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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 15, 2013/ 5 Iyar, 5773

49 years, four months, 25 days: Today's America is as far removed from JFK's era as his was from World War I

By David Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | DALLAS -- Tuesday is a day that will be marked by no one, and yet it is freighted with history.

April 16 ties our era with the two landmark assassinations of the modern age, the killing of the archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 and the murder of John F. Kennedy here in Dallas in 1963. Tuesday is an anchor that helps explain our time, giving meaning to our memories, providing perspective for the great changes that have occurred in the past century.

The assassinations of Franz Ferdinand and Kennedy were separated by 49 years, four months and 25 days. Tuesday represents the day when the distance between our world and Dallas is 49 years, four months and 25 days, precisely the same as the distance between Dallas and Sarajevo.

America, then and now
(Click image for larger version)

We think of the killing of the archduke, which set in motion the forces that produced World War I, and the killing of the 35th president, which began an era of tumult, rebellion and violence, as belonging to two different, clearly distinct times -- one when air travel was rudimentary and another when it was unremarkable; one when Russia was a czarist empire and another when it presided over a tyrannical Communist bloc; one when the film "Birth of a Nation" was being produced with racist themes and another when Martin Luther King would lead the March on Washington; one when the World Series was between two teams (the Boston Braves and Philadelphia Athletics) that would be in different cities by 1963 and another when professional sport had become bicoastal and the Los Angeles Dodgers would win the Series.

Yet we think of the assassination of Kennedy as having occurred in our own era, even though the birth rate today is half what it was in 1963 and the rate of births to unmarried teenaged females is almost five times higher than it was then; even though the average American home is 71 percent more expensive in constant dollars than it was in 1963; even though the number of daily newspapers is down 21 percent from 1963; even though there are more than 95 million Americans today with connections to the Internet, which didn't exist in 1963, the year the mouse was invented. (The first version was wooden.)

These three years -- 1914, 1963 and 2013 -- are touchstones for change, buoys on our passage from a nation whose population was equally split between urban and rural residents in 1914, was 70 percent urban by 1963 and today is majority suburban. They are markers on our passage from a country where Radcliffe women were not allowed to ride in cars to a nation where half of the last six secretaries of state have been women. They are milestones on our journey from a country where $100 in 1914 has the buying power of $2,296 today.

In 1914, Pittsburgh was the eighth largest city in the country. By 1963, it had dropped to number 16. Today it sits at number 58.

No assassination is an episode of ephemeral significance, but the killing of the archduke and the president were major turning points of history. When J. Rufus Fears, a distinguished University of Oklahoma classics professor, set out to determine the three dozen most significant events since Hammurabi issued his code of law in 1750 B.C., he included the assassinations of Franz Ferdinand and John F. Kennedy.

But it is now, the same distance from the Kennedy assassination as the events in Dallas were from those in Sarajevo, that we can see that Nov. 22, 1963 is one of the inflection points in history. From this distance, 49 years, four months and 25 days, we can see that we live in an entirely different world from the one that thrust Lyndon B. Johnson into the presidency.

"The destruction of the past, or rather of the social mechanisms that link one's contemporary experience to that of earlier generations, is one of the most characteristic and eerie phenomena of the 20th century," wrote Eric Hobsbawm, the historian who was born in 1917, three years after the beginning of World War I and only 11 days before John F. Kennedy's birth, and who died only six months ago.

"Most young men and women at the century's end grow up in a sort of permanent present lacking any organic relation to the public past of the times they live in."

Indeed, from this vantage point we can contemplate the notion that the Kennedy assassination delegitimized the presidency, which from the Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt years through the Dwight Eisenhower era was at the center of our national civic life.

"Johnson had short-term success but couldn't overcome the idea that he inherited the presidency," says David Eisenhower, a University of Pennsylvania historian who is the grandson of one president (the 34th) and the son-in-law of another (the 37th, Richard M. Nixon). "Nixon was Kennedy's opponent and had been defeated by him. Gerald Ford was appointed. Jimmy Carter jumped in line and under him nothing was working for the United States."

The assassination of the archduke in 1914 and our own time are tied by perhaps only one element: terrorism. In his landmark new assessment of the origins of World War I, published less than a month ago, the Cambridge University historian Christopher Clark proffered the brilliant insight that World War I "began with a squad of suicide bombers" belonging to an "avowedly terrorist organization with a cult of sacrifice, death and revenge" that lacked "a clear geographical or political location" and "was scattered in cells across political borders."

