Before Vegas there was the original Sin City

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    Before Vegas there was the original Sin City

    Before Las Vegas, there was Newport

    Bookmaking. Depravities of the flesh. Corruption. Enough of this activity and a town will earn the nickname "Sin City."
    But the place in question is not Las Vegas or Tijuana.
    It was Newport.
    Newport, known as America's Playground from the 1920s to 1960s, served as stomping grounds for celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine. It was also a place U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy condemned in 1963 as "known nationally for wide-open gambling and prostitution," and where "law enforcement was deeply corrupted."

    Great story about Newport's past
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    mcpapa's Avatar
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    One of my wife's aunts was married to a member of "The Newport Mafia". When we were going through my father-in-law's effects a few years ago we found a newspaper clipping. The aunt had stabbed her husband (who everybody in the family called a "businessman").

    Charges were dropped, she came back to Greenup County and didn't say why.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcpapa View Post
    One of my wife's aunts was married to a member of "The Newport Mafia". When we were going through my father-in-law's effects a few years ago we found a newspaper clipping. The aunt had stabbed her husband (who everybody in the family called a "businessman").

    Charges were dropped, she came back to Greenup County and didn't say why.
    My dad used to be a caddy at Summit Hills CC and everytime Dean Martin was in town which was a lot back then, he would personally ask for my dad to be his caddy. He said in the summer, Dean would be here at least once a month.

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    In the late forties and fifties my dad was a regular visitor to Newport and Cleveland, apparently too regular. He met some interesting characters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 75center View Post
    In the late forties and fifties my dad was a regular visitor to Newport and Cleveland, apparently too regular. He met some interesting characters.
    I can only imagine.

    My dad and aunts and uncles used to tell me stories about Newport. How it was the most exciting yet corrupt place they've ever seen....but they had ton of fun there.

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    mcpapa's Avatar
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    True story that I may have told before.

    About 1990, my best friend (died of a heart attack in his early 40's a year or so later) went to a Reds game. Ate at Pompilios before the game, stopped at a White Castle in Newport afterwards. We both looked at each other and laughed. It was like we were reading each other's minds. One of us said something to the effect that we were a couple of old married farts - two trips to Newport on a Saturday and all we did was eat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcpapa View Post
    True story that I may have told before.

    About 1990, my best friend (died of a heart attack in his early 40's a year or so later) went to a Reds game. Ate at Pompilios before the game, stopped at a White Castle in Newport afterwards. We both looked at each other and laughed. It was like we were reading each other's minds. One of us said something to the effect that we were a couple of old married farts - two trips to Newport on a Saturday and all we did was eat.
    Hahaha. I think I've been to Newport the most I've ever been in a long time these last few years. Love going to see shows at Southgate House or go to the LEvee or even at the Syndicate where we went this past weekend at their bar "Gangsters" for the dueling pianos.

    In my younger days I would be on Monmouth st. I've been on that street recently but not for the type of shows I would watch when I was younger Newport Pizza is on Monmouth and I love their pizza.

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    THUNDERBIRDS's Avatar
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    When we renovated the old Glenn Schmits Bowling Alley in the mid 90's we use to have daily visitors that would stop by from back in the day to tell their tales from the days of "Sin City" One old timer was showing us the Bullet holes that were still in the block wall from where a Gang from Chicago came in with Blazing saddles to rob the Safe. You say Safe? Not just any old safe. The old Glenn Schmits had a full size walk in safe that would rival just about any bank safe in Cincinnati. Word had it that the Glenn would keep a 1 million dollars on hand at all times when it was in full swing. That's a lot cash in today's times to keep on hand....

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    MJAlltheWay24's Avatar
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    Anyone ever done their Gambling/Gangster tour or whatever it is?

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    OlDog75's Avatar
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    The book Syndicate Wife is a good one regarding Newport and "Syndicate". Kenton County Public Library has a great Local History Department located in Covington. One of the best around and the folks there can turn you on to a ton of historical and interesting info about organized crime that had a stronghold on other cities in Northern Kentucky, not just Newport at the time.

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    Do you need a paid subscription to read the article? It will stay open for a few seconds then revert to the homepage of the site.

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    Run To State's Avatar
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    My dad is a retired fireman from Newport. He was there late 50s through the 70s. He knew a lot of the main characters in Newport, has lots of great stories.

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    My mom and dad, from Louisville, honeymooned in Newport in 1941. This may or may not explain a lot about me.

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    The book that came out recently about the Beverly Hills fire that claims it was a mob hit (and if you read it and know the history of Newport, it's pretty convincing) does a great job of chronicling the history of the mob in Newport. I recommend it...forgetting its name though...

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    The Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire - The Untold Story...

    By Robert Webster

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