC 94-14
Lee C. White AC 79-111
Roy Wilkins AC 73-27
Andrew Young AC 75-37

Historic conversations between LBJ, Gov. George Wallace:

Telephone Conversation between President Johnson and George Wallace.

March 18, 1965

Speakers: President Johnson and George Wallace

General Topics: Civil Disorders; Civil Rights; Crime & Law Enforcement; Defense; Judiciary; Presidency; Religion.

Topics: Wallace Reports On Influx Of Protesters To Alabama, Their Inflammatory Actions, Inability Of Alabama Forces To Maintain Order During Selma March; Possible Need For Federal Help; LBJ Encourages Wallace To Avoid Further Postponement, Call Up National Guard.

President Johnson assigned his copyright to the United States government; however, the copyright of the President may not extend beyond statements made by President Johnson. Statements uttered by officials of the United States government in the course of their duties are considered to be in the public domain. Users of the recordings and transcripts are cautioned, however, that not all persons recorded were government officials. A number of the people recorded were, at the time of recording, private citizens. Therefore, those intending to quote from this material beyond the accepted limits of fair use are cautioned to determine the copyright implications of any intended publication.

Speakers: President Johnson, George Wallace, Nicholas Katzenbach, and Buford Ellington.

General Topics: Civil Disorders; Civil Rights; Crime & Law Enforcement; Defense; Economics; Education; Judiciary; Presidency; Press Relations; Public Relations; Religion.

Topics: Wallace Expresses Concern About Conditions In Alabama After Selma March, Effects Of Protests On State Economy; LBJ Promises Cooperation, Recommends Wallace Call Up National Guard And LBJ Federalize It If Necessary; Possibility Of Violence.

cont. LBJ and George Wallace, 3/18/65, 4.33P. 2 of 3.

Speakers: President Johnson, George Wallace, and Nicholas Katzenbach.

General Topics: Civil Disorders; Civil Rights; Crime & Law Enforcement; Defense; Economics; Judiciary; LBJ Travel; Presidency; Press Relations; Public Relations; Religion

Topics: Katzenbach Tells Wallace That He Believes Problems In Selma Will Subside Once March Is Over; Wallace Promises To Do Whatever Is Necessary To Protect Marchers; LBJ Tells Wallace He Is Leaving For LBJ Ranch But Will Be In Constant Touch With Situation

More info on the LBJ telephone conversations:…

President Johnson assigned his copyright to the United States government; however, the copyright of the President may not extend beyond statements made by President Johnson. Statements uttered by officials of the United States government in the course of their duties are considered to be in the public domain. Users of the recordings and transcripts are cautioned, however, that not all persons recorded were government officials. A number of the people recorded were, at the time of recording, private citizens. Therefore, those intending to quote from this material beyond the accepted limits of fair use are cautioned to determine the copyright implications of any intended publication.

LBJ and George Wallace, 3/18/65, 4.33P. 3 of 3.








LBJ and George Wallace, 3/18/65, 4.33P. 1 of 3.

LBJ and George Wallace, 3/18/65, 4.33P. 2 of 3

LBJ and George Wallace, 3/18/65, 4.33P. 3 of 3

White House Subject Files on Political Affairs

The Confidential File of the Johnson White House, 1963 … – ProQuest

Reel 57
PR 8-2 Denied-PR 16 Public Opinion Polls (July 1965-December 1965)
0001 PR 8-2 Denied [alphabetical]. December 2,1963-October 17,1967. 81pp.
Major Topics: Meetings, appointments, and social engagements; diplomatic and consular service.
Principal Correspondents: Jack Valenti; W. Marvin Watson; Benjamin H. Read; Walt W.
Rostow; Gordon Chase.
0082 PR 9 Exhibits–Fairs–Expositions. February 1, 1967-February 8, 1968. 14pp.
Major Topics: Exhibitions and trade fairs; speeches and addresses; diplomatic visits and protocol;
arts and culture.
Principal Correspondents: Robert E. Kintner; Bill Moyers.
0096 PR 10 Graphics. April 28, 1964-October 23, 1968. 48pp.
Major Topics: Organizations and associations; printing and publishing; press.
Principal Correspondent: Robert E. Kintner.

0144 PR 11 Lists of Names–Mailing Lists. January 29, 1964-December 10, 1968. 53pp.
Major Topics: Meetings, appointments, and social engagements; government employees.
Principal Correspondents: Joseph A. Califano Jr.; Robert E. Kintner.
0197 PR 12 Motion Pictures–Film Strips–Recordings. January 1, 1966-July 31, 1968. 130pp.
Major Topics: Motion pictures; television; press; speeches and addresses; United States
Information Agency.
Principal Correspondents: Jack Valenti; W. Thomas Johnson; Lee Mendelson; Howard N.
Nemerovski; Robert E. Kintner; W. Marvin Watson.

