Jan 9, 2009

Looking Back

Published December 30, 2008, issue of January 09, 2009.
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75 Years Ago in the Forward

In the most recent issue of Tsienist, the monthly journal of the Zionist organization in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Independent Jewish Club began a major advertising campaign calling for a mass meeting of Jews in order to combat prostitution. Of the 3,000 prostitutes in Argentina, it is estimated that 90% are Jewish girls who were tricked into going there by the lowest sort of people — known as “white meat merchants” — and then sent to brothels and forced to work in the most revolting conditions. The Independent Jewish Club has combined forces with the government of Argentina to battle this scourge on society.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

The weekly magazine The American Hebrew has obtained copies of the marriage certificate of New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia’s parents. On June 3, 1880, Carlo Luigi LaGuardia married one Irena Cohen, in Padua, Italy. The mayor’s mother apparently was born in Trieste, which is formerly of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and currently part of Italy. When presented with this information, the mayor said that he never knew he had so much Jewish blood in him and that it is something to be proud of. It’s also a hardly known fact that LaGuardia has a sister in Budapest, where his mother is buried, who is not only a Jew, but quite a religious one at that. LaGuardia knows a fair amount of Yiddish, and he says he’d like to learn more.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

America’s chess establishment finally deserves a mazel tov on its new champion, 15-year-old Erasmus Hall High School student Bobby Fischer. In his hometown, the Brooklyn neighborhood of Flatbush, Fischer is being called “Shmulik the Second,” after Polish-born chess wunderkind Shmulik Rezhevski, who made it big in America’s chess world 40 years ago — an indication as to how weak chess is in this country. But Fischer holds great hopes for American chess. Over the past year, he has traveled around the world, winning matches all over Europe. True, he lost in a private match to Grandmaster Botvinnik in Moscow, but his future as a champion looks very bright.

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