Wednesday, July 9, 2008




Annenbergs Legacy who Run the US Constitution Center

Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach

The Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach at the National Constitution Center (NCC) was created in 2000 by Ambassador and Mrs. Walter H. Annenberg. Its goal is to provide people throughout the country – and the world – access to the programs of the NCC. These programs help people of all ages better understand the Constitution and its principles and to improve their citizenship skills.

Current programs of the Annenberg Education Center are:

  • The NCC Web site
  • Civic Research – see Civic Research Results for latest studies
  • Educational Resources
    • Lesson Plans
    • School Visits
    • Teaching Aids
    • Education Events
    • I Signed the Constitution
  • Joseph and Marie Field Resource Center
  • Radio and TV broadcasts from the F. M. Kirby Auditorium and Theater – see Calendar of Events for upcoming programs
  • Visiting Scholar Program

Please also visit the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, created in 1994 by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.


Annenberg Foundation Founder - Walter H Annenberg

The Honorable Walter H. Annenberg

"I believe in social responsibility. A man's service to others must be at least in ratio to the character of his own success in life. When one is fortunate enough to gain a measure of material well being, however small, service to others should be uppermost in his mind." - Walter H. Annenberg (1951)

Walter H. Annenberg was born in 1908 and enjoyed a distinguished career as a publisher, broadcaster, diplomat, and philanthropist.He graduated from The Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey and attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He entered the family publishing business in Philadelphia where he became the President of Triangle Publications in 1940 and, subsequently, Chairman of the Board. While serving as Editor and Publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Mr. Annenberg saw the need for a publication for teenage girls and, in 1944, established Seventeen Magazine. In 1953, as a result of his belief that television's growth would create a demand for more information on the part of viewers, he established TV Guide as a national publication. Under Mr. Annenberg's leadership, Triangle Publications bought a radio station in the early 1940's in Philadelphia and built a VHF television station which was one of the first TV stations owned by a publishing house. The radio-TV division of Triangle grew to include six AM and six FM radio stations, and six TV stations. The Philadelphia station pioneered a number of broadcasting concepts among which was Mr. Annenberg's decision to use television to present a series of educational programs that ran for more than a decade. In 1951, Mr. Annenberg became an early awardee of the prestigious Alfred I. DuPont Award for pioneering education via television. He was also given the Marshall Field Award in 1958. In 1983, he received the Ralph Lowell Medal for his "outstanding contribution to public television."A man with a deep interest in education, Mr. Annenberg founded The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 1958 and The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California in 1971. In 1983, he established the Washington Program in Communications Policy Studies in response to growing awareness that difficult government and industry problems were emerging in the rapidly changing telecommunications field.He served as Ambassador to the Court of St. James's, Great Britain, from 1969 to 1974. By the late 1980's, having sold all of his publishing and broadcast enterprises, Ambassador Annenberg devoted his attention to philanthropy and public service.

Paper Trail -Take away the name and the philanthropy and the Annenberg family history reads just like any other mob story. by Brendan McGarvey

Family ties: Moses Annenberg (left) and his son,    Walter, meet outside federal court in 1939.
Family ties: Moses Annenberg (left) and his son, Walter, meet outside federal court in 1939.

