December 10, 2010

Looking Back

Published December 01, 2010, issue of December 10, 2010.
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100 Years Ago in the forward

It’s been a bad time for pants maker Abraham Roth of Rivington Street, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, as he is currently on trial for the murder of his wife, Bertha. The first witness in the trial, a police officer, described the scene he saw upon entering the Roth apartment: Abraham Roth lying on a mattress with his five children, all of whom were crying. Roth had a large knife in his hand. The officer had entered the apartment after the body of Bertha Roth had been found in the street. Her throat had been slashed, subsequent to which she had been defenestrated. The second witness — the victim’s sister, Sarah Warshow — broke down, screaming hysterically after yelling “You murdered my sister” at the defendant. But the most damning testimony came from Roth’s 11-year-old son, who described the horrible beatings his mother suffered at the hands of his father. A verdict is expected soon.

75 Years Ago in the forward

The Amateur Athletic Union of the United States voted to participate without reservation in next year’s Olympic Games, to be held in Berlin. The vote succeeded by only a slim majority. Avery Brundage, who supported the measure, was made president of the union, replacing Jeremiah Mahoney, who resigned after the vote. Mahoney said that while he accepted the result, he could not, in good conscience, support American participation in the German Olympics. If conditions changed, Mahoney added, he might change his mind. Mahoney also said that he would continue to display opposition to American participation in the Berlin games. For his part, Brundage said that the decision to participate in the Nazi Olympics is “a victory for the amateur athletes of America.”

50 Years Ago in the forward

Speaking at an Israel Bonds meeting in Chicago, former president Harry Truman said that in 50 years, the United States will have a Jewish president and a black vice president, and that he would like to live to see these things happen. Asked by journalists whether religion will play a role in American politics, the former president responded, “No, Kennedy will be an excellent president, and [religion in politics] will end there.” Truman continued, “It will not take long before we will be voting for a Jew for president and a Negro for vice president.” The former president was being honored with Israel Bonds’ “Man of the Century” award, for his support for the State of Israel.

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