DEBTS, SOURCES, NOTES – Master of the S

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Volume II ..

Selma to Montgomery March (1965)

Selma to Montgomery March – Black History –

March 7, 1965 | Civil Rights Marchers Attacked in Selma

Selma, Alabama, (Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965) | The Black Past

Guide to Material at the LBJ Library Pertaining to the 1965 Voting …

1965 Selma to Montgomery March Fast Facts

George Wallace

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Our Documents – Voting Rights Act (1965)

The Selma Conflict – Stanford University

March 21, 1965 – Wallace Rebuked by Johnson for Shirking Duty …

Conversation with GEORGE WALLACE, March 18, 1965 | Miller Center

LBJ pledges federal troops to Alabama civil-rights march – Mar 20, 1965

Guns or Butter : The Presidency of Lyndon Johnson: The Presidency of …

Department of Justice

The Voting Rights Act May Be Coming Back From the Dead – Mother ..

American Civil Liberties Union

White House Central Files

White House Central Files · List of Holdings · Discover Production

Supreme Court Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act – The New ..

How Supreme Court Decision on Voting Rights Act is Affecting State ..

A Dream Undone – The New York Times

2016: First Presidential Election Since Voting Rights Act Gutted

Supreme Court says Voting Rights Act of 1965 is no longer relevant ..

Thank Putin, Not Trump, For NATO’s New Defense Spending Boost


, , , ,

Thank Putin, Not Trump, For NATO’s New Defense Spending Boost

One president is pushing NATO to get its act together on defense spending. But that president sits in Moscow, not Washington.

On Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced non-U.S. NATO members will boost their defense spending by 4.3 percent this year as it seeks to counter Russian aggression and confront terrorist threats from the Middle East.

“To keep our nations safe, we need to keep working to increase defense spending and fairer burden-sharing across our alliance,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Wednesday. “We have really shifted gears. The trend is up, and we intend to keep it up.”

Stoltenberg announced non-U.S. NATO members will collectively increase spending on defense by 4.3 percent in 2017 — a $12 billion boost from 2016 levels. He said the money would be funneled into new military exercises and equipment to help NATO troops deploy quickly in case of emergency. Portions of the new funds would also go to troops’ salaries and pensions.

Burden sharing has long been a sore spot in U.S.-NATO relations. Washington, by far NATO’s largest defense spender, has pushed allies to pay their fair share for years. But Trump upped the ante by railing against allies for “owing” the United States backpay on spending gaps (though according to former U.S. ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder, that’s not how NATO defense spending works) and even hinting Washington wouldn’t come to the aid of allies who don’t spend enough on defense — moves that inflamed tensions with European capitals.

Currently, only five of NATO’s 29 allies meet the alliance’s commitment to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defense — the United States, United Kingdom, Poland, Estonia, and Greece. Romania is expected to reach the threshold this year, with Latvia and Lithuania following next year.

Trump has also taken credit for NATO’s defense spending boost, but top NATO and European officials insist the wake-up call came from Russian President Vladimir Putin, and not the man in the Oval Office.

In the wake of Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea, which caught Washington and its allies flat-footed, NATO members pledged to reach collectively the 2 percent threshold by 2024 through incremental spending increases. NATO defense spending grew 1.8 percent in 2015 and 3.3 percent in 2016. Many national governments hashed out these increases before Trump’s surprise presidential victory last November.

But regardless of who takes credit for what, Stoltenberg said Trump was on the right track. “I welcome the strong focus of President Trump on defense spending and burden sharing, because it is important that we deliver,” he said Wednesday.  “European allies should invest more in defense not only to please the United States, but they should invest more in defense because it is in their own interests.”

On Thursday, Stoltenberg will convene NATO defense ministers to discuss combating terrorism and burden-sharing issues in a semi-regular meeting in Brussels.

Trump’s past comments may have cast doubt on U.S. guarantees to NATO, but he isn’t shorting the alliance when it comes to money. The Trump administration committed $4.8 billion in its 2018 defense budget to expanding its military footprint and activities in Europe.

“Beyond any words in the newspapers, you can judge America by such actions,” Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Wednesday, speaking in Garmisch, Germany.

“The reason U.S. forces are in Europe is not out of charity to the Europeans,” he said. “The security of the U.S. would be directly affected if Europe came under the domination of an unfriendly power.”

