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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September 10: Jared Diamond

Science writer and scientist Jared Diamond, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997) as well as The World Until Yesterday (2012), Collapse (2005) and The Third Chimpanzee (1992), among other books, was born in Boston on this date in 1937. He earned a degree in history and anthropology from Harvard in 1958 […]

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February 14: The Billionaire Mayor

Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York from 2002-13 and the eighth wealthiest person in the world (according to Forbes in 2015) thanks to his creation of Bloomberg L.P., a financial data company, was born in Boston on this date in 1942. With an MBA from Harvard Business School, Bloomberg became a partner at Salomon […]

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November 3: Celebrating the Tsar’s Death

Some 2,000 Jews in Boston attended a mock funeral for Tsar Alexander III at Memorial Hall on this date in 1894, in celebration of his death two days earlier. According to a wire service article at the time, “socialists and labor leaders were the orators,” and “parodists were numerous, and the music was enlivening.” Alexander […]

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September 20: Yom Kippur Anarchists’ Ball, 1893

The anarchist Yiddish newspaper Fraye Arbiter Shtime (Free Voice of Labor) sponsored its annual Yom Kippur concert and ball, “with a pleasant… and tasteful buffet,” at Clarendon Hall, 114 East 13th Street, in New York City on this date in 1893. This mass anti-religious event was met by “an estimated mob of five to six […]

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“Civil” Protest?

There’s been some controversy at Northeastern University recently. Yvonne Abraham explains in the Boston Globe: “It began in April, when the school’s Students for Justice in Palestine staged a walkout at a presentation by Israeli soldiers. At the start of the event, 35 students stood, small signs taped to their shirts. One member called the […]

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