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February 11, 2011

100 Years Ago in the Forward

Abraham Pariz, a tailor, is in critical condition in a hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side after being shot in the neck, allegedly by his estranged, dressmaker wife. According to Mr. Pariz, his wife, with whom he has lived on and off for the past eight years, came over to his apartment. He asked if she would come back and live with him, but she refused. She did, however, make him dinner. But when he replied negatively to her question about whether he liked the food, she allegedly pulled out a revolver, stuck it in his mouth, and said, “Maybe you’ll like this better.” She then allegedly pulled the trigger, wounding him in the throat. However, according to Mrs. Pariz, the former Helen Bialik, the story ends differently. Whereas she did come over, and did rebuff his requests for her to move back in, she said it was he who pulled out a gun and tried to shoot her, but shot himself in the struggle. The police apparently found Mr. Pariz’s story more believable, and put his wife in jail.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

“Yosl the Peddler,” one of the best-known characters on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, was found dead in his paper bag store on East Broadway. The cause of his death is a mystery. His body was found among the paper bags, wrapping paper and balls of string that he once peddled from a pushcart and later sold from his little shop. His hands had been tied behind his back, and it is assumed he was robbed; however, he was found with a $20 bill in his pocket. A doctor suggested that “Yosl de begmen” had a heart attack during the robbery, and this may have scared away the robbers while they were tying him up. Although everyone called him “Yosl,” his real name was Barney Gilman.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

A Jewish student, David Schiller of Chicago, was shut out of a small college fraternity in Lake Forest, Ill., based purely on the fact that he is a Jew. In fact, the official decision of the fraternity read as follows: “He is not allowed into the fraternity on account of his religious background.” Schiller, for his part, said that the members of the fraternity are still his friends and that he has no plans to fight their decision. The college stated that the campus chapter of Delta Theta actually admitted the boy as a member last November, but the national association of the fraternity refused to accept him and demanded that the Lake Forest chapter revoke his membership. In the meantime, Schiller is still living in the fraternity house.

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