2: Newspaper excerpt, “Trooper Punished for Massena Action,” New York Times, 1928.
In 1928, a young Christian child went missing in Massena, New York, a small town near the Canadian border. In response, the local police chief brought in leaders of the Jewish community for questioning. The New York Times published an article regarding the incident and the reaction from officials on Saturday, October 6, 1928.
Suggested Activity: Have students read the excerpt and ask them to reconstruct the events that occurred in Massena, New York, based on the information in the newspaper article. Review the letter written by Major Warner to New York Governor Alfred E. Smith, which is included in the article. Students should consider the police chief’s reaction to the disappearance of a child and why he is being punished. Why did the police chief think he was being logical in questioning Jewish leaders during his investigation of the child’s disappearance?
What, if any, echoes do you see between the Massena case from 1928 and the story of the prioress written by Chaucer in the fourteenth century? Are there specific words and phrases from the article that remind you of "The Prioress’s Tale"?
Source: “Trooper Punished for Massena Action,” the New York Times (Albany, NY), Oct. 6, 1928, accessed online.