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Culture

June 20, 2003

100 YEARS AGO

• When Pavolachi Krushevan, editor of the antisemitic newspaper Besarabets, and whose articles are widely believed to have incited the hooligans of Kishinev to attack the Jews, walked out of his office into the street, he was quickly surrounded by a gang of Jewish youths who had recognized the renowned antisemite. A battle ensued and Krushevan was stabbed in the side. The wound he received is not considered serious. One Jewish youth, a former student of the Kiev Polytechnical Institute, was arrested.

75 YEARS AGO

• After a long illness, Jewish social activist Joseph Barondess is dead at the age of 61. Barondess was born in Kamanetsk-Podolsk and came to America in 1888, where he worked in a sweatshop as a cloakmaker. He was one of the earliest activists in the Jewish labor movement and one of the founders of the Cloakmakers’ Union. He became well known during the cloakmaker strike of 1891. Barondess later helped to found the Hebrew Actors’ Union and also served on the New York Board of Education under both the Gaynor and Mitchell administrations.

• A Jewish pharmacist’s love is worth $2,500. Mrs. Minnie Brody accused one Yetta Bloom of stealing her husband’s heart away and filed a suit in a Brooklyn court. As it turned out, the jury agreed and awarded Mrs. Brody, a mother of three, $2,500 for her broken heart. Ms. Bloom was not entirely unhappy with the verdict: She was sure that the pharmacist’s love was worth at least $15,000.

50 YEARS AGO

• Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, the first civilians sent to the electric chair for espionage, were executed in Sing-Sing prison this week. The Rosenbergs, who were found guilty of passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, were also the first couple to be executed together. After the Supreme Court refused their appeal, the president also refused to commute their sentences. In spite of massive protests and much feverish activity against the execution, their sentences were carried out.

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