The Codex Theodosianus

On this date in 439 CE, the Codex Theodosianus (Code of Theodosius II) was established in the Byzantine Empire. The Codex, a compilation of the laws promulgated since the time of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor (he converted in 313 CE), systematized the process that stripped Jews of citizenship rights and repressed Judaism as a […]

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February 6: Giant Food’s First Supermarket

Nehemiah Cohen and Samuel Lehrman opened the first Giant supermarket in Washington, DC on this date in 1936. “At a time when most grocery shopping was done at small stores that specialized in meat, vegetables or canned goods,” writes Anthony Ramirez in the New York Times, “Giant Food helped pioneer large stores that offered a […]

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May 13: Myron Brinig’s 21 Novels

The first American Jewish novelist to write about gay life with any depth (and one of the first of his generation to write in English instead of Yiddish), Myron Brinig died at 95 on this date in 1991. Brinig grew up with shopkeeper parents in Butte, Montana, where his early books are set. As a […]

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March 3: Jews in Florida

Florida was admitted to the United States as its 27th state on this date in 1845. Fewer than a hundred Jews lived in Florida at the time (out of a white population of some 66,000) — including David Levy Yulee, one of the new state’s first two senators and the first Jew in the U.S. […]

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Return of the Refuseniks

by Nicholas Jahr As the most recent war in Gaza blunders on, last week The Washington Post published a petition signed by more than 50 reservists who have refused to serve in the current conflict. Just about every one of Israel’s wars has generated similar small-scale resistance, but what struck me upon reading the petition […]

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April 30: Phil Weintraub at Bat

Phil Weintraub (1907–87), a journeyman outfielder with the New York Giants, had one of the most productive days at the plate of any batter in Major League history on this date in 1944. During the course of a 26­–8 shellacking of the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds, Weintraub drove in 11 runs, with two doubles, […]

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August 13: International Left Handers Day

The first International Left Handers Day was celebrated on this date in 1976 by Left Handers International, an organization that is long since defunct. The day is still marked by lefties, however, who make up nearly 10 percent of the world population. Famous Jewish left handers include, in no particular order, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Lenny […]

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