Virtual Tour
INDEX
People
Abravanel, Don Isaac
Berg, Moe
Berle, Milton
Berlin, Irving
Bernstein, Leonard
Brandeis, Louis D.
Cardozo, Benjamin
Columbus, Christopher
Einstein, Albert
Elion, Gertrude
Frankel,Jacob
Gershwin, George
Ginsburg, Ruth Bader
Gompers, Samuel
Goode, Alexander
Goodman, Benny
Gratz, Rebecca
Greenberg, Hank
Hillman, Sidney
Houdini, Harry
Jefferson, Thomas
Karpeles, Leopold
Lazarus, Emma
Lehman, Herbert H.
Levy, Asser
Levy, Uriah P.
Magnes, Judah L.
Meir, Golda
Miller, Arthur
Myerson, Bess
Noah, Mordecai.
Ochs, Adolph
Rose, Ernestine
Rosenthal, Robert
Ross, Barney

Salk, Jonas
Salomon, Haym
Santangel, Luis de
Sarnoff, David
Schick, Bela
Seixas, Gershom M.
Singer, Isaac B.
Stern, Isaac
Straus, Isidor & Ida
Strauss, Levi
Streisand, Barbra
Szold, Henrietta
Torres, Luis de
Touro, Judah
Wacks, Mel

Wald, Lillian
Washington, George
Wiesel, Elie
Zacuto, Abraham

Medal by Alex Shagin & Mel Wacks (1988), Titanic - Isidor & Ida Straus, David Sarnoff.

Titanic Disaster (1912)

When the "unsinkable" Titanic sank on its maiden voyage, 1,513 lives were lost. Especially hard-hit were the men in First and Second Class and all Third Class passengers.


Isidor (1845-1912) and Ida Straus (1846-1912)

Born in Bavaria in 1845, Isidor Straus came to the United States at the age of 9, residing first in Georgia and then in New York City. Together with his brother Nathan, Isidor started to sell glassware and china in R. H. Macy's in 1873. By 1896, the enterprise was so successful that the Strauses purchased the entire store, helping to build what is now the largest store chain in the world.

Isidor Straus was a trusted advisor to President Grover Cleveland, and he served briefly in Congress. Isidor was also a founder of an endowment fund for the Jewish Theological Seminary.

As the Titanic was sinking, because of his age (67), Isidor was told that he would be allowed to depart with the women and children. But he firmly refused any special treatment, saying he would enter a lifeboat only with the other men. He urged his wife Ida to board a lifeboat, but she also declined, reportedly saying, "We have been living together for many years, and where you go, I go." Over 40,000 people attended the couple's memorial service, and their story was told in a Yiddish song by Solomon Smulewitz.


David Sarnoff (1891-1971)

Following the Titanic disaster, young 21 year old David Sarnoff remained glued to his wireless earphones in New York for 72 hours straight, and was one of the first to relay the names of the survivors from the Carpathia's telegraph operator to newsmen and frantic family members.

Born in 1891, in a shtetl near Minsk, Sarnoff came to America at the age of 9. His father died when David was only 15, so he left school, taught himself Morse Code, and the rest is history.

In the year 1915, David Sarnoff conceived of the idea that radios could "bring music into homes by wireless," but his memo to his superiors at the Marconi Company was dismissed as a wild scheme. When he joined RCA in 1920, they agreed to develop his concept. Just three years later, Sarnoff wrote, "I believe that television will come to pass in due course," and at the 1939 New York World's Fair he proudly showed off the latest electronic marvel. Five years later, President Roosevelt appointed Sarnoff as a Brigadier General, and the Television Broadcasters Association conferred upon him the title "Father of American Television."


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