This Week in History

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This Week in History: Events in January

January 1, 1863

Confederate troops recaptured the town of Galveston, Texas, after receiving a message from Rosanna Dyer Osterman, a leading member of Texas's first Jewish community and later an important philanthropist.

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January 1, 1910

Isabel Hyams begins "Penny Lunch" program in Winthrop elementary school.

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January 1, 1985

Songwriter Carolyn Leigh, who wrote hundreds of tunes for Broadway, TV and film and was nominated for two Tony awards, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

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January 1, 1959

Caroline Klein Simon was sworn in as New York's Secretary of State.

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January 2, 1972

"Fun City," the first Broadway play by—and starring—Joan Rivers, opened on Broadway.

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January 2, 1946

Ruth Seid, who used the pen name Jo Sinclair, won the prestigious $10,000 Harper Prize for her novel "Wasteland."

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January 3, 2002

Julia Phillips, Oscar-winning producer of The Sting, remembered

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January 4, 2009

Helen Suzman eulogized as indefatigable foe of apartheid

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January 5, 1998

To commemorate her 30 years on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Muriel Siebert rang the closing bell. She was the first woman to own a seat on the NYSE.

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January 6, 1879

Lina Abarbanell's career spanned from Die Fledermaus to Porgy and Bess.

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January 7, 1996

Debbie Friedman gave a sold out concert at Carnegie Hall, marking twenty-five years as one of the Jewish community's most well-known and influential contemporary musicians.

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January 8, 1986

New York City teachers elected long-time teacher advocate Sandra Feldman president of the city's United Federation of Teachers (UFT).

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January 9, 1886

Ida Cohen Rosenthal, co-founder of Maidenform, the first company to make modern bras, was born in Tsarist Russia.

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January 10, 1949

"The Goldbergs," Gertrude Berg's popular radio program about a Jewish family living the American dream, premiered as a television series.

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January 11, 1984

Religious women of many backgrounds gathered for a Women of Faith conference sponsored by the American Jewish Committee.

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January 12, 1989

The congregation president wrote of Paula Ackerman, "she is qualified, and we want her.”

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January 13, 2006

An exhibit of works by ceramicist and Holocaust survivor Daisy Brand opened at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis.

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January 14, 1948

Department store pioneer Beatrice Auerbach, longtime proprietor at G. Fox & Co. in Hartford, CT, received the Tobe Award for outstanding contributions to public service in the retail field.

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January 14, 1939

Master teacher and pianist Rosina Lhévinne performed in a two-piano recital with her husband, to mark the 40th anniversary of both their marriage and their professional collaboration.

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January 15, 2012

Los Angeles’ Woman’s Building remembered

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January 16, 1933

Birth of iconoclast intellectual Susan Sontag

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January 17, 1962

Dancer Melissa Hayden premiered the role of Titania in Balanchine's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," a part created especially for her.

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January 19, 1983

Acclaimed author Cynthia Ozick received one of the first Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Awards bestowed by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

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January 20, 1963

Rosina Bessie Lhevinne debuted at age 15 at the Moscow Conservatory, playing Chopin’s “Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor.” At age 83, after a lifetime of war, migration and inspired teaching, she performed it again with the New York Philharmonic.

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January 21, 1971

Appearance of photographer Annie Leibovitz's first cover photograph for Rolling Stone, featuring John Lennon.

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January 21, 1948

Golda Meir's speech to the General Assembly of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds helped raise $50 million in anticipation of the attacks that would greet Israel at its declaration of statehood.

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January 21, 1918

Conservative Jewish women united their sisterhood organizations, creating the Women's League of the United Synagogue under the leadership of Mathilde Schechter.

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January 21, 1913

156 women from 52 congregations around the United States met in Cincinnati to create the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods.

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January 22, 1996

Prolific children's author Judy Blume was awarded the American Library Association's Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award made special mention of her controversial novel "Forever."

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January 23, 1952

"You never walked away from a conversation with art curator Jeanette Ingberman without having learned something.”

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January 24, 1888

“There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.” - Grand Hotel novelist Vicki Baum

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January 25, 1879

Rosa Sonneschein founded the Pioneers, a Jewish women's literary club in St. Louis, Missouri.

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January 26, 1956

Sadie Loewith exemplified the adage that “all politics is local.”

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January 27, 2010

Sara Hurwitz, originally given the title of Maharat, a term created on her behalf, took on the title “Rabbah,” the feminine form of rabbi.

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January 27, 1965

Publication of "Up the Down Staircase," a best-selling novel written by Bel Kaufman, a granddaughter of Sholem Aleichem. It was later made into a popular film.

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January 28, 1986

The Challenger space shuttle exploded 73 seconds after lift-off, killing the first Jewish astronaut in space, Judith Resnik, along with her six fellow crew members.

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January 29, 1848

Suffragist and anti-slavery activist Ernestine Rose addressed the annual Thomas Paine dinner, declaring, "superstition keeps women ignorant, dependent, and enslaved beings. Knowledge will make them free."

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January 30, 1912

Birth of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Barbara W. Tuchman

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January 31, 1938

Muriel Rukeyser established herself as a poet of enduring impact with the publication of "U.S. 1," her second book of poems.

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See events for a specific date

This Week in History offers a unique calendar of American Jewish experience—connecting specific dates throughout the year to an array of compelling historic events related to American Jewish women.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "This Week in History: Events in January." (Viewed on April 19, 2014) <http://jwa.org/thisweek/jan>.