Remembering the Battle to Integrate Levittown

by Zachary Solomon   LAST YEAR, George Clooney’s Suburbicon, the sixth film that the actor has directed, bombed at the box office. Suburbicon was a combination of two scripts, one a neglected crime romp penned by Joel and Ethan Coen in the mid-1980s, the other a drama loosely informed by the notorious 1957 documentary, Crisis in Levittown. Suburbicon turned out to […]

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Six Million Ku Klux Klansmen

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition, by Linda Gordon. Liveright, 2017, 288 pages.   THE KU KLUX KLAN, America’s best-known racist society, has had three major phases of life since its founding right after the Civil War in 1866. […]

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The House Un-American Activities Committee

The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was established on this date in 1938, chaired by Rep. Martin Dies, Jr. (D-TX, pictured above). Its early investigations of “subversive” and communist influence within government circles included Hallie Flanagan of the Federal Theatre Project, the American Youth Congress (a Communist affiliate), and Japanese Americans (the committee recommended their internment). In 1946, HUAC considered investigating the Ku Klux […]

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Ben Hecht

Ben Hecht, a writer of wide-ranging accomplishments and great fame and influence who became especially active in American Zionist efforts to save Jews from the Holocaust, died at 70 on this date in 1964. Hecht’s screenplays included The Front Page (1931), Scarface (1932), Gunga Din (1939), Angels Over Broadway (which he also directed, in 1940), […]

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October 31: The Jewish Klansman

Dan Burros (center in the photo, with George Lincoln Rockwell at left), an American Nazi and Ku Klux Klan leader, committed suicide with a gun on this date in 1965 after the fact that he was Jewish was exposed by the New York Times. Burros attended Hebrew school in Richmond Hill, Queens and became a […]

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Memorializing the Victims of Lynching

Lessons from Germany An editorial from the Spring, 2015 issue of Jewish Currents NEARLY FOUR THOUSAND African Americans were lynched across twelve Southern states between 1877 and 1950. That’s the accounting done by the Equal Justice Initiative, a Montgomery, Alabama organization led by civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, which in February reported on its five […]

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November 3: The Greensboro Massacre

Dr. Paul Bermanzohn, the son of Holocaust survivors, was among 15 members of the Communist Workers Party who were wounded or killed on this date in 1979 in an attack by the Ku Klux Klan  in Greensboro, North Carolina. Dr. Michael Nathan, the chief of pediatrics at the Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, a […]

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May 19: The End of Immigration

The Emergency Quota Act was passed by Congress on this date in 1921. It limited the number of immigrants entering the United States  to 3 percent of the size of each nationality group that had been living in the country in 1910 — a formula that favored northern Europeans and Anglo-Saxons and greatly limited the […]

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January 8: Soupy Sales

Soupy Sales (Milton Supman) was born on this day in 1926 in Franklinton, North Carolina. His parents were dry goods merchants (the local Ku Klux Klan, Soupy joked, bought their sheets from his folks) who nicknamed their sons ‘Hambone,’ ‘Chicken Bone’ and ‘Soup Bone.’ Milton shortened his nickname to Soupy and turned his family’s bent […]

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