Edwin Land and the Instant Camera

Edwin Herbert Land, a Harvard drop-out, demonstrated the first instant camera (soon to become the Polaroid Land Camera) on this date in 1947. Land had already founded the Polaroid company in 1937 after inventing an inexpensive polarizing filter used in film, sunglasses, optical microscopes, and other gadgets. He later served as a scientific adviser under the […]

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To Create More Jobs, Tax the Job Creators More!

THE MORE UNCLE SAM TAKES, THE MORE THEY’LL WANT by Gary Ferdman   LAST WEEK, Donald Trump’s chief economic advisor Gary Cohn gave new meaning to the term “speaking truth to power” by proclaiming: “The most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan.” Ever since 1974, when conservative economist Arthur Laffer sketched his infamous […]

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The Last Resort: Trump and the Jewish Vote

by Albert Vorspan DEAR DONALD, The pundits are scoffing at you for playing musical chairs with your campaign manager, but I think you are very clever and, indeed, I suggest that you switch campaign managers daily to one specially qualified to awaken a sliver of the voting population that you need to resurrect ASAP. Now […]

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April 27: Fighting the President on Homophobia

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Executive Order 10450 on this date in 1953, which listed “sexual perversion,” understood to mean homosexuality, as a condition for firing a federal worker and for denying federal jobs to applicants. Eisenhower also ordered all private contractors doing business with the government to fire their gay employees or risk losing […]

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OpEdge: A Christian Nation?

by Marc Jampole Reviewed in this essay: One Nation Under God, by Kevin M. Kruse. Basic Books, 2015, 384 pages. IN ONE NATION UNDER GOD, Kevin M. Kruse, a Princeton history professor, reconstructs the story of the growth of the twin ideas that the United States is a Christian nation and that a free-market, deregulated, […]

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June 17: The President and the Propagandist

Guatemala’s President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman was overthrown in a CIA-supervised coup on this date in 1954. The Eisenhower administration portrayed the coup as an uprising against a Communist government, but the Arbenz’s real crime had been to redistribute fallow land owned by the United Fruit Company, which owned 42 percent of Guatemala, and to demand […]

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June 14: “One Nation, Under God”

The Pledge of Allegiance, written in 1892 by Frances Bellamy, a Baptist socialist minister from upstate New York, and adopted by Congress as a formal recitation in 1942, had the words “under God” (“one nation, under God, indivisible . . . “) added to it by an act of Congress that President Dwight D. Eisenhower […]

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June 1: Sanctuary in the Philippines

Alexander Frieder, one of five brothers from Cincinnati who had been manufacturing two-for-a-nickel cigars in the Philippines since 1918, wrote a letter to Dwight D. Eisenhower on this date in 1945, congratulating him on victory in the war in Europe and urging him not to allow “sentimentalists, propagandists, pacifists and the like” to soften his […]

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November 8: Jack Levine

Political artist Jack Levine, whose realistic, slightly cartoonish paintings “skewered plutocrats, crooked politicians and human folly,” according to the New York Times, died at 95 on this date in 2010. Levine was a WPA painter and printmaker whose 1937 work, “The Feast of Pure Reason,” showing a police officer, a capitalist, and a politician seated […]

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