Medals of Honor in the Civil War

Two Jewish soldiers in the Union Army received the Congressional Medal of Honor for the heroism they showed on this date in 1864 during the four-day Battle of the Wilderness, the first attempt by Ulysses S. Grant to use consolidated forces of the Union to destroy Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Abraham […]

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September 30: Popularizing Flag Day

Benjamin Altheimer, a St. Louis financier who helped turn a Texas patriotic holiday into a national holiday — Flag Day, on June 14 — was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas on this date in 1877. After witnessing a flag ceremony in San Antonio, Texas, he returned home and offered to provide a “fine flag to […]

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September 4: Inciting the Slaves

According to a New York Times report on this date in 1860, “Friederman and Rotenburg, two German Jew peddlers, have been arrested and examined by the Rusk Vigilance Committee” in Montgomery County, Texas. “The former was released, nothing being proven against him. Rotenburg was accused by several negroes [sic] of inciting them to insurrection. His […]

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America’s First Illegal Immigrants

by Robert A. Slayton RABBI MARTIN ZIELONKA of Temple Mount Sinai in El Paso, Texas, had to deal with a growing problem, one he expected would worsen: Four Jewish immigrants appeared on his doorstep, coming from Eastern Europe to Mexico (by way of Spain or the Netherlands) and then entering the United States in total […]

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November 1: Kinky Friedman

Songwriter, humorist, and racy raconteur Richard Samet “Kinky” Friedman was born in Chicago on this date in 1944. Raised in Texas, he got his nickname from a fellow Jewish musician because of the texture of his hair, and in 1971 he formed Kinky Friedman and The Texas Jewboys (playing on the name of the well-known […]

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Blinding Light News Flash: The Occidental Rug

by Gary Schoichet WITH MORE THAN 60,000 unaccompanied minors crossing the borders of the United States in Arizona, California, and Texas, congressional representatives and senators of all stripes have been calling for the expulsion, and quickly, of these refugees from gang violence and other dangers coming from the Central American democracies of Honduras, Guatemala, and […]

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April 5: “Marxism and Hard Work” in Texas

Bernard Rapoport, founder of the American Income Life Insurance Company and a major donor to progressive Democratic candidates and liberal causes, especially in his home state of Texas, died in Waco at 94 on this date in 2012. Of his immigrant parents, Rapoport said: “My father,” who was a peddler on the streets of San […]

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July 1: The Galveston Movement

The Galveston Movement, a plan to divert Eastern European Jewish immigrants away from the overcrowded tenements of New York, began on this date in 1907 with the landing of the SS Cassel in Galveston, Texas, with 87 Russian Jews aboard. Over the course of seven years, the effort would bring ten thousand Jews through the […]

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O My America: The 2012 Republican Party Platform

This is the worldview that takes over the U.S. government if Romney takes the White House. Read it and weep. (Our thanks to Milt Kant of the Jewish Currents editorial board for bringing it to our attention.)   2012 REPUBLICAN PARTY OF TEXAS   Report of Platform Committee and Rules Committee   2012 STATE REPUBLICAN […]

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