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Culture

November 7, 2003

100 YEARS AGO

• Just days before the elections, Tammany Hall’s hired thugs came down to the Lower East Side and began to beat up Jews who were attending an open-air meeting of social democrats. This is not the first time that Tammany Hall has sent its toughs to disrupt socialist meetings and beat up the speakers. Just last week, activities reached a high point: It wasn’t just the speaker who was beaten up, but also a fair number of audience members. Tammany Hall, it appears, is very nervous about the success of the socialists on the Lower East Side and is trying to stop them in whatever way it can.

75 YEARS AGO

• When Garment District businessman Adolf Raskin was working on a deal with a dress manufacturer by the name of Stern, he heard that Stern liked a good game of pinochle, so he invited his friends Sam Lipshitz, Hyman Gartfeld, Barney Kirsh and Max Lester to play. In the middle of the game, Stern got up and said he was going out to buy a new deck of cards. He returned shortly thereafter with three new players, all of whom were packing heat. Stern and his three friends held up the pinochle players at gunpoint, taking the pot of $6,500. The police are currently looking for the pinochle holdupniks.

• One man is dead after a fight between two elderly peddlers on Delancey Street over who would hold the corner and sell handkerchiefs to passersby. Harry Shtarkstein, who for two years has sold handkerchiefs on the corner of Norfolk and Delancey, was challenged by Shmuel Moshkovitsh. Both Shtarkstein and Moshkovitsh are 75 years old. After their arguments for the rights to the corner escalated into a fistfight, the police showed up and began to pummel them both. Shtarkstein evidently got the worst of it. He had to be taken to the hospital, where he died of his wounds.

50 YEARS AGO

• Israel’s prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, has officially announced his resignation. Ben-Gurion has denied that his resignation is connected to disputes between him and other Mapai party members and stated that he is quitting because of fatigue after 20 years of arduous work. He did say, however, that he would like to retain his seat as a member of the Knesset. Mapai’s political committee held a debate led by Moshe Sharett, who opposed Ben-Gurion’s resignation. In the end, it was decided that the prime minister could resign. Rumors that Ben-Gurion had chosen Levi Eshkol to replace him were quashed by the party.

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