Today’s literary Rosenberg Mention of the Day comes from the Times of India courtesy of Sylvia Plath: “'It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.’ The opening sentence of Sylvia Plath's 'The Bell Jar' sets a foreboding and disorienting tone as it describes a peculiar, stifling summer during the execution of the Rosenbergs in the 1950s….”
Today's #RosenbergMOTD is this excellent essay by Paul Von Blum in Truthdig, which begins, "On that June 19th evening in 1953, I was a small kid in a suburb of Philadelphia, concerned above all with baseball, when I noticed that something had made my parents very upset. When I asked them what was wrong, they informed me that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg had been killed in the electric chair, in a place called Sing Sing in New York, and that it was a horrible injustice. I had never before heard of the Rosenbergs or Sing Sing.
Thank you to Renée Graham of the Boston Globe for this thoughtful tribute to the late, great Harry Belafonte. We loved this sentiment and are honored for our organization to be counted among the humanitarian causes he supported:
Graham writes, "Often, you can measure the impact and reach of a person’s life by the variety of those who mourn their passing.
Earlier this month on April 20th marked the anniversary of Billie Holiday recording "Strange Fruit" in 1939. The song was originally written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish activist, poet, and high school English teacher, in protest against the lynchings of Black Americans. (Abel and his wife Anne later adopted the Rosenbergs' two young sons after Ethel and Julius' executions.)
On this day, we mark 70 years since President Eisenhower denied Ethel and Julius Rosenberg's first bid for executive clemency on Feb 11th, 1953. It was one of the first decisions Eisenhower faced in his time as president after the outgoing President Truman declined to respond before leaving office.
This Thurs. Jan 26th, 2023 at 12pm (Central), the Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum will host a hybrid event, "President Eisenhower’s Decision Concerning the Execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg."
Joining as the featured guest speaker will be Dr. Lori Clune, author of "Executing the Rosenbergs: Death and Diplomacy in a Cold War World" and associate Professor of History at California State University, Fresno.
On this day, April 5, 1951, Federal Judge Irving R. Kaufman sentenced Ethel and Julius Rosenberg to death, one week after a jury convicted them of conspiracy to commit espionage.
In his sentencing speech, Judge Kaufman said, "I consider your crimes worse than murder" and that the Rosenbergs' "love for their cause dominated their lives – it was even greater than their love for their children.”
On this day: March 29, 1951 Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage.
Last year on the 70th anniversary of the conviction, RFC Founder Robert Meeropol shared his thoughts for Emily Tamkin's New Statesman article on the case. This important piece focuses on what the Rosenbergs' convictions expose about the U.S.'s longstanding history of committing injustices in the name of national security.
Today’s Rosenberg Mention of the Day highlights the more controversial work of pop artist Andy Warhol.
“The world loves Andy's bright and easily-digestible pop art, but there is a much darker side to his portfolio that many have never been exposed to. For our first example, let's take a look at Electric Chair, a project that Andy worked on as a response to the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg ... Although empty of anything except the chair, the image is haunting, to say the least.”
Rosenberg Mention of the Day // A new podcast episode of "Now What?" with Carole Zimmer features Michael Meeropol, older son to Julius and Ethel, to discuss his parents and his childhood. The show hosts "conversations with extraordinary people about their lives and how they navigate all the bumps in the road."
This episode is available now on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher and online here: bit.ly/3BnRXEu