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October 9: The Jewish Patriot

Benjamin Nones, who emigrated from France to the American colonies in 1772 and fought in the Revolution as aide-de-camp to the Marquis de Lafayette, in Count Casimir Pulaski’s legion during the defense of Charleston, and as aide to George Washington, became a naturalized U.S. citizen on this date in 1784. After the Revolution, he lived […]

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October 7: The “Howl” Premiere

Twenty-nine-year-old Allen Ginsberg read his poem “Howl” in public for the first time on this date in 1955, at Six Gallery in San Francisco — a former auto-repair shop with a dirt floor measuring 20′ x 25′. The reading, which he shared with Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, and Philip Whalen, was a “coming out” […]

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October 6: Editor of “Jewish Child”

Elma Ehrlich Levinger, the editor of Jewish Child magazine and author of more than thirty books for children about Jewish history and identity, was born in Chicago on this date in 1886. “Levinger used both drama and the short story as a means of educating young people and women about Jewish history and traditions, hoping […]

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October 4: The Dragon Lady of Architecture

Judith Edelman (Hochberg), a feminist leader and critic within the male-dominated world of architecture, died at 91 on this date in 2014. Edelman completed her architectural studies at Columbia University in 1946 but was widely denied employment simply because she was a woman. In 1960 she and her husband opened their own prize-winning firm, which […]

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September 30: Popularizing Flag Day

Benjamin Altheimer, a St. Louis financier who helped turn a Texas patriotic holiday into a national holiday — Flag Day, on June 14 — was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas on this date in 1877. After witnessing a flag ceremony in San Antonio, Texas, he returned home and offered to provide a “fine flag to […]

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September 5: Victor Gotbaum

Victor Gotbaum, who led New York’s largest municipal union, District Council 37 of AFSCME, from 1965 to 1987, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1927. In 1971, Gotbaum led a strike that snarled New York traffic by leaving all but two of the city’s twenty-nine drawbridges open. By 1975, he had built his […]

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September 4: Inciting the Slaves

According to a New York Times report on this date in 1860, “Friederman and Rotenburg, two German Jew peddlers, have been arrested and examined by the Rusk Vigilance Committee” in Montgomery County, Texas. “The former was released, nothing being proven against him. Rotenburg was accused by several negroes [sic] of inciting them to insurrection. His […]

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August 15: The Shocking Stanley Milgram

Stanley Milgram, the social psychologist who responded to the Eichmann trial and the Holocaust by designing an experiment about human obedience to authority, was born in the Bronx on this date in 1933. Milgram received his Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University before teaching at Yale, Harvard, and the Graduate Center of the City […]

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August 13: The Riegner Cable

The following telegram was sent by Gerhart Riegner, secretary of the World Jewish Congress in Geneva, to diplomats in the U.S. State Department and the British Foreign Office on August 8, 1942: “Received alarming report stating that, in the Fuehrer’s Headquarters, a plan has been discussed, and is under consideration, according to which all Jews […]

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A Symposium on the Jewish Future

AT ONE OF THE SITES WHERE THAT FUTURE WAS CREATED by Elliot B. Gertel THIS IS THE THIRD and (at least for now) final installment in a series I’ve done about noteworthy discussions of Jewish religion and culture found on internet videos of valuable symposia. The first installment was a look at milestones at New […]

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