Congress also wants NATO to know it has its back. On Tuesday, the House overwhelmingly voted for a resolution endorsing NATO’s mutual defense clause — something Trump failed to do in his gaffe-filled visit to Brussels last month.

“NATO is absolutely essential to our national security and global stability,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said in a statement Tuesday, in what appeared to be a signal to both nervous allies and some NATO-skeptics in the White House. “The United States must remain the world’s leading force for good, but we cannot confront the challenges of the 21st century alone.”

Trump earlier this month finally endorsed NATO’s mutual defense clause in response to a question from a journalist during a joint press conference with the Romanian President in Washington. “I’m committing the United States to Article 5,” he said.

NATO’s mutual defense clause, known as Article 5, has been the linchpin of transatlantic security since NATO’s inception in 1949. It was only ever invoked once, in support of the United States after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.








Trump Hands Putin a Win at First NATO Meeting

NATO’s New Defense Spending


Open Your Eyes, Open Your Mind and Fly by Hopsin


, ,

I was taught that education is the only way to make it
Then how’d I get so much money inside my savings?

My teachers never saw the heights that I was fuckin’ aimin’
Did the man who invented college go to college? Hm, okay then
Am I the only one that noticed humans on the same shit?
Y’all thoughts are sailin’ on the same ship
And if that’s the case, then that’s the reason that you ain’t shit

Let me enlighten you, my niggas, just let your brain drift

[Verse 1]
First of all, the best type of marketin’
Is marketin’ that doesn’t feel like marketin’
It makes the people feel like they a part of it
And when it’s done right, corporations think it’s marvelous
They feed us these ideas and then we place ’em in our hearts to sit
It’s why players are good at gettin’ chicks
It’s why Nike is good at sellin’ kicks
It’s why Disney is loved by all the kids
Why McDonald’s owners are super rich
We’re too blinded to ever see ’em pitch
See, when this happens we take our health
Wealth, lives, and just hand them off
Thinkin’ that we did this from organic thoughts

I know you seen parents trick kids
With candy, toys, and Santa Claus
The same method is used to trap adults
But instead of candy it’s with money, religion, drugs, and alcohol
Mention that shit and it’s gon’ arouse us all
I done seen niggas get into fights
Over cigarettes like a pack of dogs
They get you hooked and then they laugh at y’all

I really hate to break it to you
But your life’s being played with
You have not witnessed the world
‘Cause you’re stuck in the Matrix
Everything we have been taught was all a lie
Open your eyes, open your mind, and fly!

[Verse 2]
Man, can’t you see we’re robots
Who know not what we do and we got no shot
In the real world until we climb out of this ice-cold box
Your whole life has been part of a whole plot
To keep you at the bottom while they on top
Stay quiet, then they won’t stop

They always tryna show us what we don’t got
They do it to all of us ’til we finally break and go cop a gold watch
Knowin’ we need the cash for rent, my ass is sick

Just thinkin’ about how rich and powerful all these bastards get
They package ideas like it’s oxygen
They make us feel like if we ain’t got it
We’re fucked and we cannot fit in
This fuckin’ system is not your friend
And understand they controllin’ your thoughts
‘Cause they got a lot to win

Niggas get turned away when I mention this
Ignorance is bliss, but I don’t give a fuck,
I won’t censor shit
The Matrix is real and you done entered it
It’s way too intricate
For you to ever realize it, you fuckin’ simpleton

I really hate to break it to you
But your life’s being played with
You have not witnessed the world
‘Cause you’re stuck in the Matrix
Everything we have been taught was all a lie
Open your eyes, open your mind, and fly!

[Verse 3]
Yo, fuck Hollywood! Fuck all these reality shows!
Makin’ us feel lame unless we blowin’ stacks on new clothes
Makin’ us feel like we ain’t cool unless we have a few hoes
Makin’ us feel like we ugly unless we have a new nose
I see naturally beautiful women get Botox, fake tits
Fake lips, they so brainwashed and it doesn’t make sense

Focus on your life and the path you’re pursuin’
‘Cause y’all too busy worried about what Kim Kardashian’s doin’
Check it, most of this shit that you sheep are watchin’ on television
Is fake as fuck and is not real,
I rebel against it

It’s the Devil’s business, they just reel y’all in
If they say it, we do it, yo, I’m tryna tell y’all, man

The system created the stereotype for the Black image
That’s why my people are scared to be different
Why don’t you get it?
I’m done practicin’ these ridiculous rituals
It’s time I become a real individual and just do me

I really hate to break it to you
But your life’s being played with
You have not witnessed the world
‘Cause you’re stuck in the Matrix
Everything we have been taught was all a lie
Open your eyes, open your mind, and fly!

