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July 20, 2007

100 Years Ago in the Forward

Frieda Singer, a young mother, was arrested along with two of her friends, Adele Finkelstein and Anna Segal. The three ladies were stopped from sitting with their babies on the grass in Mount Morris Park, in the Harlem section of Manhattan. Police first arrested Singer, who refused to vacate the grassy area. She complained that it was her right to be able to enjoy the park and its fresh air, especially since she couldn’t afford a summerhouse in the country. Finkelstein and Segal came to her defense and tried to wring her out of the hands of the arresting officers. When Moses Herman, the parks commissioner, heard about the arrests, he said that it was fine for the women to sit on the park’s lawns.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

One of the earliest Jewish professions in America was the “customer peddler,” a kind of personal shopper who could get you anything you wanted. Some of the early, successful customer peddlers are now owners of major department stores across the country. But it was the less successful peddler that provided fodder for Yiddish humorists, jokesters and the Yiddish theater, all of whom bitterly mocked his plans and schemes for achievement. Typically, they portrayed this character as a tiny man, hunched under the weight of his giant pack of goods and traveling all over, making deals in terrible, broken English. But, sadly, this character is no more: The depression has put customer peddling out of business.

Rose Wasserstein, 21, of Brooklyn’s Coney Island, was found yesterday in a wooded area of Woodmere, Long Island, with two bullets in her head. Although she is in critical condition at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the Far Rockaway area of Queens, she is expected to live. When detectives arrived at the hospital to question her, she informed them that she was “taken for a ride” by one Henry Grossman and another man, whom she knew only as “Jack.” When the detectives asked for more information, she told them to go away because she wanted to sleep. In the meantime, no one knows the reason for the attempted murder.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

An Israeli government spokesman has said that the country will not be able to tolerate Syrian attacks on its territories any longer. Over the past week, a number of incursions have been made by the Syrians on the Northeastern area of the country near Lake Hula. Backed by the army and the government, Syrian farmers and their families have been sneaking into Israeli territory and building settlements. Israel has complained to the United Nations and has said that if the Syrians do not remove their citizens from Israeli land, they will be forced to engage in drastic action.


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