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 09, 2010

Entry in progress—B.P.
Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary
Main Entry: kick·back
Pronunciation: \ˈkik-ˌbak\
Function: noun
Date: 1920
1 : a sharp violent reaction
2 : a return of a part of a sum received often because of confidential agreement or coercion “every city contract had been let with a ten percent kickback to city officials — D. K. Shipler”
(Oxford English Dictionary)
kick-back, kickback
orig. U.S. colloq.
A refund, a rebate; the return of money, goods, etc.; a payment (usu. illegal) made to a person who has made possible or facilitated a transaction, appointment, etc. Also attrib.
1932 Editor 6 Feb. 112/2 Kick-back, a return of money.
1934 Sun (Baltimore) 24 Jan. 1/3 The ‘kick-back’ system of cutting PWA workers’ pay.
Ibid. 1 Feb. 1/5 These ‘kickbacks’ were described as levies amounting to from $15 to $25 a week on the musician’s salary.
1935 N. ERSINE Underworld & Prison Slang 49 Kickback, loot that must be returned to avoid arrest. ‘They took a grand off the hoosiers, but they had to make a kickback when the marks beefed.’
1939 Ibid. 13 Feb. 16/5, 150,000 persons and companies throughout nation get ‘kickback’... Several hundred Maryland Corporations and individuals received tax refunds during the last fiscal year.
1940 F. RIESENBERG Golden Gate 308 Longshoremen were finding it tougher than ever to get jobs, even through kick-backs of pay, bottles of liquor, and cigars.
7 September 1923, New York (NY) Times, “Two Admitted Bribe, Police Captain Says,” pg. 10:
Captain Randles said that the detectives told him that William V. Dwyer, central figure in the Petrucci incident, said to them: “You better look out. Vou don’t know who owns this, and, whatever you’d got you d better kick back.”
25 October 1933, New York (NY) Times, “La Guardia Holds to Flynn Attack; Sees Graft Killing City,” pg. 15:
Mr. Post (Langdon Post, Fusion candidate for Borough President of Manhattan—ed.) referred to it as “the kick-back racket.” It was being worked at the present time, he said, in Manhattan “on a certain building” with the knowledge of the District Attorney, the Controller and the Borough President.
“I serve notice today,” said Mr. Post, “that if the city officials do not stop it between now and this time next week I’ll come out with affidavits and I’ll name the job and I’ll name the contractor and I’ll name those who got the kick-back money.”
22 December 1933, New York (NY) Times, pg. 39:
Virtually All Workers Forced
to Return part of Wages,
Copeland Hears.

Read of Senate Committee to
Speed Bill for Creation of
Federal “Scotland Yard.”

The so-called “kick back” racket by which building trades workers are forced to turn back a large part of their pay has become almost universal in the United States, the Senate subcommittee on racketeering of which Senator Royal S. Copeland is chairman, was told yesterday at a hearing at the Bar Building in West Forty-fourth Street.
24 March 1935, New York (NY) Times, pg. E10:
Assistant Administrator Federal Emergency Relief Administration
The most usual charges relate to improper political activity on the part of relief officials, poltiical or personal discrimination against relief applicants or clients, payroll padding, bribery, “kick backs” and embezzlement or theft of money, equipment and commodities.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Saturday, January 09, 2010 • Permalink

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