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April 20, 2007

100 Years Ago In the Forward

Jewish workers! It has already been three weeks that a bitter battle has been waged between bosses and striking workers in our neighborhood. On one side stand a few dozen reefer manufacturers — newly hatched little capitalists, they are, who have united in a bosses association. And on the other side, there are more than 1,000 reefer makers, one more impoverished than the last, who have their own union. At this point, the union has run out of funds to provide food for the workers, so we are starting a fund to support them. Please help us by bringing donations to our offices and to the offices of the Cloakmakers Union.

75 Years Ago In the Forward

“Chicken King” Joseph Cohen had been beaten no fewer than eight times before he was gunned down while sitting on his front porch in Brooklyn. Cohen, who sat on Sing-Sing’s death row for nearly two years before having his sentence commuted to life imprisonment and, eventually, being freed entirely, had just finished dinner and was playing cards on the porch with his wife when he was approached by three gangsters who shot him at close range. Cohen was long thought to be involved in racketeering in connection to the chicken industry throughout the northeast.

For a few weeks, residents of the city of Warsaw put aside their worries about the current economic depression, politics and ethnic strife to enjoy an intense piano competition among dozens of contestants to see who could best play the works of famed Polish composer Chopin. Although Chopin’s father was a Frenchman, his mother was a Pole and the Poles claim him as their own. But apparently they are not the best interpreters of Chopin. As it turned out, Jews, most of them from Bolshevik Russia, claimed 13 of the 15 top spots in the Chopin competition.

50 Years Ago In the Forward

Saudi Arabia has warned the United States that it will fire at any Israeli ship that attempts to enter the Gulf of Aqaba on its way to Eilat. The Saudi ambassador informed the State Department this week that Israeli ships will not be permitted to pass through the Straits of Tiran, since those are considered Saudi Arabia’s territorial waters. The Soviet Union also announced that it was opposed to Israeli ships transiting those waters. In the meantime, American oil tankers have been transporting oil through the Straits of Tiran to Eilat so that Israel’s supply doesn’t run completely dry.


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