Walter Annenberg is dead. Long live Walter Annenberg’s billions. One of the richest men in the United States, Walter Annenberg was a generous philanthropist who gave millions to universities, art museums, charities and PBS. He was a friend to kings and presidents. Annenberg was the U.S. Ambassador to the Court of Saint James, London, for Richard Nixon. A media magnate who once owned local institutions like the Philadelphia Inquirer, TV Guide, the Daily News and Channel 6, Annenberg split his time between his estate in Wynnewood and a second one in Palm Springs, Calif. And, oh yeah, Walter Annenberg was indicted in one of the largest tax evasion cases in the history of the United States. Annenberg was indicted with his father, Moses Annenberg, and two other business associates in 1939. They were charged with evading more than $2 million in taxes and another $3 million in penalties and interest.On Aug. 18, 1939, Walter Annenberg, his father and two other business associates surrendered to the U.S. Marshal. They posted bond, and were released to await trial.Later that same month, Moses Annenberg, Philadelphia nightclub owner Jack Lynch and two others were indicted for conspiring to bribe a Philadelphia detective. Lynch allegedly wanted to influence the detective if and when he was called before a grand jury investigating four corporations owned by Moses Annenberg. In April 1940, Moses Annenberg agreed to plead guilty to one count -- "willfully" evading $1,217,296 -- and to pay almost $9 million in fines and penalties. In exchange for his plea the government agreed to drop all charges against his son, Walter Annenberg. Moses was sentenced to three years in prison. He was sent to Lewisburg federal pen, but released early because of poor health, and he died a month later. Walter parlayed the family fortune into billions and spent the rest of his life making people forget how Moses Annenberg had acquired this great American fortune in the first place. The story of Walter Annenberg's father is a tale of a hardworking immigrant and financial genius who got his start working alongside violent Chicago gangsters while employed by newspaper titan William Randolph Hearst at the turn of the last century. It was a time when "circulation wars" literally meant gunmen and sluggers beating and killing rival news dealers to gain a monopoly for their newspaper. Both Moses and his older brother, Max Annenberg, were involved in the brutal Chicago newspaper wars in the first decade of the 20th century in which 14 news dealers were murdered. Max and Moses Annenberg were hired by William Randolph Hearst as circulation managers for his newspapers. Their job was to hire and dispatch gangs of plug-uglies to intimidate anyone selling The Chicago Tribune. One member of the Annenberg crew was the exceptionally notorious and bloodthirsty Dion O'Banion. O'Banion captained his own gang of neighborhood toughs. A decade after working for the Annenbergs, O'Banion headed his own mob, but was rubbed out by gangland rival Al Capone in 1925. Bleeding -- literally -- people and money, the owner of the Tribune, Bertie McCormick, decided to hire Moses Annenberg away from Hearst. For a while, the Annenberg brothers were sending out thugs to battle each other. Fifteen years later, Max Annenberg was alleged to be an associate and friend of Chicago crime boss Al Capone. In 1938, the Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, traveled from Washington D.C. to give a speech in Philadelphia condemning Moses Annenberg, who, at that time, was backing the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania. Ickes charged it was Annenberg's violent tactics during the Chicago newspaper wars that inspired gangsters like Al Capone. Ickes said that "the hiring of Moses Annenberg by Hearst was the beginning of the subsequent flood of lawlessness that almost engulfed law enforcement in the United States."

But Moses Annenberg didn't just rely on gangsters to improve newspaper circulation. He also came up with the idea of giving away free silver teaspoons to each new subscriber and made so much money he branched out on his own, buying newspapers in Milwaukee and New York. [Philadelphia Inquirer..Daily News] But it was Moses Annenberg's involvement in the shady world of illegal gambling that put him in touch, and in business, with mobsters all across the nation. In 1924, Annenberg got involved with a racing news service in Chicago and Milwaukee. The service provided horse race information to gambling parlors -- also known in those days as "pool rooms." With that information, bookies could set odds and collect from gamblers or pay out winnings. It was called the General News Bureau and it was owned by Chicago's largest gambler/bookie, Mont Tennes. Tennes agreed to sell out to Annenberg after his house was firebombed.

Annenberg took on a partner named Jack Lynch. But Lynch sued Moses, alleging that more than a million dollars had vanished from their business. Annenberg's lawyers argued that "the General News Bureau is aiding and abetting an illegal enterprise," and the Illinois Supreme Court agreed, ruling that it was an illegal business; therefore, the dispute between Lynch and Annenberg was outside the scope of the law.Lynch turned to Al Capone's number-one guy, Frank Nitti, to back him against Annenberg. Moses reputedly enlisted the trigger-happy organizer for the Chicago Motion Picture Operators' Union, Ralph O'Hara, to watch his back. But when O'Hara's boss was murdered gangland-style, the Chicago mafia took control of the union. Before the disagreement between Lynch and Annenberg was settled, George Downs, an Annenberg lieutenant operating in Miami, Fla., was found shot to death, execution-style, in the Everglades. At the time Downs was killed, Moses Annenberg was running newspapers in Florida, the Midwest, New York and Philadelphia. Critics charged Annenberg was using his newspapers to back local politicians who would close down rival bookmaking services and allow his illegal racing wire to operate without competition. Within a few years Annenberg had a nationwide monopoly. Annenberg's Nationwide News Service and subsidiaries were servicing bookies in 223 cities, 39 states and three Canadian provinces. Gamblers, bookies and underworld syndicates were Annenberg's customers. Ironically, there were reports that those who didn't take the Annenberg race wire service were themselves the victims of beatings, fire bombings and, on occasion, murder. The crime syndicates had come to be dependent on Moses Annenberg. Without his service they couldn't operate their illegal gambling rackets. Moses Annenberg made millions and millions of dollars until the federal government indicted him for not paying taxes on his illegal businesses. This underworld money was the source of the great Annenberg fortune and helped to finance Walter Annenberg's own generous philanthropy.

