(Courtesy of Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey) On November 3, the remarkable life and career of U.S. Senator W. Warren Barbour will be the subject of a program sponsored by the Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey. Dr. Rafael Medoff of the David Weyman Institute in Washington, D.C., will be the principal speaker. The event will begin at 3 p.m. at the Art Factory located on 70 Spruce Street in Paterson, New Jersey.
As a young man from a successful family, W. Warren Barbour turned down the opportunity to study at Princeton and began work at age 17 in the family linen thread business. To stay fit, his mother encouraged him to take up boxing. In May of 1910, he shocked the amateur boxing world by becoming the World Champion Amateur Heavyweight. There was even some talk of Barbour taking on Jack Johnson, the legendary champion and subject of the Great White Hope.
Instead, Barbour pursued a business and political career. Active in Republican affairs, he attended the national conventions and served as mayor of Rumson. In 1931, he was appointed to the U.S. Senate to finish the term of Senator Dwight Morrow, who had died in office.
Barbour served in the Senate from 1931 to 1936 and again from 1938 to 1943. During his tenure, Barbour became a leading voice for social justice, the rights of minorities and Jewish refugees. When the world was threatened with the rise of the horrors of Nazism and racism, Barbour was one of the few voices to speak out and attempt to move the United States to action. Barbour was unafraid to challenge the political leaders of both parties.
The lecture will highlight details of Barbour’s life, his political efforts and legislative initiatives. Barbour promoted racial, religious and ethnic tolerance and was a leading advocate for these causes throughout his career.
Admission to the lecture is free. Reservations are strongly recommended. The program location incorporates portions of the original Barbour Mill and the home of the Barbour Linen Thread operations for many decades.
An opening reception for supporters and sponsors will begin at 2 p.m. and there is a charge of $25 for members of affiliated sponsoring organizations and $100 per person for others. Please email for more information.