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September 22, 2006

100 Years Ago in the Forward Poultry dealer Morris Frank was hauling a large truckload of chickens in New York City from Harlem to Hester Street, to be used as kapores (sacrifices) for Yom Kippur. The overloaded truck was whizzing down Central Park West when suddenly it smashed into a trolley car at 69th Street. The crash caused it to overturn, freeing hundreds of chickens in the process. Some of the chickens flew into the trolley car, frightening passengers and hiding under seats, and others hightailed it to Central Park. As word of the story spread around the city, many poorer residents flooded the park in search of a free dinner.

75 Years Ago in the Forward Meyer Shapiro, king of the Brooklyn slot machine racketeers, was found dead in a Brooklyn basement on Manhattan Street. Only 22 years old, Shapiro had a long police record and was regarded as one of Brownsville’s most dangerous gangsters. In addition to being known for his frequent acquittals (he was convicted only twice of criminal activity), he was perhaps most famous for the numerous failed attempts made on his life —18 at last count — before this most recent one succeeded. Last June, rival gangsters murdered his brother, Irving, thinking it was Meyer. The police were quite familiar with the Shapiro family, and when younger brother William arrived at the morgue with the body, they asked, “Who did you bring us today, Meyer or Morris?” The police believe that Meyer was “taken for a ride” and murdered. His body was dumped later on. A few hours after his body was discovered, a number of arrests were made. These included Brooklyn residents Martin Goldstein, Harry Mayon and Abe Reles, all in their early 20s and all members of rival gangs.

50 Years Ago in the Forward The virulently anti-Zionist, ultra-Orthodox organization Neturei Karta has announced that its members wish to leave the State of Israel and move to Jordan so that they can live in the Old City of Jerusalem, which is under Jordanian rule. The organization’s leader, Rabbi Amram Blau, declared that the group will feel safer under Arab rule than under Israeli rule. He added that in West Jerusalem, there was great fear that their children would become secular, living among Israeli “so-called” Jews, whereas under Arab rule they would not mix with the general population.


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