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April 12, 2013

Baseball Great Hank Greenberg is Subject of Jewish American Heritage Month Program

To mark Jewish American Heritage Month, the Library of Congress will present a talk by documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner, featuring clips from the newly expanded 2-disc DVD edition of her 2001 Peabody Award-winning film, "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg."

The event will be held at noon on Monday, May 13, in the Mary Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the James Madison Building at 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, D.C. Sponsored jointly by the Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division and the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, the event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required but seating is limited. Scheduled for release on April 24, the new DVD package will be on sale for $30 at the event.

Kempner’s film depicts how America’s first Jewish baseball star—a rival of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig—helped break down the barriers of discrimination in American sports and society and became a beacon of hope to American Jews who faced bigotry during the Depression and World War II.

Hank Greenberg (1911-1986) was the youngest player in the major leagues when in 1930, at the age of 19, he became first baseman for the Detroit Tigers. Greenberg was a five-time All-Star and was twice named Most Valuable Player by the American League. He holds the league’s record for most RBIs (runs batted in) during a single season by a right-handed batter. Following nearly four years of military service during World War II, Greenberg returned to the ballfield in 1945. That year the Tigers won the American League pennant and the World Series. Following a salary dispute, Detroit sold Greenberg’s contract to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1947. It was his final season before taking a management position with the Cleveland Indians.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 155 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.

The Hebraic Section of the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division is one of the world’s foremost centers for the study of Hebrew and Yiddish materials. For more information on the division and its holdings, visit www.loc.gov/rr/amed/hs/hshome.html.

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PR 13-071
04/12/13
ISSN 0731-3527

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