50 Years Ago, July 4th Rings Familiar Note

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Take a peek into the JT’s July 4th issue from half a century ago and you might be surprised (or not) to see many familiar issues shouting from the headlines.

The July 4, 1969, cover, although in black-and-white, had a definite red-white-and-blue patriotic feel, with a graphic of the Liberty Bell over a copy of the Declaration of Independence.


Inside the yellowed pages, however, the headlines speak more of a country and a world in turmoil, than in celebration. And that turmoil may sound eerily similar to today’s headlines.

On page 2 a United Nations story, “US, Soviets Near Agreeing On Peace-Keeping Formula,” tops the page, while at the bottom a JTA headline from New York says, “Rabbinical Council Rejects Black Reparation Demands.”

Flip over to page 14 and your concerns about terrorism were answered in the story, “Six Questions Answered About Arab Terrorism.”

In Joseph Weinstein’s column, “On Tour Thru Baltimore,” he relates the sad story of a Baltimore landmark disappearing, with the closure of the Agudas Achim Anshe Sphard Synagogue at 4200 Park Heights Ave., which had served the community for 47 years.

There are photos of Women’s League and Baltimore County General Hospital events, wedding and engagement portraits, and a shot of 19 kindergartners graduating from the Talmudical Academy in cap and gown.

Meanwhile, the only July 4th celebrating seemed to be happening at area businesses, as a bright red center spread announced clothier Phil Kolodner Jr.’s “Greatest Sales Event in History,” while good ol’ appliance king Jack Luskin was giving away “FREE! FIREWORKS” at his five locations.

Fifty years later, find something to celebrate and have a Happy Independence Day!

Flashback is a feature that honors the JT’s 100th anniversary. Have a particular date you’d like us to look at? Let us know.

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