Looking Back December 22, 2006

Published December 22, 2006, issue of December 22, 2006.
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100 Years Ago In the Forward

As more than 50 workers looked on, 25-year-old Louise Segal murdered the foreman in Louise Fink’s Bookbinding Shop. While initial police inquiries into these events indicated that the murder was the result of a love triangle gone bad, this theory turned out to be false. Apparently, Segal was working while a young man by the name of Harry Lapidus cleaned up a nearby machine. For some reason, the two began to argue vociferously. The shop foreman, Abraham Less, who is also Lapidus’s brother-in-law, took Lapidus’s side, infuriating Segal. The two began hitting each other, and at one point Segal grabbed a knife and slashed Less across the throat, cutting his jugular. The shop erupted into chaos as the workers, mostly women, screamed and ran about.


75 Years Ago In the Forward

There is currently a war going on from Manhattan to the Bronx between Jewish and Chinese laundrymen. And it’s all because of a poster that one put up in the window of his store. It started in Harlem, on a street where there were two Jewish laundrymen. A Chinaman set up shop nearby, offering lower prices and amping up the competition. So what do the Jewish laundrymen do? They put up a poster in their windows, showing a caricature of an old-time Chinese laundryman next to a drawing of a modern, machine laundry, the intention to show that the latter is better. When the Chinese laundrymen saw the poster, they took umbrage and went to the police, who asked the Jews to take it down. They did. So all’s well that ends well, right? Not exactly. The Jewish laundrymen were still smarting from the competition, so they went to the Manhattan & Bronx Laundry Owners’ Association, a powerful cooperative with nearly 1,000 members. The association took the original poster, had copies printed up and sent out the copies to members all over the city to put in their windows. The Chinese laundrymen were furious. The whole thing ended up in court, where both sides have been yelling at each other, one in Yiddish and the other in Chinese, for the past five days.


50 Years Ago In the Forward

French Prime Minister Guy Mollet gave a fiery speech in the French Parliament in support of Israel during the Suez crises. The speech was met with strong support, with the exception of parliament members from parties on the far left and far right. Mollet said that Israel, surrounded by enemies, did the right thing by launching a pre-emptive attack on Egypt. “Should Israel have waited until tragedy occurred and for the United Nations to decide to intervene?” Mollet said. “We would have agonized over the destruction of Israel, just as we weep over the current martyrdom of Hungary.”






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