Use your mind, be yourself
Don’t blame nobody else but you
You and the meaning of life has no rules, no rules, no rules
Fly away! Fly away! Fly and fly away!

Life’s too short not to live it
The world is all yours, come get it
Just go and get it, it’s beautiful


It’s nice to have a rapper that puts a real perspective on life in his music…

Respect to hop to not givin a fuck about the system and speakin the truth








Hopsin – Fly Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

Fly by Hopsin | Free Listening on SoundCloud

Hopsin Sends a Powerful Message in ‘Fly’ | Hopsin | Music | BET

Between The Lines: Hopsin Breaks Down “Fly” Lyrics [New Video]


On July 12th there will be an Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality


, , , ,

The broadband industry has scored a major victory: The  Federal Communications Commission has overturned its own Obama era net neutrality protections.

In a party-line vote, the FCC formally agreed to start the process of gathering feedback before drafting a more specific plan (#bureaucracy). But FCC chair Ajit Pai, has made it clear that, barring a successful legal challenge, the agency will give up its authority to actually enforce net neutrality regulations.

The country’s largest broadband providers say you have nothing to worry about. In fact, the industry now claims to love net neutrality. But what the industry is calling “net neutrality” doesn’t really fit the full definition. It’s a version of net neutrality that doesn’t cover the loopholes internet providers have already discovered. The FCC decided to drop its own protections, you probably won’t wake up one day to find YouTube or Slack blocked. But the principles that made the internet what it is today could still erode over time.

We can all agree that inter-connectivity is part of our future, and its backbone is the internet. It is important that access to the net remains open, accessible and equitable, to ensure that it can continue to benefit humanity as a whole, and not just to the few.

Right now, in the US, the FCC is planning to dismantle Title II net neutrality protections that prevent companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from controlling what Internet users can see by throttling, blocking, and censoring sites and apps, or charging special fees that get passed along to consumers. Big Cable companies are pouring a ton of money into lobbying, misleading ads, and astro-turf campaigns in an attempt to confuse the public. If they succeed, the Internet will never be the same.

Even though this issue is occurring in America, and many of our subscribers are international, we know that a lot of the web hosting companies, social media giants, and tech powerhouses are based in the US. We also know that other countries such as the UK and Australia have contemplated other types of restrictions on the internet which will impact on the open-access nature of the web that a lot of us currently enjoy.

As such, the mod team at /r/Futurology have agreed that we will be joining an Internet-wide day of action (like the SOPA Blackout and the Internet Slowdown) on July 12th to help save net neutrality.

PLEASE click image below to sign:

  • What is net neutrality?

    Net neutrality is the basic principle that protects our free speech on the Internet. “Title II” of the Communications Act is what provides the legal foundation for net neutrality and prevents Internet Service Providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from slowing down and blocking websites, or charging apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience (which they then pass along to consumers.)

  • Why is net neutrality important?

    The Internet has thrived precisely because of net neutrality. It’s what makes it so vibrant and innovative—a place for creativity, free expression, and exchange of ideas. Without net neutrality, the Internet will become more like Cable TV, where the content you see is what your provider puts in front of you.

  • What will happen on July 12th?

    Websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. We’ll provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your followers / visitors to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we’ve shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption. Now, we have to do it again!


    On July 12, sites from across the web will display a prominent alert on their homepage that shows the world what the web will look like without net neutrality. Below are mockups of the “spinning wheel of death”, “blocked”, and “upgrade” alert modals; plan to use the one that best fits your site to encourage users to send a letter to the FCC and Congress in support of net neutrality. To use these modals, you’ll embed a bit of javascript in the header of your site. We’ll be sharing the code for them soon!

    And don’t worry, none of these will actually block, slow, or paywall your site. But, they will let your users submit a comment to the FCC and Congress without having to leave your platform. They will only show up once and users can click away.


Below is a list of notable websites, companies, and organizations who have confirmed their participation in the July 12th day of action. The list is broad, and represents a wide range of perspectives and online communities. The one thing all of them agree on: defending Title II net neutrality.

  • Fight for the Future
  • Center for Media Justice
  • Free Press Action Fund
  • Demand Progress
  • Amazon
  • Etsy
  • Kickstarter
  • Netflix
  • Twitter
  • Vimeo
  • GitHub
  • Internet Association
  • Private Internet Access
  • Reddit
  • Y Combinator
  • Mozilla
  • PornHub
  • OkCupid
  • 18 Million Rising
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  • Feel free to use these alerts, or create a unique message that makes sense for your site. For example, if you primarily host video, put the spinning wheel of death on every video with a link to so your users can submit a comment to the FCC and Congress.

