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Jesse D. Bright

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jesse David Bright
Jesse D Bright.jpg
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
June 12, 1860 – February 5, 1862
Preceded byBenjamin Fitzpatrick
Succeeded byBenjamin Fitzpatrick
In office
June 11, 1856 – January 6, 1857
Preceded byCharles E. Stuart
Succeeded byJames M. Mason
In office
December 5, 1854 – June 9, 1856
Preceded byLewis Cass
Succeeded byCharles E. Stuart
United States Senator
from Indiana
In office
March 4, 1845 – February 5, 1862
Preceded byAlbert S. White
Succeeded byJoseph A. Wright
9th Lieutenant Governor of Indiana
In office
December 6, 1843 – March 4, 1845
GovernorJames Whitcomb
Preceded bySamuel Hall
Succeeded byParis C. Dunning
Member of the Indiana Senate
In office
1841–1843
Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives
In office
1867–1871
Personal details
Born(1812-12-18)December 18, 1812
Norwich, New York, US
DiedMay 20, 1875(1875-05-20) (aged 62)
Baltimore, Maryland, US
Political partyDemocratic
ProfessionPolitician, Lawyer, Judge

Jesse David Bright (December 18, 1812 – May 20, 1875) was the ninth Lieutenant Governor of Indiana and U.S. Senator from Indiana who served as President pro tempore of the Senate on three separate occasions. He was the only senator from a Northern state to be expelled for being a Confederate sympathizer. As a leading Copperhead he opposed the Civil War.

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  • ✪ Airplane Heist - Thief Who Hijacked A Plane and Stole A Million Dollars