Some aspects of our country and national character, to be sure, have changed very little. When the Gallup Organization asked Americans in a 1963 poll whether relations between blacks and whites would always be a problem, 42 percent said yes and 55 percent said a solution would eventually be worked out. When the same question was asked in 2008, the last time it was posed, the answer was substantially the same, with 38 percent saying it would be always be a problem and 58 percent said a solution would be found.

But many more things have changed, some of them dramatically, in those nearly 50 years -- and it is those changes that define the country we live in today.

One of the major areas of transformation is religion. Those who reached adulthood in the 1960s were twice as likely to attend weekly church services than those who reached adulthood in the 2000s. Those who attend services at least occasionally went down by 18 percent between the early 1960s and the second decade of the 21st century.

In 1963, almost two-thirds of Americans believed the Bible was the actual word of God, versus less than a third who believe that now.

In 1963, about a quarter of Americans said they could vote for an atheist as president. Today that rate is 54 percent. About two-thirds of Americans said that if their party nominated a qualified candidate who happened to be Jewish they would vote for that person. Today the figure sits at more than 90 percent. In the year in which Kennedy died, about half of Americans said they could vote for a black presidential candidate. Today Barack Obama is in his second term in the White House.

Right now about half of American adults are married. At the time of Kennedy's death, about three-fourths of Americans were married.

No one asked poll questions about gay marriage in 1963, let alone 1914, and not only because the word "gay" didn't enter the mainstream until around 1971, the year the first gay character was depicted on television for the first time (in "All in the Family").

This year, according to the Washington Post/ABC News Poll, nearly three Americans in five support the right of gay and lesbian couples to wed -- and 115,000 same-sex couples are rearing children, according to the Census Bureau.

Then there is the transformed role of women. In 1963 only 20 percent of married women with children worked outside the home. Today the rate is about three times as big. Today's workforce is comprised of more than 10 times as many women as it was in 1914, and 36 percent more than in 1963.

Support among college freshmen for the legalization of marijuana has doubled since 1963. In 1963 about a quarter of Americans had attended college; now a majority has.

The nation's political profile has undergone dramatic change. In 1963, 48 percent of Americans identified themselves as Democrats. Today only 34 percent do. The percentage of Americans who consider themselves conservative remains the same (about 51 percent) but trust in government, one of the major indicators of modern conservatism, is down from 76 percent to 30 percent. The rate of Americans who believe that quite a few government officials are crooked grew from 29 percent in 1963 to 51 percent now.

The rate of divorce has doubled since 1963. That year there were 18 arrests for drug abuse violations per 100,000 people. Now the rate is about 500 per 100,000 people -- some 63 times as many, an astonishing increase. About 40 percent of Americans smoked cigarettes in 1963. About half that percentage do today.

One of the important cultural experiences of the 1960s was the Kennedy assassination and the television coverage of the weekend leading to the president's funeral the following Monday. Today such shared television experiences are far more rare. In the year in which Kennedy died, for example, 34.9 percent of Americans watched the television show "Beverly Hillbillies." In 2013, no weekly show will likely hit the 10 percent figure.

Charles Murray, the path-making conservative theorist, believes that sexual, gender and civi1 rights revolutions were inevitable by the time of Kennedy's assassination and that "something resembling the War on Poverty would probably have been proposed in 1964, no matter what."

But, he argues in "Coming Apart," his influential 2012 book, there has been since the Kennedy assassination "the formation of classes that are different in kind and in their degree of separation from anything that the nation has ever known."

It is in that world we live today. Almost everything is different in kind and degree from anything we knew and experienced in 1963.

Comment by clicking here.

David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Previously:



