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Culture

Looking Back: August 17, 2012

100 Years Ago

1912 Police in Newark, N.J., have arrested a number of figures in a major check-kiting scheme. Morris Lubin, Jacob Lubin and Samuel Freedman, all Newark residents, were arrested after being followed by detectives. One of their gang, who apparently noticed the detectives who were tracking them, managed to slip away; the person remains unknown. Another person involved in the game, 22 year-old Esther Haykin, was arrested on check-kiting charges two weeks prior. The police accused the gang of passing false and stolen checks in banks around the Newark and New York City area. The leaders of the gang are allegedly the Lubins, who, it was recently discovered, are wanted for similar swindles in Lincoln, Neb., and in Dallas. Morris Lubin is also wanted for jumping bail in New York last winter.

75 Years Ago

1937 A number of years ago in New York City there was a well-known neighborhood character, a Bowery barber by the name of Max Berger. His status as a small-time local celebrity, however, didn’t keep the 70-year-old retiree from being put in jail for torturing an animal. Apparently, Berger had received a gift from his girlfriend: a red rooster. Thrilled with the gift, he carried it on to the subway. As he rode downtown, he began to pluck the rooster’s feathers, saying, “She loves me, she loves me not.” Fellow subway riders were much displeased with Berger’s behavior, and asked him to refrain from flikn his chicken. Berger refused and grew incensed with their demands for him to stop. He plucked even more furiously, until the poor rooster was featherless. Police were called, and Berger was arrested.

50 Years Ago

1962 Sherry Finkbein waited nervously in a Swedish courtroom at a hearing to determine whether or not she will be permitted to obtain an abortion. The court is waiting to hear the opinion of the Swedish medical board and will base its decision on their advice. Finkbein, who is 13 weeks pregnant, requested the operation after taking the drug thalidomide, which causes birth defects. Her husband, Robert Finkbein, said that this may be the couple’s last chance, as doctors say that 15 weeks is generally the absolute latest that an abortion can be performed.

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