Transcription

This episode is brought to you by Skillshare. Get 2 months of Skillshare free and learn new skills by using the link in the description. The person known as D. B. Cooper may have pulled-off one of the greatest feats of criminality known to man, not just because of the crime but more the subsequent, literal, vanishing into thin air. Some criminals go down in history as almost heroic, they become to the stuff of folklore. We have noble highwaymen; we have people that robbed the rich only to share their spoils with the poor. We have bank robbers such as John Dillinger, who became a legend after stealing from the big bad banks and being very kind with the swag. Then we have outlaws such as Jesse James, whose legend appears to be somewhat overblown in both books and movies. But in today’s show we will focus on a man whose actions were certainly not fiction. Welcome to this episode of the Infographics Show, Who was D.B. Cooper? Before we start sleuthing, we must know what it is this man did. We should also tell you that the name D.B. Cooper was a given name by the media, who he really was, is still up for speculation. We’ll get around to the theories later. Twas the night before Thanksgiving, November 24, 1971, when through the doors of the busy Portland International Airport a man went up to the check-in counter for Northwest Orient Airlines. Throughout the USA people were travelling back home or already drinking the festive hooch; turkeys were thawing, corn pudding had been made in the morning. The man checked-in under the name, Dan Cooper. He was to take a half an hour flight to Seattle. A short trip home presumably, to spend time with loved ones. That was far from the case. He was about to create criminal history. He walked onto a Boeing 727-100, some people say he sat in seat 18C, but others dispute that. Whatever the seat, it seems our Mr. Cooper was in the mood for merriment. He sat back, lit up a smoke and imbibed a bourbon and soda. According to witnesses who were later interviewed, he wore a dark suit and a black tie, decorated with a mother of pearl tie pin. From the sketches you could say he looked not unlike Don Draper from the series Mad Men. And a madman the man known as Dan Cooper certainly was. He was later described by flight attendants to be 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 meters) to 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 meters) tall, 170 to 180 pounds (77 to 82 kg). It’s said he had tanned skin and was likely in his early 40s. Not long into the flight this smartly-dressed man handed a note to a flight attendant. Her name was Florence Schaffner and she was probably used to single guys handing her phone numbers, so she just put the note in her purse. According to New York mag this 23-year old “cute, perky,” and sexy stewardess was not unaccustomed to guys hitting on her. This time was different. Cooper then leaned over to her and said, “Miss, you'd better look at that note. I have a bomb.” She looked at him and knew that he wasn’t fooling around. The note read, “I have a bomb in my briefcase. I want you to sit beside me.” She did just that and the man showed he wasn’t kidding, offering her a glimpse of some sticks of dynamite and lots of wires attached to a battery. He then apparently told her, “I want $200,000 by 5:00 p.m. In cash. Put in a knapsack. I want two back parachutes and two front parachutes. When we land, I want a fuel truck ready to refuel. No funny stuff or I’ll do the job.” $200,000 in today’s money is about $1.2 million. He wasn’t too greedy it seems. According to Schaffner, she was reeling with fear. Was the plane about to explode; were a lot of people about to grilled in mid-air before the turkey was even roasted? She was confused, too. This smartly-dressed guy had been polite; he’d even given her a $20 bill for the whiskey and told her she should could keep the 18 bucks change. He wasn’t a political terrorist, one of the sky-pirates she’d heard about. Another flight attendant later remarked, "He wasn't nervous. He seemed rather nice. He was never cruel or nasty. He was thoughtful and calm all the time.” She went to the cockpit and told the news to the crew, after which the pilot informed Seattle–Tacoma Airport air traffic control, and the authorities were alerted. The plane circled in the air for around two hours, with the passengers not knowing what was going on. They were told the plane was experiencing a “minor mechanical difficulty.” What was really happening is that the authorities had decided to meet the hijacker’s demands and they were putting together the list of things, including the money, he had asked for. The man stayed calm and even started talking about what he could see down below, meaning he obviously knew the area well. He ordered another bourbon and again told Schaffner she could keep the change. Down below the money was being put together in unmarked bills, although it’s said Cooper wasn’t happy with the military-issue parachutes. He wanted civilian parachutes and they had to be taken from a nearby sky-diving school. The aircraft landed at 5.39 pm at Seattle-Tacoma Airport. Cooper told the pilot to taxi to a brightly lit area of the airport and for all the window shades to be lowered lest a sniper try and take him out. Northwest Orient's Seattle operations manager, Al Lee, delivered the cash and the parachutes to the aircraft. Cooper then told the passengers they could go, as could two of the flight attendants, including Schaffner. One remained. He then told the cockpit crew that they would all be going on a trip to Mexico City, except he wanted them to fly at the lowest speed possible. He also told them to fly at 10,000-foot (3,000 meters) altitude. The pilots told him they would need to refuel once more, and Nevada was chosen. Cooper told them to keep the landing gear down and for the cabin to remain unpressurized. He told authorities that no one could come on board during the refueling while they were still in Seattle. And off they went, into the skies, bounty in the bag, flying at a snail’s pace for the plane. They weren’t alone up there, with five military planes following them. It’s said the last person to see Cooper was a 22-year old flight attendant called Tina Mucklow. She said he told her to go back to the cockpit and the last thing she witnessed was him tying something around his waist. It’s said she later never talked much about that evening, and later in life became reclusive and partly lived in a nunnery. With the crew all in the cockpit they heard an alarm indicating that the aft airstair apparatus had been deployed. Apparently, the pilot sent a warning that this was very dangerous. It was around 8 pm. Just over two hours later the aircraft landed, and the mysterious bourbon-quaffing hijacker was not one of the occupants of the plane. Here’s a little song about what likely happened sometime after 8: Out a little service doorway In the rear of the plane Cooper jumped into the darkness Into the freezing rain They say that with the windchill It was 69 below Not much chance that he’d survive But if he did, where did he go? Indeed, where did he go? The Feds looked all over for him, for the parachutes, for anything. They went through every bit of forest where he might have landed; a submarine scoured lakes, but the man had vanished. It was the largest search ever by law enforcement