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Bronx Merchants Defy Boycott Threat over Good Friday Closing

April 7, 1952
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Jewish shopowners in the Highbridge section of the Bronx have refused to close their stores next Friday–Good Friday–from noon to 3 P.M. in defiance of alleged threats of boycott made by parishoners of a local Roman Catholic church.

According to shopkeepers, lay members of the church visited the stores requesting that they remain closed during the three-hour period. At the same time, they said, a printed card for window display was distributed. The card read as follows: “We will close from noon to 3 P.M. Good Friday, April 11, 1952, in observance of the death of Christ;” The storekeepers reported that they were even more upset over the attitude of the visitors who, they said, implied that Catholics would boycott Jewish-owned stores which refused to abide by the request.

Msgr. William C. Humphrey, pastor of the church, has denied that pressure was exerted in approaching the merchants. He said that display of the cards “was a matter of choice” but acknowledged that in some instances an “imprudent” or “impulsive” approach might have been employed. He also suggested that provocation might have stemmed from remarks or actions of the storekeepers.

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