The Trump Organization immediately plastered the crest everywhere it could -- flags, brochures, shampoo bottles, fake war monuments -- and the grift seemed to be working. That is, until they tried to use it to promote his golf courses in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Those folks take these things pretty seriously, it turns out, and they ordered him to stop using the crest immediately.
Trump did eventually get a crest flying over his clubs. He only managed that, however, by altering the original so much that, legally speaking, it wasn't the authentic coat of arms anymore. Moreover, when the Trump Organization was asked about the redesign, they denied that there'd been any problem with the original, and that the changes were nothing more than Trump wanting to reflect his roots. (We're assuming he colored the whole thing orange and shrunk the lion's paws by about 200 percent).
Related: 5 Trump Properties He Doesn't Like To Talk About
Trump's Grandfather Kick-Started The Family Fortune With A Brothel
Pop quiz: How did the Trump family make its first dollar? (The people who read the title of this entry better not miss this one.) Property? Shady, barely legal means? Taking advantage of people? If you said any of these, congratulations! It was all three!
Trump's grandfather, Friedrich, emigrated from Germany to the U.S. in 1885 with the intention of making it big. Eventually, he wound up in the backwoods of British Columbia -- more specifically, the town of Bennett. As a major thoroughfare for prospectors, Bennett was ripe for development, and Friedrich was soon running The Arctic, a restaurant and bar that no doubt served the rootinest, tootinest, poutinest taco bowls that side of the border.
Oh, and a brothel.
Knowing his market, Friedrich built several "private boxes for ladies and parties" on the upper floors of The Arctic, complete with bed and a set of scales that were used to weigh and measure gold dust -- the principal form of currency for transactions of this nature. Although this type of business wasn't unusual for the time (duh), The Arctic was notable amongst locals and travelers for how particularly grim it was. As one letter from the time describes:
I would advise respectable women traveling alone, or with an escort, to be careful in their selection of hotels at Bennett. [The Arctic should be avoided] as they are liable to hear that which would be repugnant to their feelings and uttered, too, by the depraved of their own sex.
A Trump property with a seedy reputation where women didn't feel safe? We're glad someone documented this, or else we'd never believe it.
After a newly built railroad allowed miners to bypass Bennett, Friedrich dismantled The Arctic and rebuilt it -- and its "guest suites" -- further down the line, where it proved (again) to be a major success. Friedrich soon abandoned his chosen profession of mack daddy and attempted to return to Germany with his fortune, whereupon he was swiftly exiled for dodging the draft, because some things are just genetic. Friedrich settled in New York, and began buying up the city's burgeoning real estate, a business that he eventually passed to his son, Fred, who eventually passed it to his son, Donald.
Think about it, though: If it wasn't for an overzealous German bureaucrat, Friedrich would've settled back in Germany, and we could have avoided all of this. Germany might have handled this awful family better, right?
German Federal ArchivesOh fuck.
Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook, and has a newsletter dedicated to depressing history facts. It's not as heartbreakingly sad as it sounds, promise!
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