Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center Memorial (Еврейский музей и центр толерантности Мемориал)

Orange brick facade of the Jewish Heritage and Tolerance Center

Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center Memorial (Еврейский музей и центр толерантности Мемориал) is in Moscow, Russia and it is the nation’s first state support Jewish heritage museum. It originally opened in 2012, when the museum initially opened it was opened privately – to the presidents of Russia and Israel and opened to the general public in 2013.

The history of the building starts in 1926 as the Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage. In the 1990s a fire broke out leaving the site completely dysfunctional. In 2008 following mass restoration efforts reopened as the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture. In 2012 it reopened once again as the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center.

The main focus of the museum was to create accurate content so Russians and people from around the world could get real facts and information about Jewish heritage instead of popularized beliefs. It focuses on being a large and engaging museum dedicated to the complex history of Russian Jewish history with a modern approach. The content of the museum favors personal testimony, archival video footage, and interactive displays—all translated into Russian and English, exhibitions are divided chronologically, and helping visitors to understand the life of Jewish communities as they traveled across medieval Europe, settling in shtetls before moving to the cities while not ignoring atrocities committed to the Jewish people – life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries is particularly well presented as is the fate of Soviet Jews and the role of Jewish soldiers during World War II. Those expecting to find just a stark representation of pogroms, Holocaust, hardships, and suffering will be pleasantly surprised to find Russian Jewish history presented as something much more complex, filled with both struggles and achievements.

Some of the problems that museum and public history face are a troubled and conflicted past, widely divergent popular memories, and national narratives.

 

 

 

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The Yellow Brick House

Yellow facade of the brick house with winter snow.

Originally built in the 1920s by a family out of Grosse Pointe, Michigan this home has had a long series of owners but has always remained a symbol of longevity to the residents of Lighthouse Road in Port Hope, Michigan.

Old back and white photo post card of the house.

Old postcard of the house’s hotel days circa in 1940s. Courtesy of Jane M. Guzman.This three-story home of yellow brick was not always a single-family home and throughout the 1940s and 1950s served as a hotel to families visiting Lake Huron in the summer months, only a block down from the Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse. The current owners have owned the home since 1993 and have strived to maintain its original architecture.

 

Surveying the Past

Small old wooden building with porch and wheelbarrow to the left.
The original office of Wheaton with the wheelbarrow to the left. Currently Patrick Engineering Company. Courtesy of Alicia A. Guzman.

While the former mining community set in the quiet hills of Julian, California may be small in size its main street tells the vast tales of its community’s history while still having that turn of the century gold rush charm.

Wheelbarrow with historical marker
The wheelbarrow with a plaque commemorating Wheaton’s feat. Courtesy of Alicia A. Guzman.

In 1894 Porter Perrin Wheaton left a legacy lasting beyond a lifetime simply by using a wheelbarrow fitted with an odometer, clinometer, and compass. As a civil engineer and surveyor Wheaton was able to survey over 2,328 miles allowing for the first map of San Diego County to be charted it out in 1900; forever changing the county.

The National Archives of the Marianist Province of the United States

Brick front of a building with name of the building
Facade of the National Archives of the Marianist Province of the United States, Courtesy of Alicia A. Guzman

Full of stories of many lives, The National Archives of the Marianist Province of the United States was established in 2015 at St. Mary’s University’s campus in a former government building that hosted night classes for members of the community.

bookshelf
Bookshelf including dissertations by brothers, Courtesy of Alicia A. Guzman

This building holds a variety of items ranging from documents to glass plate negatives, an old bell cast in Cincinnati, the old dress of the Marianist order, and even a gold chalice commemorating a first Holy Communion. The impact of this little archive is astonishing and holds the story of not only a religious order but that of many individuals.

Up in the Air: Who is Wright?

Photograph of Airplane Crash

Where on earth did the birthplace of aviation occur? North Carolina boasts “First in Flight” license plates as well as Ohio boasting plates that state, “The Birthplace of Aviation”. Is either of these states WRIGHT? It is debated by some historians whether this feat was truly first done by the Wright Brothers. German immigrant and Texas Hill Country resident, Jakob Brodbeck, is debated to have been the first man in flight over four decades before the Wright Brothers even attempted their own flight. The only problem with Brodbeck being the first man to flight, is that there is a lack of blueprints and firsthand witness accounts but there seems to be compelling some of the documents in his favor.

Black and white; Newspaper article
Picture File Equipment and Furnishings Transportation Airplanes 14120 [Airplane crash] Courtesy of DRT Documents Collections
This image shows a republished copy of the Galveston’s Tri-Weekinlg News from 7 August 1865. The point of the article was to find investors for the actual constructions and development of his air-ship.

Damaged stock certificates
Certificates for shares of stock, Jacob Brodbeck to Ferdinand Herff, 1865 June 27 Courtesy of Collection: DRT 9 Documents Collection

These stock certificates indicate that there were in fact investors in Brodbeck’s “air-ship”. Investors even included that of Ferdinand Herff, a San Antonio physician.

Document with specifications
Specifications are written by Jacob Brodbeck for his airship, 1863 Collection: Courtesy of DRT 9 Documents Collection

This image a six-page document translated by Brodbeck’s granddaughter from German to English detailing the specifications of Brodbeck’s “air-ship” that could be used to fly from the Texas Hill Country to New York City then to Chicago.

Official TSHA Marker
TSHA Marker. Courtesy of Findagrave.com

In 2017, the Texas State Historical Association established Jokob Brodbeck as a historical figure with an official marker highlighting his work as a teacher, public servant, innovator, and “the father of aviation”.

Despite the lack of firsthand witness accounts, it seems that the idea that Jakob Brodbeck was the first man in flight, not the Wright Brothers, does not appear to be completely implausible.

 

 

 

Sources:

Was a Texan the First Man to Fly an Airplane?

Brodbeck, Jakob

Wright Brothers

JakobBrodbeckand the Flying Texas Machine

Archbishop Flores Hall: No Longer Arching Into the Lives of Students

Two Story Residential Building
Archbishop Flores Hall. Courtesy of Alicia A. Guzman.

Built in 1984, Archbishop Flores Residence hall at St. Mary’s University has given thousands of students a place to call home for decades. Like its namesake, Archbishop Patrick Flores, it fostered an environment that was welcoming and community-based living, connecting students to one another. This two-story, open apartment-style building is set for demolition due to the university’s effort to revitalize residence life.

St. Mary’s students have seen the hall bustling with life for years. As of the fall of 2017, the hall has been closed for residents only with the exception of emergencies.