Looking Back


April 11, 2003

100 YEARS AGO A policeman found Lower East Side celebrity and restaurateur Big Dave Bernstein stumbling around the Bowery with a revolver hanging out of his pocket. Big Dave, known locally for his strength, had blood pouring out of a wound in his chest. When the cop tried to help him, he pushed the officer out of his way.Read More


April 4, 2003

100 YEARS AGO When her tenement on Henry Street went up in flames, 14-year-old Rosie Rothstein ran into the hallway screaming for someone to save her 84-year-old grandfather. But in the chaos, no one in the crowd paid any attention to her. “You’re a bunch of sissies,” the girl yelled, running back into the burning tenement to try to…Read More


March 28, 2003

100 YEARS AGO A project is underway in the Pale of Settlement to give Jews of small shtetls the same legal status as that of the peasantry. This is worrisome to the Jews, since this places them under direct control of the noble class, which has the legal right to physically beat their subjects. Up until now, it has…Read More


March 21, 2003

100 YEARS AGO A savage mass attacked the Jewish quarter of Filippov, Bulgaria, after a rumor spread that a Jew planned to kidnap a Christian child and use his blood to make matzo on Passover. A number of Jews were killed and the community is in fear for its life. Stores have been shuttered, and the Jews have locked themselves up in their homes.Read More


March 14, 2003

100 YEARS AGO From Rivington to Hester Street, and all over the Lower East Side, dozens of Jews stood around waving their fists, threatening to “hang that Haman” even before Purim. “Haman,” in this case,” is Sanitation Commissioner Woodbury, who declared that the selling of fish from pushcarts will be permitted no longer.Read More


March 7, 2003

100 YEARS AGO A strike like no other has broken out in Omaha, Neb. The small Jewish community is up in arms since the Shabbat goyim have gone on strike, demanding an increase in their wages. The Shabbat goyim, who light the gas and turn on the ovens for the Jews, decided that 10 cents per Sabbath was not enough and demanded a raise to 15 cents.Read More


February 28, 2003

100 YEARS AGO Three Jewish workers from the cloak-maker shop of Kastovitz and Polanski came into the offices of the Forward and informed us of the following terrible conditions in their shop. The sewing machine operators are all Jews, but the 12 pressers are all Italians who let themselves be treated like slaves.Read More


January 31, 2003

*100 YEARS AGO The Essex Market Court was a full house after the police came out in force to arrest petty criminals on the Lower East Side. Among those in custody was one George Meyer, who was arrested on an accusation made by Harris Katz, who said that Meyer had shot at him with a revolver. But when Meyer was brought into court…Read More


January 24, 2003

100 YEARS AGO Because the enlightened worker doesn’t believe in religion, he is often jealous of his friends who still celebrate joyous holidays like Chanukah, Purim and Simchat Torah. The enlightened worker goes sees only the poverty around him and thus goes around depressed.Read More


January 17, 2003

100 YEARS AGO The birthday party for Comrade Levin’s 2-year-old daughter, which was attended by a large number of Forward employees who sang Russian revolutionary songs, was disrupted when Benjamin Belikoff drank a bottle of carbolic acid. Belikoff, who works for Levin and is also a boarder in his house, tried to bite the hands of…Read More


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