    Do you run a popular mobile app? Tell your users that ISPs want new powers to control what they see and do online.



    Are you a social media user? Change your avatar to a dreaded loading sign below. And be sure to share these images on Facebook and Twitter.


    We’re just getting started with organizing this massive day of action, so sign up and we’ll get in touch soon with more information. If you have ideas or want to help, let us know. If you run a high-traffic website, startup, or small business, get in touch. We need you!

  • Battle for the Net is a project of:

  • Fight for the Future
  • Free Press Action Fund
  • Demand Progress

Regardless of your political beliefs, this issue affects all redditors. Online communities like ours wouldn’t exist without the principles of net neutrality that foster creativity and innovation on the web. We’ve worked together to defend the Internet before, now we need to do it again.

Let’s have a conversation about how we as redditors can organize together for July 12th to make sure that decision-makers in Washington, DC listen to real Internet users, not just telecom lobbyists.

Reddit itself has agreed to participate in the day of action along with popular sites like Amazon, Etsy, Kickstarter, Vimeo, GitHub, and Mozilla. Dozens of other subreddits have already jointed too. This is going to be big.

But there’s so much we can do together, from flooding the FCC and Congress with comments and phone calls to organizing in-person meetings with our lawmakers. Learn more about the day of action at and let’s discuss in the comments below!

[–]Valianttheywere 11 points 9 days ago

We need international laws recognizing public ownership of global bandwidth, and a limit of equal bandwidth share for all the same as we should for carbon credits.

[–]boytjie 5 points 7 days ago

Sign me up for whatever is decided. I’m not American so (I would imagine) impacts from the international community won’t be great.

[–]thestickystickmanpoop lol 2 points 8 days ago

I think it’s pointless. We can try and keep fighting it, but if it’s what the ISPs want, they’re going to get it eventually. They only have to win once, we have to win every time.

[–]Dichlorodifluorometh 5 points 2 days ago*

Alternatively, if we win enough, maybe people will finally stop trying to remove neutrality in the net.

[–]boytjie 1 point 1 day ago

Just venting.

We can all agree that interconnectivity is part of our future, and its backbone is the internet. It is important that access to the net remains open, accessible and equitable, to ensure that it can continue to benefit humanity as a whole, and not just to the few.

FFS this should be the default. The onus should be on the telecom lobbyists to ‘have a conversation about how they can organize to make sure that decision-makers in Washington, DC listen to telecom lobbyists’ on how they can compromise net neutrality’.

On what planet would internet users want a compromised internet? Where they must ‘demonstrate support’ for net neutrality? “Oh, unless we are shown unequivocal support, we assume you want throttling, blocking, and censoring sites and apps, and the charging of special fees that get passed along to consumers.” Duh!

Press inquiries email or call 978-852-6457.







Net neutrality in the United States

Net neutrality

Federal Communications Commission | The United States of America

President Trump may have found his new nominees for the Federal .

Obama-Era FCC Caught Red-Handed Giving Preferential Treatment ..

Why you should care about net neutrality – Wired UK

FCC sets criteria for state FirstNet networks

FCC Chairman Takes On Net Neutrality During Wisconsin Visit

What to expect now that Internet providers can collect and sell your ..

Net Neutrality Rules? People Don’t Need Them Says Senator

Restoring Internet Freedom | Federal Communications Commission

The Open Internet | Federal Communications Commission

The FCC just passed sweeping new rules to protect your online …

Net neutrality 2.0: Perspectives on FCC regulation of internet service .

Futures studies

futurology News – Futurism

The FCC wants to destroy net neutrality and give giant cable …

FCC and Net neutrality: What you really need to know – CNET

Join us on July 12th for the Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net …

Futurology: The tricky art of knowing what will happen next – BBC News

The future of futurology | The Economist

Why Net Neutrality Matters | WIRED

Net Neutrality – The New York Times

Net Neutrality – Public Knowledge

Net Neutrality | Electronic Frontier Foundation

13 things you need to know about the FCC’s Net neutrality regulation …

#futurology – Twitter Search

futurology | social science

Futurology – Reddit

Net Neutrality II

Join us on July 12th for the Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net ..

