Menu JTA Search

Bill in Congress to Prohibit Discriminatory Commercial Sign

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

Congressman Samuel Dickstein of New York introduced into the House on Wednesday a bill which would make it a crime to display a sign like the one shown in a local show window bearing the inscription: “This is not a Jewish store.”

The bill read as follows: “Any person who shall exhibit or display in any public place any sign poster or notice containing matter which because of reference to any religion, creed or race, is liable to incite a breach of peace, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.”

Congressman Dickstein stated that the language in his bill is the nearest which could be devised to cover a situation of this kind. Before a conviction could be obtained it would be necessary to prove that the particular phraseology used on the sign is liable to incite a breach of peace. The Congressman is of the opinion that a law of this kind will at least tend to discourage exhibitions of anti-Jewish feeling of this character and therefore would have the desirable preventive effect. The bill will be referred to an appropriate Committee of the House and depends upon such committee’s favorably reporting it as to whether it will be submitted for a note to the House.

The incident which called forth the bill as described by the “Washington Times,” was as follows.

“L. C. Picard, proprietor of a store in the 700 block of North Capitol St., became very tired of having customers come in and try to ‘talk his prices’ down, and asking him, he says, if he wasn’t a Jew.

“So, to forestall further such questions and practices, he hung a sign, written in a bold hand and with a blue crayon, reading.

“This store is not Jewish.”

The sign attracted considerable at- (Continued on Page 4)

tention and when Picard was asked to explain it, he gave the foregoing explanation. There is no race prejudice behind it, he said, but added that a Jewish competitor in the same block is very ambitious and is doing a good business. Picard is a native of France.”

NEXT STORY