The origins of the Mob and the Atlantic City Conference –

[The Formation of the Syndicate/Mafia..Right Hand Man of Capone Moe Annenberg!]

By John William Tuohy

In 1927 Atlantic City, New Jersey, was New York's playground, the sands were bleach white and great hotels lined the seemingly endless Boardwalk. The perfect place for the first major Mob conclave in American history. The newly married Meyer Lansky was there. It wasn't where he had planned to spend his honeymoon, but his boss and sometime partner Lucky Luciano needed him at the meeting, so ever the loyal corporate man, he was there. Since Meyer and several other members of the party were Jewish, Nucky Johnson, the crime boss of Atlantic City, had reserved rooms for the group in Anglo sounding names, at the exclusive Breakers Hotel, which restricted Jews. That part of the plan worked well, but when a cigar-chopping Al Capone, clad in a purple jacket and white pants and surrounded by a small army of thugs, trumped into the lobby, they were promptly barred from the place. The convoy of limousines drove away from the front of the Breakers to the less constricted, President Hotel. Nucky Johnson, wearing his ever-present red carnation in his lapel, joined the cavalcade. Capone, who virtually ran Chicago and couldn't understand being barred from anything or anyplace, spotted Johnson and brought the parade to a halt in the middle of the street. Luciano said, "Nucky and Al had it out right there in the open. Johnson was about a foot taller then Capone and both of them had voices like foghorns. I think you could have heard them in Philadelphia, and there wasn't a decent word passed between them. "Johnson had a rep for four letter words that wasn't even invented and Capone is screamin' at me that I made bad arrangements. So Nucky picks up Al under one arm and throws him into his car and yells out, 'All you fuckers follow me.' "They all wound up at the Ritz Hotel, right behind Johnson's own mansion. Capone stormed into the lobby and started ripping pictures off the wall and throwing the mat at Johnson. And that is how our convention got started." For the first few days of the meeting, there were a round of parties, good food, the best hookers and liquor available. Each morning the delegates would breakfast in their suites, and then drive along the Boardwalk in canopied promenade roller chairs for two pushed by a strapping Black attendant, which prompted Luciano to say, "How the hell could we talk about anything with those niggers breathing down our necks?" At the end of the Boardwalk, near the suburb of Chelsa, they stepped out of their chairs, rolled up their pants to their knees and waded into the ocean to discuss business. It was here, according to Luciano, that all of the big decisions were made. Formal meetings were held in a large conference room, a crystal chandelier dangling above the rich mahogany table, all of it gleaming from the recent polishing. Sitting around the table was Owney Madden, Frank Costello, Buchalter, Joe Adonis, Frank Erickson and Dutch Schultz. The boys would later meet and agree to the hit on Schultz. From Brooklyn there was Albert Anastasia, Vincent Mangano and Frank Scalise. With Capone was his business manager, Jake Guzak, bodyguard Frankie Rio, underboss Frank Nitti, and a young thug bodyguard named Tony Accardo. During a break in the meeting, Meyer Lansky watched as Accardo returned from the Boardwalk and showed off a tattoo of an eagle that expanded its wings when he closed his fist. He proudly showed it to Capone who remarked, "Kid, you're gonna regret get'n that thing for the rest of your life."