Futurology: Internet Remains Politically Divided | Data Mine | US News

Commission Impossible: How and why the FCC created net neutrality …

On Futurology and the End of the World | The American Conservative

Net Neutrality – Futuristech.Info | Your Daily Dose of Futurology and …

35 – futurology

Look Inside the Extremely Rare Codex Seraphinianus, the Weirdest Encyclopedia Ever


, ,









Codex Seraphinianus

Codex Seraphinianus: Luigi Serafini


Look Inside

The Believer – The Codex Seraphinianus

Luigi Serafini On How and Why He Created an Encyclopedia of an …

Codex Seraphinianus – Cette adresse comporte cinquante signes

Seraphinianus – YouTube


The Indecipherable Rohonc Codex


, ,

– Image: With this scan, you can clearly make out that this drawing is depicting some kind of curious clockwork device, though – as cipher mysteries connoisseurs would perhaps expect – it’s still as clear as mud what is going on with it.

The discovery of an unidentified text in Hungary, among many other languages, has led to more than 200 years of attempts to determine who authored it and to decipher its contents. Many scholars have studied the text, known as the Rohonc Codex in an effort to understand its meaning and to determine who wrote it and when it was drafted. However, these efforts have been futile to date, as the meaning and origin of the text still remain a mystery.

The Rohonc Codex was discovered in Hungary in the 1800s. It is believed to have been part of the personal library of Count Gusztáv Batthyány, before he donated his entire personal library to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. When the Codex surfaced, it initially appeared to be from medieval times. However, the text, which appears to resemble Old Hungarian script, was completely indecipherable. The mysterious text led many to wonder what the writings meant, who wrote it, and what purpose it served. Many of these questions remain to be answered, as the author has not been identified, and the text has yet to be translated.

Page 41 of the Rohonc Codex

Page 41 of the Rohonc Codex. Public Domain

In total, the Rohonc Codex contains 448 pages of indecipherable text, which is similar to Old Hungarian script, as they are both written with a right-to-left orientation, and have similar combinations of straight and rounded characters. Scholars have asserted that in reality, the writing could be anything from Hindi to Old Hungarian, although it lacks features from each of those written languages. The number of different symbols used is considered to be extremely high, with ten times more symbols than are found in any known alphabet.

The paper within the Codex has the unique characteristic of being watermarked. Each page contains the watermark, which has the appearance of an anchor, which is within a circle, which is within a six-rayed star. The watermark itself appears to date to 1529-1540 AD, although the actual Codex appears to have been written much earlier than that. This discrepancy makes it difficult to determine exactly when the text was written, although it is possible that the book was transcribed after its initial creation.

The Codex contains more than just written text – it is also accompanied by 87 illustrations depicting military battles, landscapes, and religious icons, which are said to hint at several different religions, including Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. Some have interpreted this to show that whichever culture was responsible for creating the text was one within which the three religions co-existed.

Illustration in the Rohonc Codex

Illustration in the Rohonc Codex. Public Domain

Attempts at translating the Codex have led to several theories. There is much variation in these theories, as scholars have not even been able to agree on the orientation of the text. Researcher Marius-Adrian Oancea has hypothesized that the text is the Old Hungarian alphabet (known as székely rovásírás or székely-magyar rovás), and that the contents revolve around topics from the New Testament.  This is called the Old Hungarian Alphabet hypothesis.

Page 51, text and illustration from the Rohonc Codex

Page 51, text and illustration from the Rohonc Codex. Public Domain

Mahesh Kumar Singh believes that the text is actually a variation of Brahmi script, from India, and that it should be read left to right, top to bottom. This is known as the Brahmi-Hindi hypothesis. Singh claimed to have transliterated the first 24 pages into Hindi, and then subsequently had those 24 pages translated from Hindi to Hungarian. According to this translation, the Codex begins as an apocryphal gospel, followed by a meditative prologue, and then leads into stories of Jesus during his infancy. A portion of Singh’s translation includes:

he bhagwan log bahoot garib yahan bimar aur bhookhe hai / inko itni sakti aur himmat do taki ye apne karmo ko pura kar sake

Which translated into English, reads:

Oh, my God! Here the people is very poor, ill and starving, therefore give them sufficient potency and power that they may satisfy their needs.

However, Singh’s translation was quickly criticized as lacking consistency, and most consider his translation to be a hoax.

Viorica Enăchiuc has attempted a translation as well, leading to the conclusion that the script is intended to be read right to left, bottom to top, and that it is written in the Vulgar Latin dialect of Dacia. This is called the Daco-Romanian hypothesis. This translation concludes that the text originated in the 11th or 12th century, and that it belongs to the Blaki people, who fought against the Hungarians and Pechenegs. Some of his translations include:

Deteti lis vivit neglivlu iti iti itia niteren titius suonares imi urast ucen

Which translated into English, reads:

In great numbers, in the fierce battle, without fear go, go as a hero. Break ahead with great noise, to sweep away and defeat the Hungarian!

