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Bullets or Ballots

Bullets or Ballots

Broadcast: April 17, 1939
Added: Apr 01 2017

Racketeering is a comparatively new word in the American language, but an old bugbear in American history. Following the revolution, American vessels in the Mediterranean were plundered and their crews thrown into slavery so frequently that the United States, to continue commerce in those waters, signed a treaty with the pirates ruler, the Sultan of Algiers. Uncle Sam paid $800,000 for the ransom of imprisoned sailors, and for years paid an additional $23,000 annually as a guarantee for future safety - until our Navy forever ended this racket of the Barbary pirates. But today's show is a whole new kind of racketeering - involving the mob...