"[History is] a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man." -Percy Bysshe Shelley

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Memories & Memorabilia

Carl Christensen's coat, riddled with holes courtesy of Baby Face Nelson

We've come across some of Carl Christensen's memorabilia, including the coat that he wore when he was shot by Baby Face Nelson. Six holes from the bullets are visible in the coat, going through the back and on the undersides of the arms. Their placement suggests (to me, at least) that Carl must have thrown his arms over his head in an attempt to protect himself from the attack. (He also took bullets in the foot and knee, which resulted in his hospitalization and being on crutches for several months. Photos from the original newspaper articles to come!)

Carl Christensen's scrapbook
Carl put together a scrapbook that included newspaper clippings and articles about Dillinger and the shoot-out at Little Bohemia. (We will share some of these treasures in the near future!) After he was shot by Baby Face Nelson, Carl's local fame sky-rocketed, and he was the subject of a number of articles and interviews. Piggy-backing off of this media attention, he made up postcards that showed him holding up the coat he was wearing (pictured in this blog post as well as in its current condition, above). Obviously, Carl knew how to turn a life-threatening situation to his advantage! The story about his survival certainly seems to have enhanced business at his place, as well as being a source of personal pride to him.

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