The “Israelite with Egyptian Principles”

Judah P. Benjamin was confirmed as Secretary of War of the Confederacy on this date in 1861. Benjamin was a plantation owner, slaveholder and attorney who had served as U.S. senator from Louisiana (the second Jewish senator in history after David Levy Yulee of Florida) and had twice declined appointment to the Supreme Court. Republican Senator […]

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April 12: Alfred Mordecai’s Civil War

The Confederate military fired on Fort Sumter, South Carolina in the port of Charleston on this date in 1861, sparking the Civil War — and a conflict in the heart of Major Alfred Mordecai, a military munitions expert who had been the first Jew educated at West Point. An Orthodox Jew from Warrenton, North Carolina, […]

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The Uncivil Servant: History and Civics Lessons

by Mitchell Abidor THIS HAS BEEN a week for exposing the public’s general ignorance about American history and our entire political system. My 7th-grade social studies teacher, Miss Kelly, told us that if we remembered everything we learned through the 6th grade, we’d seem like geniuses all our lives. Back then that was true: Who […]

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