Capone also brought along a heavy set, very tall and distinguished-looking man named Moses Annenberg. Annenberg wasn't a thug, not exactly. He began his career as a lowly circulation booster for the Chicago Tribune and eventually became the paper circulation manager. In 1904, he left the Tribune for William Randolph Hearst's operation, The Examiner, where he headed a small army of goons that included Dion O'Bannion, Bugs Moran, Frankie McErlane, Hymie Weiss, James Ragen, Walter Stevens, Tommy Maloy and Mossy Enright. Their job was to beat up anyone who sold the opposing side's newspapers and the group committed several murders during the bloody circulation wars of 1910-1911. In 1922, Annenberg borrowed money from mob boss Johnny Torrio to buy the Daily Racing Form, and with profits from that, he purchased other publications, including his own newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer. But, Annenberg's main income was from the Nationwide News Service, which provided the results of racetracks across the country, the perfect mechanism for organized crime to control the results of every racetrack in America.

Capone took the floor at the meeting and introduced Annenberg, and pointed out that millions could be made by subscribing to his news service, Nationwide, and turn it into a horse racing announcement service, thereby allowing the mob to control every gambling outlet in America. The bosses listened, they liked what they heard and within a year, Nationwide became the biggest gambler's outlet in the history of the world. Capone, only 29 at the time, had another suggestion too. He wanted the various mobs to pool some of their money and jointly support a national discipline squad, a hit squad, who would enforce the syndicate's will. At the time, the bosses shrugged it off, but ten years later, the New York families did get together and financed just the type of thing Capone had been talking about, Murder Incorporated. Meyer Lansky, the smartest man in the room, liked Capone, for if nothing else, Capone could be likable, charming even. But Meyer's boss Luciano, had a low opinion of Capone. Lucky, always on the lookout for the angle in every sentence, figured Capone was a braggart and a loud mouth who spent too much time trying to position himself within the national syndicate. On the other hand, Capone thought Luciano was an insane killer who was too eager to send a man to his grave during one of his all to frequent temper tantrums. Lansky's sharp eyes roamed the rest of the massive and regal room,straining to match the names with the faces he was now forgetting. There, sitting just right of Capone and the Chicago boys, was Charlie "King" Solomon, from Boston. Then came Max Hoff, Waxey Gordon, the narcotics king who would one day become his own best customer. Next to Gordon sat Harry Stromberg, "Nig Rosen," Sam Lazar, Charlie Schwartz from Philadelphia. At the end of the table, seemingly out of place was young Moe Dalitz. It was his first time out of Cleveland, and the first time he had ever seen the ocean. Next to Dalitz sat Lou Rothkopf and Leo Berkowitz and Abe Bernstein, the leader of the Purple gang out of Detroit. To his right, sat Johnny Lazia, who had come as a representative of Tom Pendergast and his political-criminal organization. The national syndicate would later use the Pendergast contact to work its way into Harry Truman's White House. Lansky's eyes caught a familiar face, Longy Zwillman out of New Jersey. Zwillman was an interesting man. He moved into New Jersey and opened the syndicate's gambling and vice rackets and it was Zwillman who directed the hit on Dutch Schultz on October 23, 1935, after the Dutchman demanded that the syndicate kill New York's District Attorney, Tom Dewey. After the Dutchman was killed, Zwillman reigned supreme over the Jersey rackets. He was one of the first hoods to discover Hollywood, and he was said to have financed Jean Harlow's initial trip to Hollywood. Harlow fell deeply in love with the rugged and personable Zwillman, and he with her. He probably would have married her had she not succumbed to such an untimely death. Over the next two decades that followed the Atlantic City Conference, Zwillman pounded every cent out of the rackets that he could find, hoping to retire early to the life of country gentleman. When he earned his fortune, Longy had decided not to live in two worlds. He quit the mob and lived off the millions he had plowed into legitimate enterprises, married a socialite and moved into a thirty room, $200,000 house in West Orange, New Jersey. It was a completely different life. His wife was a member of the Junior League, the daughter of wealth and with her help, Zwillman spread word around the country club that he had earned his fortune as a self-made man who struck it rich in steel investments, and in fact, his name was on a list of stockholders of the Pittsburgh steel plant. He even donated 250,000 to a slum clearance project. However, his Mister Clean image fell apart after he appeared before the McClellan committee, which pasted his name on the headlines for weeks. The Outfit bosses figured that Zwillman would get hit with an IRS audit. In fact, most newspapers later wrote that it was the pending IRS audit, and the exposure of his alternate life as a hood that led Zwillman to suicide on February 27, 1959. Supposedly, he hung himself with a plastic cord in the