and in the end all they found were the remains of a girl that had been abducted and murdered. For years the police searched for the money as all the bills had serial numbers, but that never showed up, either, except when a couple of swindlers tried to get a $30,000 reward from Newsweek by counterfeiting bills with the serial numbers. The press had a field day, and it was a mistake made by a reporter which gave him the name D.B. Cooper. It stuck. As for the American people, most folks loved the story of the handsome, well-spoken, James Bond-like character. People rooted for him, likely to the chagrin of law enforcement. He was like a noble highwayman of modern times, a Robin Hood of the skies. What the cops did know is that this guy knew how to parachute; he knew planes, he knew the area. How hard could it be to put the pieces together? Very hard is the answer. The FBI had lots of leads that came to nothing, changing their story a few times. For instance, the FBI later said that he was likely not someone who knew a lot about parachuting, “We concluded after a few years this was simply not true,” they said. “No experienced parachutist would have jumped in the pitch-black night, in the rain, with a 200-mile-an-hour wind in his face, wearing loafers and a trench coat. It was simply too risky.” It was concluded by some that the man had simply died, and authorities had failed to find the body. He even had copycats, such as Richard McCoy, a former Vietnam helicopter pilot who tried to do the same. He was arrested in a matter of days and he swore that he was not Cooper, just a guy trying his luck. But was it him? While he was serving a 45-year sentence he made a courageous and cunning prison escape, only later to be killed in a shoot-out with the cops. The agent that killed him said this. “When I shot Richard McCoy. I shot D.B. Cooper at the same time.” However, that doesn’t quite work as McCoy’s family told police while Cooper’s air heist was going on McCoy was with them having a party for Thanksgiving eve. Then in 1980 an 8-year old boy on holiday made a discovery when he was on the riverbank of the Colombia river. The boy pulled $5,800 from the bank all in $20 Federal Reserve notes. This was part of the ransom. Many theories were put forward as to how the bills ended up there. Did they float there, were they buried there? No one really knew. Some people thought it was Ted Mayfield, a skydiving teacher with a history of criminality including stealing a plane and armed robbery. Mayfield even called the FBI four hours after the heist to give them a list of skydivers who might have done it. But there is no cogent evidence to say Mayfield was D. B. Cooper. What about Kenneth Christiansen? He was a spitting image for the sketch of Cooper; he was a former paratrooper and he’d even spent time working as a flight attendant on Northwest Orient. He was usually broke, but then in 1972 suddenly had bags of cash and bought a house. It gets better. On his deathbed in 1994 he told his brother, “There is something you should know, but I cannot tell you.” The brother then discovered that in his bank he had around $200,000 and he had also been left gold. Meanwhile, Flight attendant Schaffner said he was a dead ringer for Cooper. The brother wrote in 2004, close to death himself, “Before I die I would like to find out if my brother was D.B. Cooper. From what I know I feel that he was and without a doubt.” We very much doubt it was Barbara Dayton, a trans woman who had once said she did it to get back at the airline for not being able to get a commercial pilot's license. She changed her tune anyway when she found out she might actually be charged for the hijacking. What about William Gossett, an ace parachutist who had survival training? According to an attorney named called Galen Cook, Gossett had admitted he had done it. Gossett’s son believes his dad did it, saying he got very rich in 1971 and then went on a gambling spree in Las Vegas. Still, the evidence is weak. The there’s Robert Richard Lepsy, whose car was found nearby the airport and who suddenly decided to take off to Mexico. When his daughter saw the sketch of Cooper, apparently, she shouted, “That’s dad!” She gave the FBI a DNA sample some years later, but it seems they didn’t think Lepsy was their man. Still we might wonder if he’s sipping on Pina Coladas right now basking on an Acapulco beach at the expense of an American insurance company. Or could it have been Duane Weber, who told his wife just before he died, “I am Dan Cooper.” He was seen near to where the kid had found the money and he also looked like Cooper. Again, the DNA wasn’t a match, but it was also inconclusive as it was with others. They got the DNA by the way from Cooper’s tie, which he kindly left behind before he leaped. Jack Coffelt also claimed he was Cooper, to a cellmate no less. He apparently suffered broken legs around the time of the hijacking and was also in the right place. Despite his cellmate swearing it was him, and trying to make a few bucks from TV and movies, no one really thinks it was Coffelt. It was just as unlikely to be L.D. Cooper, a war veteran whose niece believed he had done it. Again, there are some interesting implications but nothing solid. Former-pilot and war veteran Robert Rackstraw had all the skills to pull off such a job, and his face looked the part. Rackshaw denied it, his attorney said it was ridiculous, but many believe it was him and that the FBI wouldn’t release Cooper’s case file under the Freedom of Information Act because they were embarrassed some amateurs had uncovered the case. War veteran Walter R. Reca also said he was D. B. Cooper. Before he died in 2014 he gave details to his friend about the crime that had not been heard before. A fraud examiner and forensic linguist examined the evidence the friend had, and it seemed it all pointed to the fact that Reca could have been D. B. Cooper. Is this the most likely candidate? The Washington Post in 2018 wrote about this, saying while the friend may have had compelling evidence in regard to how the crime took place and the details the friend knew, the FBI would not re-open the case if the money or the parachutes were not given to them. And so, D. B. Cooper could have been one of those people, or someone else. He could have died in the fall, or there could be a totally different story behind what happened after that eventful flight on Thanksgiving eve. We love that you enjoy our videos, but maybe you’d like to learn how to make your own? No worries- Skillshare has your back with over 24,000 online classes for both the beginner and the pro. Why not check out a class on the basics of animation, or learn how to light and shoot subjects with one of Skillshare’s many online classes on film and digital photography? Skillshare is a perfect place to learn new skills or improve on your existing ones! The first 1,000 people to sign up by visiting Skillshare.com/ infographics35 or by clicking the link in the description will receive 2 months of skillshare absolutely free. Join skillshare and start learning today! Now we’ll turn this over to you and ask you who you think D. B. Cooper was. Tell us in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other video This is how Warren Buffett Made $85 Billion. Thanks for watching, and as always, please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.

