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Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University) is a Professional Librarian (CBPQ) & historian. Former editor @ History News Network & reporter @

How one Jewish woman triggered Brown v. the Board of Education and the desegregation of southern schools

Esther Brown with jazz singer Billie Holiday and students from C.J. Walker School (University of Missouri-Kansas City)

On this day in history… May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously made a “landmark” ruling that the “separate but equal” doctrine of racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. [1]Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the opinion, “We conclude that in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. …

On April 19, 1775, the Patriots won the first Battles of Lexington and Concord.

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

On this day in history, April 19, 1775, we marked the 246th anniversary of the launch of the American Revolution with the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. In those battles, where the “shot heard round the world,” American rebels surprised the British regulars taking up arms and winning against the mighty Redcoats. If 1776 had the spirit of independence for Americans, Americans had the spirit for war in 1775. …

The “shot heard round the world”

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The Battle of Lexington by William Barnes Wollen, 1910 (Wikipedia)

In 1775, the eight-year-long American Revolutionary War started with short battles in New England’s Massachusetts colony. In April, as the first shots fired at the Battle of Lexington, the American rebels were not an army, just volunteer militia fighting for their rights against one of the greatest armies in the world, the British Redcoats. By June, the new Continental Army would have a commander, General George Washington of Virginia. After the Battle of Bunker Hill at Breeders Hill in Massachusetts, the Americans had yet to win a battle but set their sights high at…

Hadassah and the Emergence of Zionist Education in America

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

In honor of Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron, and Yom Haazmaut during an online class with Rabbi Neil Zuckerman at Park Avenue Synagogue, we discussed important women in the Bible, Jewish history, and Zionist history. Towards the end of the class, we discussed Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg’s landmark collection of essays, The Zionist Idea (1959), and how it excluded women’s Zionist voices. We also discussed the updated anthology by McGill University historian Gil Troy, The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland — Then, Now, Tomorrow (2018), which includes women in the Zionist movement. We looked…

This Passover, my mother became enslaved by a modern Pharaoh in a new Egypt

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

No, everything is not OK; three months into my mother’s hospitalization

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS


When the Covid-19 lockdowns hit North America and Canada a year ago this weekend, it did not affect me much. Living in Montreal, Quebec, except for the difficulty in buying groceries and essentials such as paper towels and soaps, the social aspects had nothing to do with my life. I was never a very social person; I did not go out partying, concerts, or sporting events. I am a writer; it’s an introvert’s life. I prefer buying a movie or music over the expense and crowds. As someone with dietary restrictions, I am allergic…

Grant’s General Order Number 11 and Anti-Semitism during the Civil War

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS


Rise of Anti-Immigrant Sentiment

The Shylock stereotype was behind Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s reasons for ordering General Order Number 11, on December 17, 1862, expelling “Jews as a class” from areas of Northern occupied former Confederate states Tennessee, Mississippi, and the Border State of Kentucky. General Order Number 11 stands out in American history as the first instance of a policy of official anti-Semitism on a large scale. At the time, prominent Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise called it an “outrage, without precedent in American history.” [1] Historian Jonathan Sarna notes General Order Number 11 became known as…

The police and Canadian health care are overstepping their boundaries, and this has to stop

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS.

Wikimedia Commons

Every other day we hear in the news that police are shooting Black Americans. The Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013 in an attempt to protest these senseless killings.[1] The movement sparked after a jury acquitted George Zimmerman, who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman claimed he used Florida’s stand your ground self-defense.[2] Even when there are crimes, such force is not warranted, and Black Americans are overwhelmingly victims of the brutality. In Canada, Black Americans, indigenous, and visible minorities are often at the receiving end of such police shootings.

At the end…

Dreaming of Equality: Francis Salvador, the American Jewish Revolutionary Patriot

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Dreaming of Equality: Francis Salvador, the American Jewish Revolutionary Patriot

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Bernard Zakheim’s Jewish Patriots of the American Revolution

On this day in history, September 7, 1787, Jewish Philadelphia merchant Jonas Philips wrote to President of the Constitutional Convention George Washington asking that the Constitution grant American Jews religious freedom and equality. Despite the American promise of civil rights and liberties, American Jews did not receive them by most of the original states of the new United States of America. All of the states except for New York did not grant Jews equality for political participation in their state constitutions. New York again became the first to grant Jews full equality. …

Bonnie K. Goodman

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