January 19: Dreaming of Joe Hill

On this day in 1915, IWW organizer Joe Hill (not Jewish) was arrested for murder in Salt Lake City. His trial was considered a frame-up and his conviction was widely protested (by Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller, among others). A writer of labor songs and parodies, Joe Hill was himself immortalized in 1930 in a […]

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January 10: Jerry Wexler

Jerry Wexler, who coined the term “rhythm and blues” (as a replacement for “race records”) and recorded some of R&B’s greatest performers, was born on this date in 1917 in New York. The “acts” Wexler signed or produced included Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, the Allman Brothers, the Drifters, Wilson Pickett, Led Zeppelin, Dusty Springfield, and […]

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December 31: Josephine Earp

Wyatt Earp’s common-law wife, Josephine Sarah Marcus, died on this day in 1944 (though some sources cite her yortsayt as December 19th). She had run away from home at 18 to join a theater troupe and became romantically involved with the lawman/gunslinger in 1881, the year of his duel at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, […]

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Jewish Radicalism, Broadly Speaking

by Jeffrey Dekro and Lawrence Bush The Jewish presence in America has created a cross-fertilization of two civilizations that has been profoundly democratizing to both. ‘Democratization’ was stirring within both cultures by the time their encounter truly began. Perhaps it is jarring to think of George Washington and the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidism, […]

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