More than a century ago, The Evening Telegram (defunct since 1952) in Salt Lake, Utah, published a news story about a racial fight that broke out between a Greek, an Italian and a Scoth-Irish policeman.
Shoe shine parlor owner Frank Loolis had come to the Italian’s place of business to discuss matters relating to high rent. But when he tried to enter, he came across a set of words that were unfavorable toward Greeks.
“No Greeks In This Place. White Trade Only.”
A three-way racial brawl ensued.
The full text of the article and an image of the print version follow below.
Racial War Between Rival Proprietors of Shine Parlors Ends in Police Court
An international fight in which a Greek, an Italian and a Scotch-Irish policeman were the principals took place at De Frank’s Shining parlor on Main Street, near First South, shortly after 8 o’clock this morning.
No heads were broken nor was the flag of any nation dragged in the dust.
It happened thusly: Frank De Frank, a bright young Italian, recently opened the shining parlor, where the scrap took place, and established a precedent in high rents among the shining promoters of the city by paying $225 a month for the little place.
The idea of higher rents evidently does not appeal to Greek shine parlor owners, and this morning Frank Loolis came to De Frank’s place of business to look about, and possibly discuss the matter of too much rent.
However, when Loolis entered the place he was greeted by this sign: “No Greeks In This Place. White Trade Only.”
Now it stands to reason that a sign of this nature would not appeal strongly to Loolis, who immediately put a chip on his shoulder, was was knocked off in the twinkling of an eye by De Frank.
Then the fun started. There were biffs, bangs, swaps and bats in the jaw. No telling where the trouble might have ended had not the smiling countenance of Patrolman Beynon appeared around the corner of the drug store.
With a two step forward and a waltz shuffle to the side, the policeman had each of the fighters by the coat collar and proceeded to march them to the police station.
With three pulls at his mustache and sixteen flourishes with his pen Desk Sergeant Lenzi put the names of the Sullivan-Thompson juniors on the blotter, and announced that their bail would be $10 each.
Loolis deposited the required amount, but De Frank said he would go to jail rather than produce any money, whereupon Sergeant Roberts appeared behind the desk and said that De Frank could be allowed to go on his own recognizance.
The boys will appear in police curt this afternoon to tell Judge J.M. Bowman how it all happened.
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