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February 20: Walter Winchell

Radio and newspaper commentator Walter Winchell died at 74 on this date in 1972. Winchell was the first syndicated gossip columnist with “On-Broadway” in the New York Daily Mirror, which he parleyed into enormous cultural and political influence. He was an early anti-Nazi, a proponent of American intervention in World War II, and a staunch […]

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Doing Business with Hitler

Koch Was Not Alone in Aiding the Nazi War Machine by Dusty Sklar JANE MAYER’S RECENTLY PUBLISHED Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, is causing a stir. She reports that Fred C. Koch, the father of billionaire rightwing political activists Charles G. and David H. Koch, […]

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February 3: None Shall Escape

None Shall Escape, a film that anticipated the post-war Nuremberg War Crimes trials, was released on this date in 1944. The film portrayed a Nazi officer on trial for his misdeeds and confronted by several witnesses, each of whom triggers a flashback scene. One shows the deportation of the Jews and other minority groups who […]

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Gertrude Stein’s Romance with Fascism

by Dusty Sklar MODERNIST INNOVATOR, TASTEMAKER and (by her own admission) artistic genius Gertrude Stein was beloved by many. She had a warm, charming persona that almost never failed to delight people. She delighted historian Bernard Fay (1893-1978), a fellow American intellectual with whom she had several things in common. Both were gay (Hemingway referred […]

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October 11: Einstein’s Letter to FDR

On this date in 1939, Alexander Sachs, an economic adviser to President Franklin Roosevelt, delivered and summarized a letter written to the president on August 2nd by Albert Einstein, in consultation with Leó Szilárd, describing the possibility of building an atomic bomb and noting that “Germany has actually stopped the sale of uranium from the […]

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It’s Time to Convene an International Conference about Refugees

by Myriam Miedzian IN 1938, PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT called for an international conference to deal with German and Austrian Jewish refugees trying to flee their homelands, where their lives were threatened. The ensuing conference in Evian, France, July 6-15, was a humanitarian failure. While the representatives of thirty-two countries deplored the persecution of the Jews, only one, […]

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August 29: The Federal Art Project

The Federal Art Project, an arm of the Works Progress Administration established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in relief of the Great Depression, was launched on this date in 1935. During eight years of operation, it would include within its ranks such iconic artists as Adolph Gottlieb, William Gropper, Philip Guston (Goldstein), Morris Kantor, Lee […]

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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 26: Credit Unions

President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act on this date in 1934, establishing a system of government-backed, nonprofit, cooperative financial institutions to serve as alternatives to banks, which often denied services and loans to working-class people. Credit unions had been pioneered by Edward Filene, the founder of Filene’s department store chain, who was […]

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Jewish Troublemakers in America, Part 1

A History and An Analysis by Lawrence Bush From the Winter, 2014-15 issue (art calender) of Jewish Currents THE STREETS WERE PAVED with stones and cement, not gold, in the so-called goldene medine, “golden land,” of America, but at least a Jew could walk those sidewalks with “none to make him afraid,” as President George […]

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