Old Photos: Rows And Rows Of Well-Fed Democrats…

This tagline struck me as being weirdly funny, but I don’t write them, I just copy them. Without further ado – some photos from the William M.Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner conducted in Kansas City in October of 1949. William M.Boyle Jr. was the Chairman of the DNC at that time.

Banquet of the Century. The home folks of Kansas City were proud of Bill Boyle—none more vociferously than shrewd, elephantine Roy Roberts, Republican president of the Kansas City Star— and they had vowed to give him the banquet of the century. By the time the President entered Kansas City’s vast civic auditorium that night, they had come comfortably close to success.Three thousand men & women in evening dress were sitting at tables on the great floor (at $15 a plate). Among them were virtually all the ranking officers of the Administration and all shades of local politicos, including Democratic Boss Charlie Binaggio, who had just been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury to tell what he knew about the revival of racketeering in Kansas City. Six thousand non-diners watched and applauded from the flag-bedecked balconies. An army of harried waiters served 3,000 tenderloin steaks without allowing more than minor peripheral cooling to set in—no mean achievement since all had come from the kitchen of the Muehlebach Hotel, three full blocks away.

Rows and rows of well-fed Democrats attending William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner, listening to the speeches.

Rows and rows of well-fed Democrats attending William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner, listening to the speeches. © Time Inc.George Skadding

Posting of banners and signs during testimonial dinner for Bill Boyle

Posting of banners and signs during testimonal dinner for Bill Boyle.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Cold turkey with all the trimmings, embellishing a big buffet lunch given during Bill Boyles Day celebration.

Cold turkey with all the trimmings, embellishing a big buffet lunch given during Bill Boyle's Day celebration.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Steaks consumed during the testimonal dinner for Bill Boyle, requiring 600 attendants to serve dinner.

Steaks consumed during the testimonal dinner for Bill Boyle, requiring 600 attendants to serve dinner.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Family and friends attenting the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.

Family and friends attenting the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.© Time Inc.George Skadding

James Pendergast (CL) autographing a menu while attending the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.

James Pendergast (CL) autographing a menu while attending the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Charles Binaggio sitting with his wife, while attending the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.

Charles Binaggio sitting with his wife, while attending the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Presidential aide Clark Clifford and Major General Harry H. Vaughan, talking with Roy A. Roberts while attenting the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.

Presidential aide Clark Clifford and Major General Harry H. Vaughan, talking with Roy A. Roberts while attenting the William M. Boyle Jr. testimonial dinner.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Guest of honor William M. Boyle Jr. (R), looking over a silver service that cost $2,250, given to him at the testimonial dinner by the Democrats.

Guest of honor William M. Boyle Jr. (R), looking over a silver service that cost $2,250, given to him at the testimonial dinner by the Democrats.© Time Inc.George Skadding

Time cover: 10-08-1951 of William M. Boyle.

Time cover: 10-08-1951 of William M. Boyle. © Time Inc.

Notice the caption: “Democrat Boyle: Bureaucracy Thrived On Bureaucracy“. Also of interest is the price of yearly subscription for the Time – just $6.

in 1951, (Boyle) was implicated in an influence peddling scandal involving loans made by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. While a Senate investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by Boyle, he resigned later that year due to “ill health”

This article in the Time “Boyle’s Law” talks about his rise to prominence, connections to Truman and Pendergast, and shady machinations for which he was investigated. Some passages in the article read like they were written today.

Some names you might have recognized: Charles Binaggio, Jim Pendergast, Roy A. Roberts.

  • On April 6th, 1950 Binaggio was shot dead and replaced as the head of the Kansas City Crime Family.

  • I guess that was his last big shindig

  • Fantastic entry, Meesha. Wow. the pictures alone speak volumes.

  • I travel for JOOLS

    Great photos. Love looking at the vintage clothes and jewels, of course.