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August 4: The Earthen Dam

On this date in 1964, the bodies of civil rights workers Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney were dug up from an earthen dam, forty-four days after their murder by Ku Klux Klansmen on June 21st, the opening day of the Mississippi Freedom Summer Campaign. Schwerner, 24, was an experienced Jewish civil rights worker […]

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August 26: Coming Home from Mississippi

Matthew Zwerling, a Jewish volunteer for Mississippi Freedom Summer, wrote to his parents in New York from Clarksdale, Mississippi on this date in 1964 suggesting an “unstrenuous” three-day weekend upon his return home. He thanked them for a money order, and noted that he was “still think[ing] Mississippi about 30 hours a day.” Zwerling, a […]

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March 14: Ben Shahn

Political artist Ben Shahn, who became a stand-out among the artists of the WPA and other federal agencies during the Great Depression and represented the U.S. (with Willem de Kooning) at the 1954 Venice Biennale, died at 70 on this date in 1969. Shahn studied lithography and graphic design in New York before touring the […]

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September 8: Smoking and Heart Disease

On this date in 1961, the Journal of the American Medical Association published the findings of research by Drs. David M. Spain and Daniel J. Nathan linking heavy smoking to heart disease. In a study of 3,000 men, they found that two-packs-per-day smokers under 51 years old had double the chance of having coronary heart […]

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Footprints: The Black-Jewish Connection

Jewish Currents Has Always Cultivated Solidarity between Blacks and Jews. Is that Bond Still Vital and Real? by Lawrence Bush This article is one of a series reflecting on the history of Jewish Currents on the occasion of our 65th anniversary. You can find the other entries here. JEWISH CURRENTS HAS ALWAYS capitalized “Black” in […]

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June 21: Philadelphia, Mississippi

Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney were murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan in Philadelphia, Mississippi shortly after midnight on this date in 1964. Goodman, 20, and Schwerner, 24, were New Yorkers who came to Mississippi as part of the “Freedom Summer” drive for Black voter registration; James Chaney, 21, was a […]

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A Tradition of Solidarity

Black-Jewish Relations in the Pages of Jewish Currents by Rokhl Kaffrisen I VOTED FOR OBAMA. If you’re reading Jewish Currents, you probably did, too. Throughout the past century, American Jews have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, and in this election, more than three-quarters of American Jews did so. The surprising statistic is that my so-called peers, […]

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A Verdict, at Last, in Mississippi

An Interview with Carolyn Goodman Dr. Carolyn Goodman, 89, is the mother of Andrew Goodman, one of the three young men murdered in 1964 by members of the Ku Klux Klan in Philadelphia, Mississippi during the civil rights struggles. Dr. Goodman, a psychologist for the past three decades, has devoted much of her life to […]

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