04/08/13 The Senate as it once was
04/01/13 Connections and coincidence: History is full of mysterious relationships, including clusters of greatness
03/25/13 Where portraits tell the story of America's greatest conflict
03/18/13 A former president's correspondence reveals the power of letters, and the powerlessness of aging
03/11/13 Outrageous spectacle lead to a rational resolution on the budget? A nation can dream, can't it?
02/25/13 The one big thing Democrats and Republicans can actually agree on
02/18/13 Obama is wrong to make young people think college is mainly about making a living
02/11/13 The war inside the GOP
02/04/13 Presidential politics, frozen in place
01/28/13 Speech invokes past for present and future
01/14/13 If Obama's inaugural address is to be remembered at all
01/21/13 Identity crisis in the GOP
01/07/13 History meets firearms
12/31/12 In search of our better angels
12/24/12 Wounded in war, Inouye just kept serving his country
12/10/12 President as change agent
12/10/12 Another overtime election
12/03/12 Defining the Obama presidency: Our re-elected chief executive has the whip hand now, but how will he use
11/19/12 New Hampshire 2016
11/12/12 Obama's second chance
11/05/12 America's first martyr to free speech
10/29/12 Making hay in Iowa
10/15/12 When two men confronted each other from afar as civilization hung in the balance
10/08/12 If you look at the election a certain way, things don't seem so terrible
10/01/12 Debating the debates
09/24/12 Pessimists R Us
08/20/12 Obama remains a puzzle even as he asks the American people for a second chance
08/13/12 With Ryan, Romney upends the conversation
08/06/12 The real Romney remains hidden behind other people's opinions
07/30/12 What summer is for: How August can matter, and how Romney might use it
07/23/12 The Independent son of independent Maine promises to shake up Washington
07/16/12 The Rambler American
07/09/12 The Telstar revolution: Fifty years ago, a 3-foot orb was sent aloft and spawned a new era in communications
07/02/12 It's got only four electoral votes, but Romney and Obama will be fighting for them
06/25/12 A little noted rebellion over a lonely stretch of land helps tell the American story
06/18/12 You're nothing special: Luck is what you make of it . . . and what it makes of you
06/11/12 Anybody can talk authoritatively about the presidential election. Here's how
06/04/12 Candidates love to ally themselves with admired presidents, in sometimes unexpected ways
05/29/12 Americans aren't in a new burst of patriotism but they are in a new burst of appreciation for the military
05/21/12 Inside out: Almost nothing about this year's presidential election conforms to conventional analysis
05/14/12 Lugar grew into an elder statesman, which is why he'll be leaving the Senate
05/07/12 50 years later, MacArthur's farewell to arms continues to inspire
04/30/12 The likability factor: We're going to find out how important it is in these troubled times
04/23/12 Romney's four battles: With the nomination essentially in hand, he must turn to new challenges
04/16/12 For GOPers, expect the frustration to build, not abate
04/09/12 The political battles you cannot see
04/02/12 Romney's roadmap: Doing better in Democratic states may complicate his fall campaign
03/26/12 Romney struggles with same GOP forces his father faced long ago
03/19/12 The writer and the president
03/12/12 Romney could learn from his rivals after Super Tuesday
03/05/12 The GOP race continues, and Republicans continue to grouse about their choices
02/27/12 The turnout threat: when voters vamoose
02/20/12 The Winter's Tale: Republicans are engaged in a 'problem play,' full of psychological, and real, drama
02/13/12 Which Ike to like?
02/08/12 A tale of two elections: Voters today are making their most profound choice since 1912
01/30/12 Whither the GOP establishment?
01/23/12 The Democratic coalition is breaking up
01/09/12 The verdict that wasn't
01/02/12 These are the keys to who will persist
12/19/11 Another Gingrich rebellion
12/12/11 A defining fight for the GOP
12/05/11 A distinct lack of enthusiasm
11/28/11 For GOPers, the winds are beginning to pick up, the horizon is darkening
11/21/11 Today's polarized politics . . . blame FDR and the political scientists
11/11/11The sporting life
11/07/11 Ron Paul, true believer
10/31/11 Why Cain isn't able
10/10/11 GOP starting over
10/03/11 The Forgotten War of 1812
09/26/11 The way we live now
09/19/11 The crisis this time
09/11/11 But what will it mean?
09/05/11 A horse race column: Who might win the GOP nomination and how it might unfold
08/29/11 The vacuum calls
08/22/11 Passion and politics: How Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got crowded into the same dangerous corner
08/15/11 Eleanor's little village
08/08/11 The agony of August
08/01/11 The politics of the impossible: What a country this might be if the political class served the broad interests of the majority
07/25/11 Pennant fever grips 'Burgh
07/18/11 Exemplar of an era
07/11/11 On summer
07/04/11 The soul of the party
06/27/11 What the Secretary said
06/20/11 Romney has big advantages over his rivals, but they will be coming after him
06/06/11 One question each
05/30/11 The 14-week challenge
05/23/11 Delay tactics
05/16/11 Republicans are waiting
05/09/11 Bin Laden is dead. What does it mean?
05/02/11 From nobodies to nominees
04/25/11 The founders left slavery for future generations to settle, and we still haven't fully come to terms with it
04/18/11 From audacious to cautious
04/11/11 Dreaming of space
12/12/10 The GOP takes control
12/06/10 DECEMBER 7
11/29/10 GOP presidential hopefuls already are lining up local supporters in what is now a red state
11/22/10 Burning down the House
11/15/10 Institutions of higher learning are finally beginning to teach important lifeskills
11/04/10 The war has just begun
11/01/10 Echoes of a speech 40 years ago this week still resonate today
10/25/10 50 years ago America chose between two men who were dramatically different --- and eerily similar





© 2011, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Distributed by Universal Uclick, as agent for UFS.

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