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July 30, 2015

July 30, 1975: Jimmy Hoffa vanishes

On this day in 1975, Jimmy Hoffa, the former longtime president of the Teamsters, disappeared.

Hoffa rose quickly through the ranks of the Teamsters, ultimately becoming its president in 1958. By that point, however, had become involved in organized crime, because many local trucking interests were run by various mobs. In 1964, he was convicted of jury tampering, attempted bribery, and fraud. His sentence: 13 years in prison. He began his time after he exhausted his appeals in 1967.

President Nixon commuted his sentence to time served in 1971; in a completely unrelated move, the Teamsters, normally a left-leaning organization, endorsed the non-crook in his 1972 reelection campaign. Hoffa, as part of the deal, had to avoid organized labor acitivites until 1980.

He was allegedly meeting some mob contacts at Machus Red Fox in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, on July 30, 1975, when he disappeared. His body is still undiscovered, but has been the center of several fruitless FBI-led attempts to find it, most recently a few years ago. His son, James Jr., has been the president of the Teamsters since 1999.

Note: knowledge of this restaurant’s name was worth $2.5 million on Who Wants to Be a Super Millionaire?.

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