Michael and Robert Meeropol, the sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, visited the White House on Dec 1, 2016, to deliver their petition asking President Obama to exonerate their mother, signed by over 40,000 people. Watch video of that event here, including their personal messages for the President.
Last Updated Dec 1, 2016 5:04 PM EST
WASHINGTON -- The sons of convicted spy Ethel Rosenberg returned to the White House on Thursday, more than 50 years after pleading unsuccessfully to spare her life, in a last-ditch appeal to President Obama to exonerate her amid new evidence. Read the full story and watch video here.
BY ERIC TUCKER AND JOSH LEDERMAN
December 1, 2016
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The sons of convicted spy Ethel Rosenberg returned to the White House on Thursday, more than 50 years after pleading unsuccessfully to spare her life, in a last-ditch appeal to President Barack Obama to exonerate her amid new evidence.
Rosenberg was executed in 1953 along with her husband, Julius, after being convicted of conspiring to pass secrets about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. But court records made public last year through a judge's order cast doubt on the conventional narrative of a Cold War espionage case that captivated the country. Read the full print story at the link above. See the AP video story here.
On the day Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were scheduled to face the electric chair as convicted spies in June 1953, their sons, Michael and Robert, then 10 and 6, were told to go to a friend’s house and play baseball until dark.
When they walked back in the house that evening, Michael asked family members if his parents’ lives had been spared. When he didn’t get a direct answer, he knew his worst fears had been realized.
It was just days after the two boys had protested at the White House and handed a letter to a security guard asking the president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, for clemency. The request hadn’t been granted.
On Thursday morning, the two brothers — who took the last name of their adopted family, Meeropol — returned to the White House. Now 73 and 69, they approached the northwest gate with a letter addressed to President Obama asking that he issue a statement exonerating their mother, who they say was wrongly convicted and sentenced.
“We are giving the United States government the chance to acknowledge the injustice done to our mother,” Robert Meeropol said to a group of reporters and onlookers. Read the full story at the link above.
By Allison Malloy, CNN
Updated 4:14 PM ET, Thu December 1, 2016
Washington (CNN)The sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, two convicted communist spies who were sentenced to death during the Cold War, visited the White House without an invitation on Thursday to call on President Barack Obama to exonerate their mother, in what they see as their final shot.
Editorial, November 23, 2016
Ethel Rosenberg died June 19, 1953, executed by her government for a crime she did not commit.
In what became the most notorious spy case of the Cold War, Rosenberg and her husband Julius were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in 1951 for conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union. The Supreme Court voted against a stay of execution. Crowds gathered outside New York’s Sing Sing prison to celebrate their deaths. President Dwight Eisenhower issued a statement that said the Rosenberg executions were “a grave matter. But even graver is the thought of the millions of dead whose deaths may be directly attributable to what these spies have done.”
Ethel Rosenberg was not a spy. Read the rest of the editorial at the link above.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg's sons tell Anderson Cooper how it felt to be the children of the infamous spies, in a story that sheds new light on a central event of the Cold War
October 16, 2016
Anderson Cooper, correspondent
(excerpted from broadcast transcript)
Before he leaves office, President Obama will have to sort through more than 13,000 petitions from federal prisoners seeking pardons or reduced sentences. But one of the most unusual requests he has been asked to consider concerns two people who were already executed, more than 60 years ago. It was called “The Crime of the Century.” In 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sent to the electric chair for conspiring to provide the secrets of the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. They left behind two little boys, Robert and Michael, just 6 and 10 years old at the time.
The brothers Rosenberg were the orphans of Communist spies at the height of the McCarthy era. Relatives were afraid to take them in. One town blocked them from attending its schools. What ever happened to those two little boys? They’re the ones asking President Obama to proclaim that their mother was wrongfully convicted. It’s a remarkable story, a piece of American history that hasn’t been fully told. Watch the full segment at the link above.
December 6, 2016
"It is past time for the U.S. government to acknowledge this grievous wrong that was committed during the “Red Scare” of the 1950s. While many people were victimized by the anti-Communist hysteria fueled by demagogues such as U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, Ethel Rosenberg, who was a Communist, stands atop the list because she paid with her life after being accused with her husband Julius of committing the “crime of the century” by passing secrets about the atomic bomb to the Soviets.
By issuing the proclamation, Obama would make a powerful, cautionary statement not only about the the Cold War-era of the 1950s, but also about fears stoked by the anti-Muslim rhetoric of president-elect Donald Trump. That message should be to reject guilt by association and sweeping generalizations – whether it be labeling all Communists as un-American 60 years ago, or all Muslims as terrorists today." Read the full editorial at the link above.
December 1, 2016
By Karen Brown
The two sons of Ethel Rosenberg, who was executed as a spy in 1953, are heading to Washington, D.C. Thursday to urge President Obama to exonerate their mother before he leaves office. Hear the interview at the link above.
By David Millward, Easthampton, Massachusetts
30 NOVEMBER 2016 • 9:58PM
The sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were sent to the electric chair after being convicted of passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, are today appealing to Barack Obama to exonerate their mother before Donald Trump takes office.
Robert and Michael Meeropol – who took the name of their adoptive parents following the execution – believe it is their last chance to clear their mother’s name.
They fear Donald Trump will have little sympathy for their case, given his personal links to the late Roy Cohn, who was a junior prosecutor in the Rosenberg case. Read the rest of the story at the link above.