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Culture

April 30, 2004

100 YEARS AGO

• Delancey Street resident Frank Ginzberg, a tailor by trade, walked into a grocery store on Third Avenue run by his aunt and uncle, William and Mathilda Broner. Seeing Mrs. Broner at the register, Ginzberg asked where his uncle was. When his aunt answered, “He’s out. What do you need him for?” Ginzberg pulled two revolvers from his front pockets, yelled, “I want to shoot him — I want to shoot the both of you!” and began firing both guns. Mrs. Broner managed to escape unharmed, and policemen caught Ginzberg after hearing the shots. Ginzberg complained that the Broners had made life miserable for him and his wife. He is being held on $1,500 bail.

75 YEARS AGO

• The Yevsektsiya, the Jewish Section of the Soviet Communist Party, is to be shut down. The Central Committee of the USSR gave the order during a secret meeting, and it is not known why the section is to be liquidated. There are rumors circulating that the decision to do away with the Yiddish Language Federation is connected to the Comintern’s decision to dissolve the connections with other language federations, even among foreign-language radicals in places like the United States.

• During the Ackerman family Seder this Passover, there was a knock at the open door of their Bronx home, but it wasn’t Elijah the Prophet looking to join them. Instead, two armed men burst in and yelled, “Hands up!” The holdupniks didn’t ask any questions and demanded that everyone hand over their valuables. The thieves took jewelry, a fur coat, nearly $1,000 and a pair of gold kiddush cups before running off to their getaway car.

50 YEARS AGO

• When asked why he became a medical researcher, Dr. Jonas Salk answered, “Why did Mozart write music?” It was something that he had to do. Yet when Salk was a child growing up in Harlem, he wanted to be a rabbi. He studied Yiddish and Hebrew at the Bronx Jewish Center and even taught Hebrew for a short time. It was when he went to college that he realized that he wanted to be a doctor. Not long after he made that decision, he concluded that his interests were in medical research. And that decision has paid off: In the coming weeks in New York, his new polio vaccine is being tested on thousands of children.

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