Dispatches > Human Race
Norman Lamm
Associated Press/Photo by David Karp
Norman Lamm

Human Race


Issue: "Effective compassion," July 27, 2013


The chancellor at Yeshiva University’s prestigious seminary resigned on July 1 and apologized for poorly handling sex abuse accusations at the institution from the 1980s. Rabbi Norman Lamm, 85, a well-known figure among Orthodox Jews, wrote a letter to students, staff, and alumni saying he must repent for his actions. More than 20 former students have accused two professors of sex abuse and the university of covering up the allegations. Lamm did not cite the controversy as a reason for his resignation.


Police in Pretoria, South Africa, arrested a man who sent up a flying camera to capture aerial footage above the crowds outside former President Nelson Mandela’s hospital. Authorities detained the man, F.C. Hammam, for several hours on June 28 but released him after questioning—and confiscating his equipment. Hammam apologized for the incident and said he didn’t realize he was breaking any laws with his actions, which some dubbed “drone journalism.” No charges were immediately filed. 


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The Vatican announced it will grant sainthood to Pope John Paul II, the well-traveled leader credited with helping end communism in Europe. Pope Francis, who ascended to the post in March, signed the decree on July 5 after confirming the necessary second miracle needed for sainthood. John Paul served as the 264th pope from 1978 until his death in 2005—the third-longest reign in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. He was beloved by many but also endured heavy criticism for the way he handled clerical sex abuse scandals in the early 2000s.


Historian Edmund S. Morgan, 97, one of the nation’s premiere experts on colonial America, died on July 8. Morgan, an atheist, wrote critically but sympathetically about Puritan thought and life. He began writing in the 1940s, and his most recent book, published at age 86, is a 2002 best-selling biography of Benjamin Franklin. Morgan, who taught at Yale from 1955 to 1986, said he couldn’t read books like he wrote—they would put him to sleep—preferring instead to read straight from the founders’ own writings.


Douglas Dayton, 88, founding president of Target Corp., died July 5 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Dayton, the uncle of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, was a third-generation retailer who helped transform a family business into the second-largest retailer in the United States. Dayton received a purple heart for his World War II military service, then returned to the states to work as a store manager in the family business. He became the first president of Target in 1960, which eventually absorbed the parent company, Dayton-Hudson, in 2000.


One of the nation’s first television broadcast preachers, Gordon Anderson, died on July 4 at age 93. After a local television station began airing his rallies in the early 1950s, Anderson founded Tele-Missions International, which his son, Gordon Anderson Jr., currently operates out of Florida. Anderson, the son of a traveling minister, didn’t like the term “televangelist” and refused to call himself one, noting he “never asked for a single dollar on the air.” He retired in 2011 as pastor of First Baptist Church in Ossining, N.Y.


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