July 22, 2015
I FOUND STU BYKOFSKY'S repugnant traducement of the late Howard Zinn and his literary accomplishment, A People's History of The United States , patently offensive and despicable. This polemic rant is an affront to traditional journalistic diplomacy and tact. Mr. Bykofsky's attack is rife with opinionated and subjective reckoning concerning Howard Zinn, his intentions and his works. He also managed to disparage the substantive benevolence of the efforts from members of our City Council, marginalize the convictions of an entire community of intellectuals, insidiously inject politically polarized conflagrations, and make asinine presumptions about contemporary American history and modern American culture.
July 22, 2015 |
PICTURE A grizzly, swashbuckling pirate who sails the high seas in search of ships to plunder. Now, add a yarmulke. Actually, Jewish pirates who ransacked Spanish ships in Caribbean waters during Colonial times wore more intimidating Cavalier-style hats. But make no mistake: There were Jewish pirates of the Caribbean. "They were pirates through and through," said Sahar Oz, director of programming for the Gershman Y, which hosts a talk about the Sephardic seafarers Thursday, in conjunction with a photo exhibit on Caribbean synagogues.
July 20, 2015 |
One of the few benefits for a baseball organization with a long history of failure that has been interrupted only occasionally by brief fits of competence is that it is very difficult to set team records for futility. God bless the Phillies, though. They're taking a run at it. Since the team began playing, a stretch of a mere 133 years, the Phils have won two lonely championships and had only 58 winning seasons. That's a lot of losing. They lost at least 100 games 14 times, including 1941, when they set the franchise mark of 111 losses with a team that had Cy Blanton and Si Johnson in the starting rotation and nothing but sighs coming from the stands.
July 17, 2015 |
In its legal fight to keep union carpenters out of the building, the Convention Center's lawyers took a walk through the dark side of local labor history this week. Legal briefs filed in the center's civil racketeering federal lawsuit against the Carpenters' union compared its actions to recent headline-grabbing convictions of members of Local 401 of the Ironworkers' union and of Local 30 of the Roofers' union - another racketeering case, dating back 30 years. Tuesday's filing was the latest salvo in the continuing battle between the Convention Center and the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters.
July 12, 2015 |
The driver of the car that killed a Northeast Philadelphia mother and three of her children in 2013 had been warned by police about street racing a week before the deadly crash, an officer testified Friday. Manheim Township, Pa., Police Officer Thomas Miles said he visited Khusen Akhmedov at his home in Lancaster after a complaint about Akhmedov's driving was filed by a woman who had copied down the license plate of his silver 2012 Audi S4. Miles was a witness at Akhmedov's nonjury trial in Common Pleas Court in the July 16, 2013 deaths of Samara Banks, 27, and three of her four sons in a Roosevelt Boulevard crash that prosecutors say happened during a late-night drag race with another driver.
July 8, 2015 |
When Christie Rampone took the field for the United States in the 86th minute of the Women's World Cup final on Sunday evening, slipping on the captain's armband one last time, the reverberations in Vancouver's BC Place stadium were also the echoes of the cheers that followed the first rock stars of women's soccer in this country, the 1999 national team. Rampone was the final remaining vestige of that team, which was, at least until Sunday, the standard by which all succeeding teams have been measured.
July 7, 2015
C. DALLETT HEMPHILL, a professor of American history at Ursinus College for the last 28 years and a leading scholar on Philadelphia, died Friday at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital-Center City after a prolonged battle with cancer. She was 56 and lived in Erdenheim, Montgomery County. Hemphill's academic specialty was the social history of the United States, from the Colonial era into the 19th century. She wrote two books, both published by Oxford University Press: Bowing to Necessities: A History of Manners in America, 1620-1860 , and Siblings: Brothers and Sisters in American History . Hemphill shared the preoccupations of her generation of historians with social history and women's history.
July 4, 2015 |
As the clock tower at Independence Hall struck 3 on a Thursday afternoon, Continental Army trooper Robert Hare stood next door in Signer's Garden, enlisting volunteers for the impending Revolution. The new soldiers, some missing front teeth, others waving flags taller than they were, headed down Fifth Street to the beat of Hare's drum. Historic Philadelphia's twice-a-day reenactment of a military muster is just a small part of its successful Once Upon a Nation program, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer.
July 3, 2015 |
Erich Weiss is a mensch. His grandfather John M. Taxin - late co-owner of Walnut Street's legendary Old Original Bookbinder's restaurant, who started life as a huckster selling produce from a horse-drawn wagon - also was a mensch. Don't take it from me. Just look at the ring Weiss had made from an Indian-head nickel his grandfather left him: "Mensch," it says. It is a small part of the long story that Weiss - advertising guy-turned-documentary filmmaker-turned-curator - has hung on the walls of the Independence Seaport Museum in a new exhibition called "Hucksters: The Tumult of Dock Street.
July 3, 2015
NOW YOU SEE them, now you don't. Philadelphia has Mystique the Magician and Derek Lee of D&J Entertainment. But not a whole lot of other African-Americans make their living doing magic tricks. "Finding an African-American magician is like finding a needle in a haystack," Ran 'D Shine, 45, of Mount Airy, told me earlier this week. "We are out there, but it's hard to find us. " Come Saturday, it won't be hard at all. Five black magicians will perform at Shine's "Heart and Soul of Magic" show at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, 12th and Market streets.