Enăchiuc is also criticized as lacking consistency, and as a linguist and historian, her work is denounced for not being “scientific.”

Finally, Attila Nyíri, of Hungary has proposed that the pages, when turned upside down, are a Sumerian ligature. This is known as the Sumero-Hungarian hypothesis. His translation includes:

Eljött az Istened. Száll az Úr. Ó. Vannak a szent angyalok. Azok. Ó.

Which translated into English, reads:

Your God has come. The Lord flies. Oh. There are the holy angels. Them. Oh.

Like the others, Nyíri’s translation was criticized for lack of consistency. It is said that he took too many liberties with rearranging symbols, which in essence could lead to an infinite number of translations.

Part of Attila Nyiri's attempt to decipher the Rohonc Codex

Part of Attila Nyíri’s attempt to decipher the Rohonc Codex. The image shows the top of folio 19 of the codex, upside down, with transliteration and Hungarian text. Public Domain

Methodical and computer-based attempts at translation have been conducted as well. However, none of these attempts have been successful in actually translating the text of the Codex. Some researchers, like Levente Zoltán Király, have come to widely accepted conclusions about the structure of the book, and the references it contains to the life of Jesus. While this has not led to a definitive conclusion as to the origins or meaning of the Codex, it has helped to debunk any theories that the book itself is a hoax.

It is possible that with further study, the Rohonc Codex will be more fully understood. For now, it remains a textual clue to some of the mysteries of humankind’s ancient past.








Rohonc Codex

Rohonc Manuscript PDF

Semanto-phonetic writing systems

Post from the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures

Nice Rohonc Codex summary…

Delia Huegel and the Rohonc Codex

Marius-Adrian Oancea and the Rohonc Codex

Benedek Lang’s Rohonc article in Cryptologia…

Klaus Schmeh’s Krypto Kolumne

Ancient Origins

Images for The Rohonc Codex

The Book of Soyga and The Rohonc Codex

Historic Mysteries

Koine Greek

Soyga and The Rohonc Codex – YouTube

Historical Blindness “Blind Spot” minisode …

The unsolvable hungarian mystery

Tomb of Phoenician king Ahiram

The Tomb of Duke Jing of Qi and his 600 Horses

Nimrud lens or Layard lens is a 3000-year old piece of rock …

New Scientist

John Dean helped bring down Richard Nixon. Now he thinks Donald Trump is even worse


, , , ,

– John Dean, the Nixon White House counsel and Watergate-whistler-blower-turned-Trump-critic, suspects a cover-up involving Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign.

John Dean is a connoisseur of cover-ups, a savant of scandal, so he can more than imagine what it’s like inside the Trump White House right now.

“It’s a nightmare,” he said, presiding in a high-backed leather wing chair off the lobby of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Not just for those in the headlines — political strategist Steve Bannon, jack-of-many-duties Jared Kushner — but for their unsung assistants and secretaries as well.

“They don’t know what their jeopardy is. They don’t know what they’re looking at. They don’t know if they’re a part of a conspiracy that might unfold. They don’t know whether to hire lawyers or not, how they’re going to pay for them if they do,” Dean said in a crisp law-counsel cadence. “It’s an unpleasant place.”

Dean was a central figure in Watergate, the 1970s political scandal against which all others are measured, serving at the tender age of 32 as President Nixon’s White House attorney. In that capacity Dean worked to thwart investigators after the clumsy break-in at Democratic Party headquarters, then flipped and helped sink Nixon by revealing the president’s involvement in the cover-up (see ‘The Alabama Project).

It is the one thing, Dean said resignedly, for which he will be forever recalled. “I can thank you and your profession,” he said. “I was placed in a pigeonhole, and once you people put somebody in a pigeonhole, you live there. You never get out.”

Nixon, fighting vainly to stay in office, famously said a year was long enough to wallow in Watergate. For Dean, it’s been more than four decades.

As part of a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and served four months in a federal safe house. He was barred from practicing law in Virginia and the District of Columbia, moved to his wife’s home state of California and made his livelihood as an investment banker and regular on the lecture circuit. He has also written a shelf-load of books, including several on Watergate.

The memory that persists though, is the owlish whiz-kid lawyer, with horn-rimmed glasses and his pretty blond wife perched stoically behind him, laying out Nixon’s treachery in a dull monotone before the Senate Watergate Committee.

At age 78, he is fleshier and far more affable, with rimless glasses sliding down his nose and receding white hair combed straight back. He arrived this week in the cream-colored hotel lobby, not far from his Beverly Hills home, camera-ready in a blue blazer, striped dress shirt and red tie.

John Dean is having a moment, again.

