Happy Father’s Day

In honor of the recent holiday of Father’s Day, here is a story of a good father.

Anna and Richard were so in love. According to her in later years, they were always playing jokes on each other, always laughing, always happy. Such long-term relationships are rare, and almost unbelievable, except that people who knew them well echoed this reality. So, maybe it was true.
Anna also told the story about how, after having her engagement ring stolen, that Richard bought another one and slipped it on her finger in the night while she slept. He was always so romantic like that, Anna recalled.

They eventually had a son, and they gave him his dad’s name as his middle name. That’s Richard holding his infant son in the photo above. You can see Richard’s love and pride in the photo. He was a good dad.

Living in New York’s Bronx during the Great Depression, Richard still managed to provide for his family through his work as a top-notch carpenter. This was even though they were also immigrants from Europe.

Everything was as it should be until one day in 1934 when Anna came home with her son to find a neighbor waiting for her in the entry of their apartment building. “They’re up there,” she said, “and they’re waiting for you.” Anna gave her baby to the neighbor and ran up the stairs to find her husband sitting on the bed and a couple of dozen policemen going through their apartment. “You’re gonna burn for this, pal,” one of the police officers said to Richard. He sat on the bed, stunned.

Richard was soon placed under arrest. Anna couldn’t understand. What had he done? They were telling her, but it couldn’t be true, what they were saying. She wanted to visit Richard in prison, but he refused. “I don’t want my boy to see me in here,” he told her. “I don’t want him to have any memory of me behind bars.” Such a good dad, even in this situation.

In 1936, Richard was executed in the electric chair in New Jersey.

The crime he was accused of?

Killing the infant son of another man.

You know that other boy as Charles Lindbergh, Jr.

And you know Richard as Bruno Richard Hauptmann.

Happy Father’s Day.

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