Contents

Early life and career

Bright was born into a German family in Norwich, New York, which moved to Madison, Indiana in 1820. Bright attended public schools as a child. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1831, commencing practice in Madison. He was elected a judge of the probate court of Jefferson County, Indiana, in 1834, was a United States Marshal for the district of Indiana from 1840 to 1841 and served in the Indiana Senate from 1841 to 1843. In 1842, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Indiana and served as such from 1843 to 1845.

U.S. Senate

Bright was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1844, was reelected in 1850 and 1856, serving from 1845 to 1862. He was chairman of the Committee on Enrolled Bills from 1845 to 1847, of the Committee on Public Buildings from 1845 to 1847, of the Committee on Revolutionary Claims from 1847 to 1849, of the Committee on Roads and Canals from 1849 to 1855 and of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds from 1857 to 1861. He was also President pro tempore of the Senate from 1854 to 1856, 1856 to 1857, and in 1860. As such, he was first in the presidential line of succession in the first two terms due to the death of Vice President William R. King in April 1853.

In the Senate, Bright was not known as a great orator, but was very able in committee work. One enemy of his was Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas after he voted against keeping Bright in the Senate. He was, however, a very close friend and confidant of William Hayden English, a U.S. Representative from Indiana. In 1857, President James Buchanan offered him the post of Secretary of State, but he declined.[1]

In the beginning of 1862, the Senate of the 37th Congress, which was composed of twenty-nine Republicans and ten Democrats, voted to expel him for acknowledging Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederate States and for facilitating the sale of arms to the Confederacy. The issue was brought up when Minnesota Senator Morton S. Wilkinson introduced the Senate to a letter dated March 1, 1861, written to Davis and signed by Bright, involving firearm trades. The letter was found on a captured gun trader crossing the Confederate border during the First Battle of Bull Run.[2]

He was the fourteenth senator expelled from Congress during the Civil War, and was (as of 2019) the last senator ever to be expelled. Soon after his expulsion from the Senate, Union authorities confiscated his property in Port Fulton, Indiana, which became Jefferson General Hospital, the third-largest hospital during the Civil War. He was an unsuccessful candidate in filling the vacancy caused by his own expulsion in 1863. Bright's longtime intra-party rival, Envoy to Prussia and War Democrat Joseph A. Wright, succeeded him in the Senate.

Later life and career

After losing his home in Indiana, Bright moved to Covington, Kentucky. He was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1867 to 1871, was a presidential elector on the Democratic ticket from Kentucky in the 1868 presidential election, and was president of the Raymond City Coal Company from 1871 to 1875. He moved to Baltimore, Maryland, in 1874 and died there on May 20, 1875. He was interred in Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore.

See also

References

Further reading

  • James Albert Woodburn (1903). Party politics in Indiana during the civil war. American Historical Association. p. 231.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Samuel Hall
Lieutenant Governor of Indiana
1843–1845
Succeeded by
Paris C. Dunning
Preceded by
Lewis Cass
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
December 5, 1854 – June 9, 1856
Succeeded by
Charles E. Stuart
Preceded by
Charles E. Stuart
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
June 11, 1856 – January 6, 1857
Succeeded by
James M. Mason
Preceded by
Benjamin Fitzpatrick
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
June 12, 1860 – June 13, 1860
Succeeded by
Benjamin Fitzpatrick
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Albert S. White
 U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Indiana
March 4, 1845 – February 5, 1862
Served alongside: Edward A. Hannegan, James Whitcomb, Charles W. Cathcart, John Pettit, Graham N. Fitch and Henry S. Lane
Succeeded by
Joseph A. Wright

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.

This page was last edited on 10 October 2019, at 23:53
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