March 29: Mother of Charities

Frances Wisebart Jacobs, who created Denver, Colorado’s nondenominational Charity Organization Society, the first federation of charities in the U.S., which evolved into the national Community Chest and then the United Way, was born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky on this date in 1843. She was a school teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio before she married Abraham Jacobs, her […]

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March 11: The 1918 Flu Epidemic

The first case in the U.S. of the so-called “Spanish flu,” an influenza strain that killed between 20 and 40 million people worldwide, including nearly 600,000 Americans, was reported at the Army hospital in Fort Riley, Kansas on this date in 1918. Within a week, the hospital was dealing with 500 cases and 48 deaths. […]

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February 23: Barney Dreyfuss and the World Series

Barney Dreyfuss, who owned the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1900 to 1932 (the team won six pennants and two World Series during that period, led by the outstanding shortstop Honus Wagner), was born in Freiburg, Germany on this date in 1865. Dreyfuss came to the U.S. in 1881 and settled in Paducah, Kentucky, where he rose […]

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February 11: Thomas Alva Edison and the Jews

Thomas Alva Edison, modern history’s most prolific and tranformational inventor, with a record 1,093 patents to his name, was born in Milan, Ohio on this date in 1847. Edison (not Jewish) invented  an early motion picture camera and projector in the late 19th century, which soon brought him into conflict with Carl Laemmle and numerous […]

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January 24: The “Immigration Pogrom”

More than 130 Jewish labor groups sent representatives to a New York protest meeting against the Johnson-Reed Act, which severely restricted immigration to the U.S. from Southern and Eastern Europe as well as Africa — and banned outright the entry of all Asians and Arabs — on this date in 1924. Fiorello LaGuardia branded the […]

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January 11: Gerald Gold and the Pentagon Papers

New York Times editor Gerald Gold, who holed up for ten weeks with the Pentagon Papers in order to extract the most newsworthy information from 7,000 pages of top-secret documents that were spilled to the newspaper’s reporter Neil Sheehan by Daniel Ellsberg, a defense analyst, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1927. Gold, […]

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December 29: Streisand at 13

Barbra Streisand made her first recording at age 13 on this date in 1955, singing “You’ll Never Know” and “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart” at Nola Recording Studios on West 57th St. (near Carnegie Hall) in Manhattan. “We had a weeks’ vacation a year in the Catskill Mountains, and that’s where my mother […]

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December 22: The Antisemitic Displaced Persons Act, 1948

This date in 1945 was the cut-off for recognition of “Displaced Person” status that would enable people to emigrate to America under the American Displaced Persons Act of 1948. The legislation would ultimately result in 400,000 persons being admitted to the U.S., more than 70 percent of them  from Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. […]

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