Advertisement

February 14: Frederick Loewe on Broadway

Frederick Loewe, the composer who collaborated with Alan Jay Lerner to create Broadway musical classics such as My Fair Lady, Brigadoon, Camelot, and Gigi, died at 86 on this date in 1988. Loewe was seventeen years older than his collaborator and was a transplant from Berlin (his parents were Austrians, his father an operetta star), […]

Read More

February 14: The Billionaire Mayor

Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York from 2002-13 and the eighth wealthiest person in the world (according to Forbes in 2015) thanks to his creation of Bloomberg L.P., a financial data company, was born in Boston on this date in 1942. With an MBA from Harvard Business School, Bloomberg became a partner at Salomon […]

Read More

February 14: Frederick Douglass’ Lover

Abolitionist champion Frederick Douglass was born a slave in Maryland in February, 1818 and chose this date as his birthday. He had a twenty-eight year love affair with Ottilie Assing, a writer and journalist who was the daughter of a prominent German Jewish doctor and a Lutheran mother. Assing emigrated to the U.S. in 1852 […]

Read More

February 14: Poverty in Israel

Israel’s National Insurance Institute (NII) reported on this date in 2010 that despite the country’s surging economy, a quarter of Israeli citizens, about 1.8 million people, live in poverty, including 35.3 percent of children, half of Arab families, and 14 percent of Jewish families. NII also reported that 32 percent of families in Israel have […]

Read More

February 14: Der Judenstaat

Theodor Herzl’s argument for political Zionism, Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State), subtitled “Proposal of a modern solution for the Jewish question,” was published in German on this date in 1896. (To read the whole text in English, click here.) The pamphlet was an immediate sensation. Although Herzl emphasized political outreach to European leaders and financiers […]

Read More

February 14: The First Knesset

The Israeli Knesset convened for the first time on this date in 1949 in the Jewish Agency building in Jerusalem. The date was Tu B’Shvat, the New Year of the Trees, and most of the 120 delegates participated in a tree-planting ritual that has become an integral part of the Knesset’s birthday celebration each year. […]

Read More

February 14: Jack Benny

Jack Benny (Benjamin Kubelsky) was born on this day in 1894. One of America’s favorite comedians on radio, television and in film, Benny was married to Sadye Marks, whom some say was a cousin of the Marx Brothers and who played his stage girlfriend  in most of the incarnations of his show. Another key character, […]

Read More