basement of his mansion, just before dawn. The FBI didn't buy the suicide story, largely because they had information that Meyer Lansky had advocated killing Zwillman, he said, to ensure his silence. Sitting next to Zwillman at the conference was the always smiling Willie Moretti, then Danny Walsh and Frank Zagarino were there, along with Johnny Torrio. Lansky remembered the old days, back before prohibition, when Luciano was a gofer in Torrio's outfit before Johnny moved out to Chicago to work under his uncle, Big Jim Colosimo. That was in 1907. Twelve years later, Al Capone went west to the Windy City too, but he went to blow Colosimo's brains out of the back of his head with a .32. "I hate this hellish business of ours," Lansky was fond of saying. Now, in 1928, Torrio was living in New York and working with Frank Costello. Capone had muscled him out. It was Torrio who had had planned the meeting, so he was the first one to take the floor. "The reason we called this meeting," Torrio said, "is that we have to get organized. Everybody's working on his own, we got independent guys muscling in, and that's got to stop. What we need is a combination around the country, where everybody in charge of his city is the boss, but we all work with each other." Then he introduced Frank Costello, the Boss in Manhattan under Luciano. Frank stood and made a short speech which was pointed at Capone. "The reason we got to get organized is that we put ourselves on a business basis. We got to stop this sort of thing that's going on in Chicago right now. You guys are shooting at each other in the streets and innocent people are getting killed and they're going to start to squawk. And if they start squawking loud enough, the feds get off their tails and start cracking down, and you know what that means. We got a thing where millions of dollars can be made just getting people what they want. "When I was on trial three years ago on that whisky deal, all the people were behind me and I was able to stay in business. But if you make people afraid of you, they're going to turn the other way and start yelling at the government to clean us up. That means the internal revenue boys, the FBI, the Narco's and every DA in the country and that ain't worth it. "From now on, nobody gets killed without the commission saying so. Johnny and I have a little piece of paper we want to show you. We're going to have a national commission with every family represented, twenty-four by our count. No boss will be attacked unless the commission says he has to go… And no button man gets hit without a hearing from his own boss." It made sense. Costello always made sense. There were nods of approval. Then, Capone took the floor and called for dividing up of the gambling, labor rackets, extortion and drugs businesses between the various gangs and asked the bosses to consider forming a nationally controlled hit squad. He also wanted to form an alliance that would swap prostitutes across state lines and called for more open communications between the New York and Chicago mobs. He also declared that in the future any major dispute would be settled by a conference of the national syndicate leaders, and called for an expansion of the narcotics business, which he suggested would be run out of Cuba, where labor was cheap and the laws were lax. The bosses agreed to all of Capone's plans. Moe Dalitz took the floor and told the bosses that there should be an end to the cutthroat underbidding on liquor from Canada and Europe. If that happened, he said, prices would drop and they would all make more money. Again, the bosses agreed. He was a smart kid, this Dalitz kid. They talked about what to do when prohibition ended, about whichlegitimate business they would take over, and most decided that they would stick with the business they already knew, booze. They would open distilleries and breweries. But Lansky saw the future in gambling. He talked about a worldwide venture that would operate casinos in areas that would permit them, like Las Vegas, Cuba, Central America and the Bahamas. Maybe Asia. The Bosses smiled politely. He was a smart kid, this Lansky, but, they thought to themselves, he was a dreamer.

Look What they Did with the “NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND PROGRAM”

Left Philadelphia with a $200 Million Debt!!!

The Vallas extension - The Philadelphia PA School Reform Commission has voted wisely to extend the contract of Paul Vallas as chief executive officer of the School District of Philadelphia. Ask any of the school superintendents nationally who have presided over district wide improvement programs during the past 15 years, and they will confirm that academic reform doesn't happen overnight. Under Vallas' leadership during the past four years, however, the Philadelphia School District has acquired a hard-won reputation as a system headed in the right direction. Let's all join the members of the School Reform Commission now in helping Vallas to build on the district's gains.

Gail C. Levin Executive director - Annenberg Foundation Radnor PA

It is so great to hear the Annenbergs speak about to good of the welfare of the Philadelphia Community. They are the proud sponsors of the "No Child Left

Thank their Puppet – Mark Schweiker for this Mess. Now Doing the Same at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

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