Everyone — the BBC, Der Spiegel, the New York Times, MSNBC and on — wants to know what he thinks of Trump, of Russian alleged interference in the 2016 campaign, about the cascade of investigations that threaten to bury Trump’s presidency. He hasn’t been in this great a demand since his call for President  George W. Bush impeachment — for condoning torture, among other perceived abuses of power — and, before that, as a ringside commentator during the Clinton-era Monica Lewinsky scandal.

First, Nixon vs. Trump.

“Nixon was much better prepared for the job than Trump,” Dean said, citing the former president’s service in the House, the Senate and then eight years as vice president.

Trump “just doesn’t know anything about the job, and it shows,” Dean said as a gas-fed fire flickered nearby. (It was a touch that Nixon, who famously kept a blaze going even during Washington’s blistering summers, might have appreciated.)

Both men have authoritarian personas, Dean went on, though Trump is far more narcissistic and easier to read: “We wouldn’t know Nixon as well as we do but for his taping system, where his guard is down. He reveals who he is. Trump is the same in public as he is in private.”

Dean was careful to say he has no inside information on the Trump administration, no Deep Throat, the famous Watergate leaker, funneling him tales of intrigue from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. But, he said, he knows the odor of malfeasance, even from 3,000 miles away.

“I’ve been inside a cover-up. I know why we could make certain things go away and other things not go away. And that’s because some things, you just couldn’t make them disappear,” he said. He might have been roughing out a verbal draft of “Scandal Containment for Dummies.”

“I feel that’s true with the Trump people. If they could make this go away, they would. I mean, they’re not stupid. They would hire good P.R. people who would say: ‘This is how you deal with this. You make mistakes, you go out and you explain them, and people are very forgiving.’”

Dean was raised in a Republican family, and acquired his political coloration thus, but he no longer belongs to the party, calling himself an independent. “My political beliefs have not changed very much in the last 45 years,” Dean said, describing himself as a fiscal moderate and social liberal. But “just by staying in one place, today I’m way left of center.”

He hasn’t voted for the GOP candidate for president since George H.W. Bush ran against Michael Dukakis in 1988, backing President Obama and, last year, Hillary Clinton. So his observations on Trump and his cohorts and their alleged wrongdoing may be judged accordingly.

Dean firmly believes the truth about any misdeeds, if they took place, will come out much sooner than the many years it took for the full nature of the Watergate scandal to be revealed.

Unlike Nixon, “Trump is surprisingly candid about himself,” Dean said. The president’s admission that he fired FBI Director James B. Comey to relieve the pressure of his investigation into Russia and the alleged 2016 election was, to Dean’s mind, “basically confessing obstruction of justice.”

Another appointment was looming.

His role as the Watergate whisperer and a leading expert on White House scandal was not something he sought out, Dean said, but given no choice he’s embraced it. He mused about the vagaries.

As a teenager, “I remember marching by the White House at the Eisenhower inauguration and seeing this kind of gray figure beside Eisenhower who was all smiles, his vice president, and never would it ever to occur to me that man would become president and I would help ease him out of his job,” Dean said. He smiled faintly at the memory of that distant encounter with Nixon. “You just don’t know where life is going to turn.”

With that, he slipped out a back door and headed off to his next TV appearance.







John Dean

Watergate scandal

The firing of FBI Director James Comey

Why Donald Tump Is Giving John Dean Nightmares – The Atlantic

PressReader – Los Angeles Times

Q&A: John Dean, Former White House Counsel to Nixon – NYMag

John Dean on Trump/Comey …

The Alabama Project: Nixon’s Assassination Team | Lisa’s leaks …

John Dean Tells Samantha Bee Trump Is Worse Than Nixon |

Nixon’s Lawyer John Dean: Trump White House in ‘Cover-Up Mode .

Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America: Rick .

Nixon’s Secrets: The Rise, Fall, and Untold Truth about the .

Dean Alleges Nixon Knew of Cover-up Plan

“The Nixon Defense” by John Dean: Review | New Republic

George W Bush’s ethics lawyer calls for Donald Trump’s

The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for …

It’s true: Donald Trump once supported impeaching George W. Bush..

Impeachment of George W. Bush | The Nation

Why wasn’t President George W. Bush impeached? Ask USA TODAY

A Watergate Who’s Who: Where Are They Now? – ABC News

John Dean: Why Nixon Risked His Presidency |

Safire’s Political Dictionary – Page 307

Public Affairs: Politics

Informing Congress: The Role of the Executive Branch

nixon impeachment for dummies brewgeschtoto.pdf

Watergate – Cancer on the Presidency | Wyzant Resources

The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan