The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Datebook: November 21 – First Jewish Appointee to Cabinet in a North American Government 150 Years Ago

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On November 21, 1861, Judah Philip Benjamin became the first Jewish appointee to a Cabinet position in a North American government when he was appointed by Confederate President Jefferson Davis as the Secretary of War. He was also the first Jewish American to be seriously considered for nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court (he twice declined offers of nomination). Before the formation of the Confederacy, Benjamin was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and was elected to the U.S. Senate from Louisiana, becoming the second Jewish senator in U.S. history. He was a member of the Whig party and had a reputation as a great orator. In 1850, he sold his plantation and slaves, but eventually aligned himself with the Democratic Party – dominated by the planter slave-holding elite. After the collapse of the Confederacy, he was exiled to the United Kingdom and became a distinguished barrister selected in 1872 as the Queen’s Counsel.

It’s Monday, November 21

Murray-Calloway County Ministerial Association’s 7th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner is from 11:30 to 1 Thursday at the Murray Banquet Center at 926 South 12th. At 11 there’s a nondenominational worship service. For a delivered meal or a ride, call the First Presbyterian Church by Wednesday. To volunteer or make a donation call 270-293-9490.

Mayfield’s Ice-House Gallery is accepting small art works tomorrow through December 3 for its How about a little Art Show December 6 through the 23. Submissions must be 12″ or smaller. There’s no entry fee. Price for the Annual Artisan Sale December 10 and 11. The Ice House is at 120 North Eighth.

On Friday Santa Arrives at his Gingerbread House on the Court Square in Paris for North Pole Family Fun Day, the first event of Downtown Paris Unwrapped. Games, crafts and rides complement Santa’s presence from 10 to 2. The Optimist Club’s live tree lot opens as well.

Use wkms.org to discover more about our region. Thanks.

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