A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 25, 2006
Unbought and Unbossed
"Unbought and Unbossed" was the title of the late Shirley Chisholm's autobiography. Chisholm was the first black woman to become a member of Congress.

However, former Mayor Victor Impelliteri popularized "unbought and unbossed" in 1950. Citations have also been found from the presidential campaign of Warren Harding (1920) and the New York City mayoral campaign of Fiorello LaGuardia (1933)

14 June 1920, New York Times, pg. 4:
Unbought, unbullied and unbossed. Such, as the event proved, was the character of the Republican National Convention of 1920.

5 November 1933, New York Times, pg. 2:
The audience became impatient and as the crowds in the balcony started clapping Mr. Boehm stepped before the microphone and introduced the first speaker, Moses H. Grossman, the Recovery party candidate for Justice of the Supreme Court.

Judge Grossman evoked the first applause when he mentioned the name of Mr. McKee and then the names of the other principal candidates on the Recovery ticket.

"Each of them," he said, "was nominated solely by the petitions of the people and not by the hands of any political bosses. This is not a political campaign; this is a political revolution."

These men, he went on, "are running in spite of a stupid and arrogant political" hierarchy which opposed their candidacy. The Recovery party, he emphasized, stands for political independence and its candidates, when elected, will be "unbought and unbossed."

30 October 1950, New York Times, pg. 17:

Deputy Mayor and Campaign
Manager Plead fo Election
of "Unbought" Candidate

The election of Acting Mayor Impellitteri as the "unbought and unbossed" candidate for that office was urged yesterday by Deputy Mayor Charles Horowitz and Herman Hoffman, campaign manager, in radio addresses.

6 June 1952, New York Times, pg. 12:
In an attempt to attain party harmony, Mr. DeSapio offered Mr. Impellitteri a Democratic nomination for Supreme Court Justice with oral assurance of a Liberal party endorsement after Mr. Impellitteri had announced his intention to run for Mayor on an independent ticket. Mr. Impellitteri's refusal of this offer enabled him to run as the "unbossed and unbought" candidate of the independent Experience party. He defeated Ferdinand Pecora, former Supreme Court Justice, the candidate of the Democratic and Liberal parties, by a plurality of 235,824.

24 September 1953, New York Times, pg. 1:
Meanwhile, posters of the Experience party, the Mayor's party in 1950, appeared in many places in the city. They have been pasted over the pre-primary posters and urge a vote for Mr. Impellitteri on Nov. 3 as the candidate who "cannot be bought or bossed."
Pg. 36:
William J. Donoghue, former secretary to Mayor Impeelitteri, yesterday joined the staff of the headquarters of Robert F. Wagner Jr., Democratic nominee for Mayor, at the Biltmore Hotel. Mr. Conoghue is generally credited with having had a large part in electing Mr. Impellitteri in 1950 and with having invented the description of him as the "unbought and unbossed candidate."

6 November 1968, New York Times, "Mrs. Chisholm Defeats Farmer, Is First Negro Woman in House; First Negro Woman Wins House Seat," pg. 25:
Mrs. Chisholm, who campaigned as an "unbought and unbossed" candidate, spent four years in the state Assembly and last August was elected as the Democratic National Committeewoman from New York State.

8 August 1970, Chicago Daily Defender, pg. 10:
Due for fall publication, "Unbossed and Unbought", is the autobiographical memoirs by Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm of how she bacme the first black women elected to Congress.

Unbought and Unbossed
By Shirley Chisholm. 177 pp. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. $4.95.
(Book review by Charlayne Hunter, New York Times, Nov 1, 1970. p. 289

22 October 1973, Chicago Tribune, pg. A1:
STICKING FAST to the "superstar" label early in the game was Shirley Chisholm, who captured national attention with her self-announced "un-bought, un-bossed" manner.

24 November 1973, Chicago Defender, pg. 10:
Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm boasts that she is unbought and unbossed, but within the Congresional Black Caucus it is no secret that she has an on-going vendetta with her male colleagues, particularly, Reps. Louis Stokes and William "Bill" Clay.
Posted by Barry Popik
Names/Phrases • (0) Comments • Wednesday, January 25, 2006 • Permalink