March 7: Every Boy Wants a Remco Toy

Isaac Heller, co-founder with his cousin Saul Robbins of Remco Industries, which converted military surplus material into action toys (Remco was a redaction of “remote control”), died at 88 on this date in 2015. Remco’s products included the Dick Tracy wrist radio, the Whirlybird helicopter, the Barracuda atomic submarine, the Johnny Reb cannon, Mr. Kelly’s […]

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February 22: The Liberal Stalwart

Abraham Ribicoff, a liberal stalwart of the Democratic Party who served as Congressional representative, senator, Cabinet secretary of health, education, and welfare, and the first and only Jewish governor of Connecticut, died at 87 on this date in 1998. Ribicoff became best known as a confidante and advisor to John F. Kennedy (he turned down […]

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January 18: Curt Flood and Marvin Miller

Three-time All-Star baseball player Curt Flood (a .293 lifetime hitter in fifteen seasons), who reached out to Marvin Miller to sue Major League Baseball in 1969 in defiance of the “reserve clause” — a case that reached the Supreme Court and helped transform the status of professional baseball players — was born in Houston, Texas […]

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January 5: The Attorney of Free Speech

Al Bendich, an attorney who in 1957 defended Lawrence Ferlinghetti against obscenity charges for publishing and distributing Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” and in 1962 defended Lenny Bruce in his first of four obscenity trials, died on this date in 2015 at age 85. Bendich was only two years out of law school when he wrote the […]

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November 28: The Dance Crazes of Kal Mann

Song lyricist and record producer Kal Mann (Kalman Cohen), whose hits included “The Bristol Stomp,” Elvis Presley’s “Teddy Bear,” Bobby Rydell’s “Wild One,” and Chubby Checker’s series of “Twist” songs, died at 84 on this date in 2001. Mann began his career writing comedy sketches for Danny Thomas and Red Buttons, among other radio comedians, […]

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November 13: The Intermarriage

Sammy Davis Jr. married May Britt at a star-studded wedding on this date in 1960 — a “mixed race” marriage that evoked an enormous racist reaction at a time when such marriages were illegal in thirty-one American states. Davis was confronted by Nazi fascists while performing in London; 20th Century Fox declined to renew Britt’s […]

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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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Jewish-Goyish

Lenny Bruce’s Mission to America by Lawrence Bush from the Summer 2016 issue of Jewish Currents LEONARD ALFRED SCHNEIDER, who took the stage as Lenny Bruce, died half a century ago on August 3, 1966, age 40. He was not the nice Jewish boy you’d want your daughter or son to marry. A drug abuser, […]

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Drinks with Lenny Bruce

HIS 50TH YORTSAYT, AUGUST 3RD by Marty Roth Lenny Bruce is dead but his ghost lives on and on Never did get any Golden Globe award, never made it to Synanon He was an outlaw, that’s for sure More of an outlaw than you ever were Lenny Bruce is gone but his spirit’s livin’ on […]

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