A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from January 18, 2012
BOMFOG (Brotherhood Of Man, Fatherhood Of God)

Entry in progress—B.P.
3 July 1939, New York (NY) Times, “Bishop O’Hara Is Peaker on Eve of Opening of Institute of Public Affairs” by Winifred Mallon, pg. 7:
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., July 2.—The responsibility of the individual in a democracy to protect and defend it and personally to further the realization of its basic ideals, the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, was urged today by the Most Rev. Gerald P. O’Hara, Roman Catholic Bishop of Savannah-Atlanta, in a vesper service address at the University of Virginia on the eve of the opening of its thirteenth annual Institute of Public Affairs.
9 July 1939, New York (NY) Times, pg. 14:
CLEVELAND, July 8.—Following is the text of the address of Governor Lehman before the convention of Christian Endeavor:
But when I speak of religion, I do not have in mind lip service or mere conformity with the external forms of religion. I envision rather a national and personal spirituality that recognizes in heart and in mind the universal fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
6 October 1939, New York (NY) Times, “Mrs. Lehman Gives a Democracy Creed,” pg. 11:
Speaking at America’s Town Meeting of the Air at the Town Hall last night, Mrs. Herbert H. Lehman read what was announced as her “ten commandments of democracy” in the present world crisis.
“Some time ago it occurred to me—bring in mind our compelling indebtedness to the Bible and especially to the Ten Commandments, which are addressed to the individual—that we might work out, in addition, certain modern principles,” she said. “Such modern principles would assume the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.”
25 May 1964, New York (NY) Times, pg. 26:
Random Notes From All Over:
Of Bomfog, Moat and Goveclop
Reporters With Rockefeller
Formulate a Shorthand—
Icelander Still Perky

WASHINGTON, May 24—Reporters covering the Presidential campaign of Governor Rockefeller have worked out a pet bit of shorthand: Bomfog.
Bomfog stands for “the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God,” a phrase used regularly by the New York Governor.
The reporters have come up with several other shorthand inventions, thre newest of which is Moat.
Moat stands for “Mainstrem of American Thought,” which is what Mr. Rockefeller says Barry Goldwater is not in. Among the others: Fisteg for fiscal integrity, and Goveclop for “Government closest to the people.”
The Rockefeller Center Archive
On July 8, 1941, in a radio broadcast appeal on behalf of the United Service Organizations and the National War Fund, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. read this statement of principles that was widely reprinted under the title, “I Believe.”
Fellow Parents and Neighbors:
We stand together tonight on a common basis and with a common purpose. The common basis is that we are each of us the parent of a son who is in the defense forces of our country. I am proud, as you are, that my son, like yours, is serving his country in this important field. Like you I would to God that none of our boys should have to go into war training, for I hate war. At the same time, you could never have forgiven yourself, nor could I with my son, had I put a straw in the way of his going, or done anything other than back him to the limit as he volunteered for service.
I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.
These are the principles, however formulated, for which all good men and women throughout the world, irrespective of race or creed, education, social position or occupation are standing, and for which many of them are suffering and dying. These are the principles upon which alone a new world recognizing the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God can be established. It is to help usher in this new day that our sons have dedicated themselves to the service of their country. And it is that they may be kept worthy of this high service that we call upon all parents and neighbors in this city and throughout the length and breadth of this fair land to stand with us in supporting the United Service Organizations and their campaign.
Google News Archive
20 May 1965, Owosso (MI) Argus-Press, “Just About the END,” pg. 4, col. 1:
A good recent candidate, however, is BOMFOG, just reported by the Encyclopedia Britannica. Taken from Brotherhood of Man and Fatherhood of God, it describes platitudinous political piety. In a word, bomfoggery.
New York (NY) Times
By Susan Heller Anderson and Maurice Carroll
Published: October 28, 1983
Shorthand Fun
With the late Nelson A. Rockefeller, a frequent shorthand note in the notebooks of reporters covering his speeches was BOMFOG.
It stood for a favorite phrase of the Governor’s, ‘‘Brotherhood of man, fatherhood of God.’’
Google Books
Hatchet Jobs and Hardball:
The Oxford Dictionary of American Political Slang

By Grant Barrett
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
Pg. 63:
bomfog n. [brother of man under the fatherhood of God, closing line of a radio speech by John D. Rockefeller. Jr., on July 8. 1941; later used as a slogan by Nelson Rockefeller; see 1978 quot.] platitudinous political rhetoric or obfuscation. Also as v.
Google Books
Safire’s Political Dictionary
By William Safire
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
Pg. 70:
bomfog  A high-sounding, glittering generality.
Nancy Shea, then of Rockefeller’s staff, informed the author:
Bomfog was originated by Hy Sheffer who was at one time the Governor’s stenotypist. Hy told me he started using it in the late 1959-60 national effort. Since the Governor used the phrase “the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God,” so often, Hy began to simplify it on the stenotype machine. Bomfog took only two strokes on the machine compared to several more strokes on the machine compared to several more strokes for the whole phrase. The reporters traveling with the Governor’s party picked it up and made it famous.
Pg. 71:
Bomfog had an appeal as a political word because it seemed to combine bombast with fog, or amorphous oratory. Its use is current, no longer limited to critics of Nelson Rockefeller.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Wednesday, January 18, 2012 • Permalink

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