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This Day in Boston History
January 28th, 1916
Brandeis, by Andy Warhol
On this day
- President Woodrow Wilson nominated Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court.
He would become the first Associate Justice of Jewish faith, and serve
until 1939. His growing belief in the need for a Jewish state would influence
the Wilson administration and millions of American Jews, who before Brandeis'
advocacy were generally opposed or non-supportive of Zionism.
As a lawyer in Boston, Brandeis took up many cases defending the interests
of smaller businesses and individuals from more powerful corporations.
He was responsible for insurance and savings bank reforms, opposed J.P.
Morgan's railroad monopoly, supported the minimum wage, and with Edward
Filene began the Public Franchise League which supported public regulation
In 1949 Brandeis University, the
only nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored college or university in the country,
was founded and reflects the ideals of academic excellence and social
justice he exemplified.