OpEdge: The Koch Administration

by Marc Jampole FUNNY HOW everything seems to always work out well for some people. Take the Koch brothers, David and Charles, who kept a billion dollars in their and their associates’ pockets that they had planned to spend to sway the 2016 presidential election for just about any Republican candidate other than Donald Trump. […]

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January 20: The ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded on this date in 1920 by a committee that included Felix Frankfurter, who would become a Supreme Court justice nineteen years later, and Morris Ernst, who served as the organization’s general counsel for thirty years (1929-59). Ernst had, three years earlier, co-founded the National Civil Liberties Bureau, […]

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July 13: Simone Veil

Simone Veil (Simone Annie Liline Jacob — not to be confused with the Christian mystic philosopher of the same name), a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen who went on to become the twelfth president of the European Parliament (1979-1982) and an important feminist political figure in France, was born in Nice on this date in […]

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June 10: Nat Hentoff

First Amendment journalist and jazz critic Nat Hentoff was born in Boston on this date in 1925. After studying as a Fulbright scholar at the Sorbonne in Paris, he became a jazz critic with Down Beat magazine in 1952 and quickly established himself, in print and on radio, as one of the America’s most insightful […]

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March 21: Redstockings and the Abortion Speak-Out

The radical feminist activist group Redstockings, founded in 1969 by Shulamith Firestone (pictured at left) and Ellen Willis, among other women, held an abortion speak-out in New York City on this date in 1969, in protest of legislative hearings in Albany the previous month in which the speakers about abortion, then still illegal, were a […]

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December 2: General Counsel for Women’s Rights

Harriet Fleischel Pilpel, general counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood who appeared in twenty-seven cases before the Supreme Court and was a key legal strategist in the struggle to legalize abortion, was born in the Bronx on this date in 1911. After taking degrees at Vassar and Columbia, she was second […]

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May 7: Pregnancy as a Death Sentence

Ernst Shtiz of the Gestapo decreed on this date in 1942 that all pregnant Jewish women in the Kovno Ghetto in Lithuania would be executed if their pregnancies were not terminated by mid-September. The ghetto had been established the previous June with some 29,000 Jews, 10,000 of whom were murdered in October. The remaining residents […]

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March 19: The Father of Canadian Abortion Rights

Henry Morgentaler, a Canadian physician who has challenged and changed anti-abortion laws throughout Canada, was born on this date in 1923. The son of Jewish Bundists in Poland who died in the Holocaust, Morgentaler survived living in the Lodz ghetto and then Dachau. He received his medical education in Montreal. When contraception became legal in […]

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