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MONDAY

Those who claim that it’s impossible for a pol from tiny, toothless D.C. to rise to national prominence would do well to remember Washington activist Jacob Goldsmith, whose fame is—literally—still sung of today. Goldsmith, leader of a late-1800s D.C. residents’ rights movement, was a shrewd populist, harnessing an intense dissatisfaction with local disenfranchisement, then felt all the more acutely due to Southern reconciliation. Using the more palatable pseudonym “John Smith,” Goldsmith built a movement that had an estimated 2,300 members and sparked a national debate on the obligations and rights of citizenship—but also violence in D.C. streets. Though the derisive tag “‘Jingleheimer’ Schmidt” was the invention of Goldsmith’s enemies, an attempt to discredit him as a foreigner (he was the son of Jewish immigrants), the now-familiar camp song came out of Goldsmith’s own movement. “His name is my name, too” was first sung in response by followers to affirm Goldsmith’s legitimacy as one of “us,” a real D.C. citizen. Tonight, Miami University historian Daniel Birenbaum will be reading from and signing his new book, The Life and Times of Jingleheimer Smith, at 8:30 p.m. at Lirpa, Sloof, & Sons, 9418 Columbus Ave. NW. Free. (202) 332-2100 ext. 331. (Stephen Grossman)

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