On this day

On this day: A new record for divorce

By Jennifer Lipman, December 29, 2010

Until December 2009, the record for divorces in Israel was a man who had faced seven broken relationships.

But then a 50-year-old man set a new record in the country, racking up his 11th divorce – in keeping with his tradition of one split every two years.

Each divorce was conducted in Israel – as were the marriages – and each was in accordance with halachah.
His grand total was no deterrent – when the story emerged the Jerusalem resident was already on the lookout for his next partner.


On this day: The beginning of the Klu Klux Klan

By Jennifer Lipman, December 24, 2010

In the aftermath of the American Civil War, veterans of the Confederate side grouped together in Tennessee to form the KKK.

Also known as the Klan, the far-right organisation was ostensibly a private social club dedicated to returning the greatness of the antebellum Old South but soon became known for hunting down black people and other minorities under a mixture of nationalist and white-supremacist ideology.


On this day: Corey Haim is born

By Jennifer Lipman, December 23, 2010

Before Zac Efron, another Jewish actor was known all over the world as a teenage heartthrob. Corey Haim, star of Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys, Lucas and License To Drive.

Born in Toronto, Canada, the actor had an Israeli mother, Judy, and a Canadian-Jewish father Bernie. He was raised Jewish, although his parents divorced when he was eleven.


On this day: Colombian rebels free Israeli hostages

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2010

In September 2003 Beni Daniel, Ortaz Ohayon, Ido Yosef Guy and Erez Altawil – four Israelis in their twenties – were kidnapped while trekking near ancient Indian ruins at Ciudad Perdida.

They were taken hostage by members of Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN), a leftist rebel organisation which had been waging a war against the government of the south American country since the 1960s.

Three others, kidnapped at the same time, had already escaped. But the Israelis, along with 32-year-old Briton Mark Henderson, were not released for another 102.


On this day: the Lockerbie bombing

By Jennifer Lipman, December 21, 2010

When a bomb exploded on the Boeing 747 that was flying between London and New York, all 259 people – passengers and crew – were killed. The terrorist attack was so-named because 11 others died in the Scottish town of Lockerbie when sections of the plane crashed there.


On this day: Hitler released from prison

By Jennifer Lipman, December 20, 2010

In 1924 the future Nazi leader was locked up in the Landsberg prison in the German state of Bavaria.

He had been charged and convicted for high treason for attempting to seize power in Germany in the failed Munich Putsch coup the previous year. He spent 264 days behind bars in total.

It was in this period that Hitler wrote the book that would become the literary backbone to Nazi ideology: Mein Kampf, or My Struggle. It was written with the help of Rudolf Hess, his deputy, who had also been involved in the Putsch and sent to prison.


On this day: Eden condemns Nazi exterminations of Jews

By Jennifer Lipman, December 17, 2010

Embroiled in a war with the Axis powers since September 1939, in 1942 Britain’s Foreign Secretary made a statement in Parliament condemning "Hitler's oft repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe".

For Anglo-Jewry it was a welcome statement at a time when reports of the extent of the Nazi genocide were beginning to emerge in the British media. Six months earlier in June 1942 the Daily Telegraph had written of the murder of 700,000 Polish Jews through methods including gas chambers.


On this day: Himmler orders the deportation of the Roma

By Jennifer Lipman, December 16, 2010

There were five million non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, including up to 500,000 members of the Roma community. At Auschwitz alone, it is estimated that 19,000 of the 23,000 Roma sent there during the war died.

The victims came from around Europe; citizens of France, Germany, Romania, the Ukraine and the Baltic States among the countries.


On this day: Gone With the Wind premieres

By Jennifer Lipman, December 15, 2010

Jewish producer David O Selznick earned an Oscar for the film version of Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel Gone with the Wind. The film, first shown in a star-studded Atlanta screening on December 15, won ten Academy Awards in total and the date of its premiere was declared a state holiday by the governor of Georgia.


On this day: Saddam Hussein is captured

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2010

On March 20 2003 the US-led invasion of Iraq began and within three weeks the Iraqi government had fallen. But while the statue of Iraq’s president Saddam Hussein was famously toppled on April 9, the army’s attempts to hit him with air strikes failed twice and when Baghdad fell his whereabouts were unknown.

In the months after the invasion, rumours of sightings abounded, but it was not until December that he was found in an isolated farmhouse in ad-Dawr near Tikrit.