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Calendar Event


Lindbergh

The Trial of the Century: Examining the Lindbergh Kidnapping and the Growth of a New Kind of American Journalism


Thursday March 7, 2013
7:00 PM
Join us as two authors, both of fiction and non-fiction, provide a thought-provoking talk about the Lindbergh trial, the role of the media and how reporting has devolved to create the crime-saturated and celebrity-obsessed media we have today. With authors Mark Di Ionno and James Davidson.

Although it happened over 75 years ago, the trial of Bruno Hauptman and the alleged kidnapping of Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. is conceivably the largest media event ever.

Learn about some fascinating real-life events from the kidnapping to the conspiracies that surrounded the whole affair that took place in NJ in the 1920s and 30s and how it lead to the birth of tabloid journalism and how Charles Lindbergh became the first “celebrity” to be hounded by the press.

Book Cover Newspaper ManThis is a special opportunity to meet and greet with two authors on this fascinating subject. The first, is Star-Ledger columnist Mark Di Ionno whose debut novel is The Last Newspaperman, a gripping critique about present-day journalism which focuses on sensationalism and often irrelevant and superficial news coverage. Although Di Ionno’s new book is fiction, The Last Newspaperman explores the real roots of tabloid journalism where it was born, in New Jersey! The second, is historian and native Flemingtonian, James Davidson, who wrote a history of the whole affair with Mark Falzini called New Jersey’s Book Cover New Jersey's Lindbergh TrialLindbergh Kidnapping and Trial. Davidson’s entire life has been intertwined with that of Charles Lindbergh, from living across the street from the Lindbergh home to amassing one of the largest collections of Lindberghiana in the nation. Both authors will have copies of their books for sale and for signing.

Many thanks to Tom Williams at Mendham Books for helping to organize this program.

Mark Di Ionno

Mark Di IonnoMark Di Ionno is a lifetime newspaperman and a four-time winner of the New Jersey Press Association’s first-place award for column writing for The Star-Ledger. His pieces have followed the most controversial Garden State stories including in recent years the Dharun Ravi trial and Governor James McGreevey’s resignation, both having fueled a tabloid frenzy. Besides his work as columnist and author, he is also an adjunct professor of journalism at his alma-mater Rutgers Newark, the State University of New Jersey. Di Ionno is the author of three award-winning nonfiction books. New Jersey’s Coastal Heritage and A Guide to New Jersey’s Revolutionary War Trail won the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance’s Author Award, which is judged by a consortium of librarians and historians. Backroads, New Jersey was named among the most notable New Jersey books (1995–2005) by the New Jersey Center for the Book. (Photo of Mark Di Ionna by Matt Rainey)

James Davidson

Jim Davidson’s entire life has been intertwined with that of Charles Lindbergh. Growing up in Flemington, he first encountered Lindbergh when his parents said they attended a Hauptmann execution party at the Stacy-Trent Hotel in Trenton the night of Bruno Richard Hauptmann’s electrocution. The execution was broadcast live on the radio and his father said the lights dimmed all over Trenton when the switch was pulled! Davidson met and personally knew William Allen (who found the Lindbergh baby) as well as Hauptmann’s attorney Lloyd Fisher, some of the jurors, and numerous others associated with the trial.

 Trained in history at Muhlenberg College and later Lehigh University for graduate work, he taught history at Hunterdon Central High School in Flemington. As historian for East Amwell, N.J. he writes a monthly history article for a local newsletter and gives numerous local history and Lindbergh talks.

This program is supported through funding from the Friends of the Morristown & Morris Township Library.


 


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