March 25, 2005
100 YEARS AGO
• “Victory!!” screams the Forward’s front page. “Bravo, Hurrah, Cap Makers! Cheers to the entire Jewish quarter, which helped win this amazing battle! Hurrah to all the unions!” It’s a huge holiday for the Cap Makers, for all unions, for the Jewish quarter and for the entire American labor movement. At this week’s meeting between the manufacturers and the unions, the bosses gave in to all union demands. The Forward, one of the main organizational forces behind the strike, will be published this week with red ink in support of the strikers, who now finally can go back to work.
75 YEARS AGO
• Jews worldwide are mourning the pneumonia death of Lord Balfour at the age of 82. The British statesman was famed for having written the declaration that bears his name in which the British promised a national home to the Jews in Palestine. Zionist organizations worldwide have organized memorial services in honor of Lord Balfour. Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, had met with Balfour only three days before his death. Weizmann broke into tears at a committee meeting while speaking of Balfour, and said that his death was “a terrible blow” to the Zionist movement.
• Brooklyn-born Sidney Franklin, the world’s only Jewish matador, is in critical condition after being gored by a bull in Madrid. Franklin, the only American bullfighter in Spain, won fame as one of the best in the profession. A crowd favorite known for his fancy footwork, Franklin frequently performs before groups numbering in the tens of thousands. But apparently he let the bull get the best of him and was gored in the shoulder. Last year he was also wounded by a bull, but was back in the ring three days later.
50 YEARS AGO
• Natan Alterman is one of the most beloved and widely read poets in Israel. Like the followers of Hasidic rebbes who interpreted and reinterpreted every word uttered by their rebbes, so, too, does Alterman have Hasidim — and a lot of them. Every Friday, Alterman publishes a poem on the seventh column of the newspaper Davar and, in fact, the title of the series is “The Seventh Column.” Readers wait with bated breath for new installments, and for good reason: Alterman’s poems are interesting, refreshing, clever and, above all, deal with current issues; many of his themes are taken directly from the newspaper.