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 December 15, 2012
“The real menace to our republic is the invisible government”

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), in a speech in August 1912, sought “to destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics.” New York City Mayor John Francis Hylan (1868-1936), in a much-quoted speech at Chicago’s Hotel La Salle before the Knights of Columbus on March 26, 1922, further railed against the “invisible government” and said:

“Some years ago a sterling American—Theodore Roosevelt—condemned the ‘invisible government.’ That warning has much timeliness today, for the real menace of our republic is this invisible government which, like a giant octopus, sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation. To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as the international bankers.”

Hylan’s speech about the “octopus” of invisible government has been much-cited in the 2000s, but he was ineffectual as mayor in doing much to stop it.


Wikipedia: John Francis Hylan
John Francis Hylan (April 20, 1868 – January 12, 1936), nicknamed “Red Mike”, was the Mayor of New York City from 1918 to 1925
(...)
Quotes
Hylan’s most famous words against “the interests” was the following speech, made in 1922, while he was the sitting Mayor of New York City (1917–25):

‘The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation. To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as the international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.

‘They practically control both parties, write political platforms, make catspaws of party leaders, use the leading men of private organizations, and resort to every device to place in nomination for high public office only such candidates as will be amenable to the dictates of corrupt big business.

‘These international bankers and Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in this country. They use the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of office public officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government. It operates under cover of a self-created screen [and] seizes our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.”


This “invisible government,” Hylan and others—William Jennings Bryan, Charles Lindbergh Sr. (R-MN)—argued, exercised its control of the US Government through the Federal Reserve.

Wikiquote: Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (1858-10-27 – 1919-01-06), also known as T.R. or Teddy, was the 26th President of the United States (1901–1909).

Quotes
(...)
Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.
. “The Progressive Covenant With The People” speech (August 1912).

Chronicling America
27 March 1922, Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner, pg. 1, col. 4:
MONEYED RING
CONTROLS U.S.,
HYLAN AVERS
New York Mayor Says Real
Menace Is Invisible Gov-
ernment Octopus

CHICAGO, March 27.—Mayor John F. Hylan, of New York, after a speech Sunday in which he looked forward to the next presidential election and charged that “invisible government” represented by the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests and a group of international bankers was menacing the United States government, today was passing his second full days in Chicago wit ha round of sightseeing and social incidents. He arrived late Saturday and will return to New York tomorrow.

The New York executive in his speech before a large body of members of the Knights of Columbus criticized the ratification of the four-power Pacific treaty by the senate, and referring to the next presidential election, declared that independent men were needed in the race for the office of chief executive of the land.

OCTOPUS ASSAILED
Referring to Theodore Roosevelt’s condemnation of “invisible government,” Mayor Hylan said the quotation was timely now, adding “for the real menace of our republic is this invisible government, which, like a giant octopus, sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation.”

“To depart from mere generalizations,” continued the mayor, “let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as the international bankers.

“The Rockefeller interests control the Standard Oil company, a corporation composed of several hundred associated and affiliated concerns, transacting a combined business of more than $3,000.000.000 a year. The Standard Oil flag floats a fleet of ocean going vessels larger in number and tonnage than the United States navy an the pennant of Standard Oil is followed and supported by the flag of the United States all over the world.

CONTROL BOTH PARTIES
“The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually runs the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both parties, write political platforms, make catspaws of party leaders, using leading men of private organizations and resort to every device to place in nomination for high public offices only such candidates as will be amenable to the dictates of corrupt big business.

“They connive at centralization of government on the theory that a small group of handpicked privately controlled individuals of power can be more easily handled than a larger group among whom there will most likely be men sincerely interested in public welfare.”

The New York mayor as to be the guest of Mayor Thompson of Chicago for much of the day.

Google Books
15 April 1922, Amalgamated Sheet Metal Workers’ Journal (Chicago, IL), pg. 33, col. 1:
Mayor John F. Hylan of New York, recently visited Chicago and before an audience of several thousands of people assembled in the Hotel La Salle, paid his respects to this modern governmental orge referred to as the invisible government.

“Some years ago a sterling American—Theodore Roosevelt—condemned the ‘invisible government,’” said Mayor Hylan. “That warning has much timeliness today, for the real menace of our republic is this invisible government which, like a giant octopus, sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation.”

Google Books
Autobiography of John Francis Hylan, Mayor of New York
By John Francis Hylan
New York, NY: The Rotary Press
1922
Pg. 85:
They (women—ed.) swung the tide against those seeking to control the country by what has been aptly termed the invisible government, which reaches into the inner congressional and legislative halls of every section.

The Bowery Boys
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Know Your Mayors: John F. Hylan
(...)
Hylan had quite enough. Already an advocate against private interests, he often decried organized private power. Here’s an example of his wrath against private banking, a crusade that went unfulfilled: “The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities states and nation. At the head is a small group of banking houses generally referred to as ‘international bankers.’”

Of course, Hylan is one to speak; he was in Hearst’s back pocket throughout his entire tenure and never swayed from the calls of dear ole Tammany.

BlogicalComment?
“Blogiquotes” (John Francis Hylan)
2011 JUNE 28
by blogicalcomment
Today’s “Blogiquote” from a former New York Mayor is very difficult to be taken out of context.

John Francis Hylan’s words are telling and once again describe an “invisible government” that operates in the US, one so powerful that it allegedly controls both political parties, newspapers and magazines. Once again, as in the previous Blogiquote featuring Congressman Larry P. McDonald, the Rockefeller family interests are alleged to be involved. For me, what is so alarming about this speech is that it was made in 1922 – if these characters allegedly had such great power then, imagine their influence in this day and age.

Blueprint for Accountability
Quote of the Day – John F. Hylan, Mayor of NYC 1868-1936
Posted on January 25, 2012
“The real menace of our republic is the invisible government . . . the little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually runs the United States Government for their own selfish purposes.” – John F. Hylan, 1868-1936, Mayor of NYC

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Saturday, December 15, 2012 • Permalink