January 13, 2006

Published January 13, 2006, issue of January 13, 2006.

100 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

Most of the tenants of a tenement on Manhattan’s Chrystie Street confuse the names of two of the other residents: Rosenthal, the watchmaker, and Rosenblum, the building super. But the two men couldn’t be more different. When Rosenthal hung a fine-looking sign on his door advertising his watch repair business, Rosenblum informed him that the landlord didn’t like signs. Rosenthal told Rosenblum to mind his own business. But after he returned from going out that day, he found his new sign in the garbage, among eggshells and a dead cat. Infuriated, Rosenthal found Rosenblum and told him, “I’m going to turn you into a kasha.” To which the latter responded, “Bring it on.” Rosenblum ended up in the hospital and Rosenthal at the Eldridge Street police station.

75 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

This was a bad week for judges. Magistrates Henry Goodman and Louis Brodsky both resigned after it became known that the two appeared prominently in recently murdered organized crime figure Arnold Rothstein’s recently revealed black book. Judicial referee Samuel Siburi said he will be investigating all judges who have resigned in the wake of the publication of Rothstein’s black book. Other magistrates who have been questioned in connection to this include Jesse Silberman and John Norris. Siburi told the press that everyone involved will be investigated, whether they had resigned or not.

When Bronx police arrived at the home of 31-year-old unemployed laborer Harry Drucker, they found his wife on the Druckers’ bed — with a slashed throat and a black eye. Drucker himself was found unconscious in the hallway, collapsed in a heap. The couple’s 5-year-old twins were still in their beds, half-asphyxiated by the copious amounts of gas that had been streaming into the apartment from the kitchen. The Druckers left a suicide note, which had a poem written in Hungarian by Mrs. Drucker: “Sadly, we must now leave this life, it was decided upon by both of us.”

50 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

When wealthy magnate William Vanderbilt built his beautiful mansion in Manhattan at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 86th Street, designed with old French castles in mind, he probably never thought about what kind of fate would befall his palace in the near future. This luxury home has expensive marble and crystal chandeliers. Fancy-dress balls were held there, and well-heeled guests danced. It now holds a large exhibit of Yiddish books, journals and newspapers. As odd as it may seem, YIVO, the Jewish Scientific Institute, has moved into the old mansion. One wonders what Vanderbilt would say about the large number of Jewish artifacts in his home.



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