Looking Back: October 5, 2012

Published October 08, 2012, issue of October 05, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

100 Years Ago

1912 The infamous gangster Big Jack Zelig, was shot Saturday, October 5, at 8 p.m., on the corner of 14th Street and Second Avenue, as he sat in his car. Zelig, who was scheduled to testify as a major witness in the trial of vice cop Charles Becker, slithered to the floor of the car and died instantly. Immediately, a huge crowd surrounded the car, trapping the shooter, who jumped on the hood and yelled, as people tried to grab him, “Get back or I’ll shoot you, too!” The crowd backed off, and the killer leaped from the car and took off running down 14th Street. He ran right into a policeman who, after a short struggle, arrested the man and brought him into the precinct. There the shooter gave his name as Philip Davidson and claimed that he shot Zelig because he’d robbed him a few weeks ago on the corner of Eldridge and Grand Streets. Most suspect, however, that the murder has to do with the Becker trial.

75 Years Ago

1937 It has been officially decreed that Polish institutions of higher learning have “ghetto benches.” According to the official decree, Jewish students must now be forced to sit on specially marked benches, located on the left side and rear of the classroom. Those Jews who refuse to sit on the benches can be subject to disciplinary action. As a result, Jewish students have met with Jewish parliamentarians and have formed a committee to fight their forced separation from Polish students. Polish fascists have reacted with joy over the decree and consider the separation of Poles and Jews a victory that has been a long time coming. Polish socialists, on the other hand, are adamantly opposed to the separation and have joined the Jews in solidarity on the ghetto benches.

50 Years Ago

1962 The Israeli government has rejected the United Nations Special Rapporteur’s recommendations for the resolution of the Arab refugee problem. Although the U.N. report was not published, it is rumored that one of the recommendations was that Arab refugees be permitted to decide for themselves whether they want to return to Israel or remain where they are. Israeli pundits of various stripes all came out against the plan.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.