Respondent
Michaels, Edgar
Interview Date
March 20, 1992
Abstract
Edgar Michaels a former city councilman; born, 1923.
[T1S1] Parents' origins in Europe, father's businesses in Pittsburgh and Respondent's education are reported. Jewish activities available on North Side in Respondent's youth are mentioned. Relationship with older brother as child is characterized, as is Troy Hill neighborhood. Respondent's experience as pilot in Air Corps during WWII is summarized. Respondent reports courtship of wife and children's professions. Community service projects with which Respondent was involved are enumerated. Backgrounds of city council members, make-up of general council are noted. Motivation for Respondent's political career is reported. Respondent's special interests in city council are specified. Mayor Pete Flaherty's hindrance of Pittsburgh's renaissance is reported. Father's and own businesses are indicated.
[T1S2] City council's traditional political role and the progress of the renaissance are noted. The fiscal policy of Mayor Flaherty, and its effects, are indicated. The projects and their considerations addressed by Respondent in city council are outlined. Motivation for and enjoyment of work as councilman are indicated. Respondent comments upon current funding for council members. Pittsburgh's demographic changes are mentioned. Respondent outlines involvement in Reform Jewish organizations. Respondent relates securing and distributing donated vaccines in Central America. Respondent mentions itinerary on visit to "Refuseniks" in U.S.S.R. Respondent reports hostility experienced in Soviet Union; occupations and observance of "Refuseniks" are mentioned. Respondent's current social issues are reported.
[T2S3] Grandparents' and parents' religiosity is reported. Family's participation in Beth Israel is specified. Respondent's work in family store is mentioned; athletic activities as youth are enumerated. Mother's attitude toward academic achievement is illustrated. Respondent's assignment in Europe during WWII is related. Respondent recounts bailing out of plane over France and outlines help received until reunited with Americans. Children's secular education, residences and religious educations are enumerated. Respondent comments upon interfaith marriage.
[T2S4] Respondent reports locations of family vacations and attitudes on childrearing. Sons' relationship with each other and their interfaith marriages are discussed. Extent of Respondent's contact with grandchildren is indicated. Respondent's attitude toward work and nature of Respondent's relationship with employees are expressed. Economic vitality of North Side is assessed. Elements of continuity and change within Pittsburgh's Jewish community are indicated. Respondent explains affection for Pittsburgh but extensively cites Pittsburgh's shortcomings. Influences on Respondent are summarized.
[T3S5] Respondent enumerates family's activities in family store. Parents' acceptance within non-Jewish community is illustrated. Respondent comments upon own public school education. Locations of military service and of college study are indicated. Respondent recounts visit and admission to University of Michigan. Respondent specifies roles in non-Jewish and Jewish community service organizations. Respondent's motivations and experiences in the 1969 Pittsburgh city elections are related. Repercussions of Mayor Flaherty's fiscal policy are enumerated. Respondent summarizes political interests at time. Respondent outlines contention with Flaherty regarding "Skybus" program and considerations in financing Three Rivers Stadium. Respondent's position on the development of the convention center and current juvenile detention center are reported. Respondent's disagreement with Flaherty on budgetary spending is noted.
[T3S6] Politics surrounding establishment of Pittsburgh's Emergency Medical Services are indicated. Companions on 1984 trip to U.S.S.R. are named; Respondent's advice on comportment to subsequent visitors of "Refuseniks" is recounted. Activities with "Refuseniks" are summarized; fates of nine "Refuseniks" families Respondent visited are chronicled.
Subjects
North Side (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Pittsburgh (Pa.). City Council; Politics; Jews, Soviet; Troy Hill (Pittsburgh, Pa.); World War, 1939-1945
Birth Date
1923
City
Pittsburgh, PA
Profession
Politician
Work
Pittsburgh City Council
Residence
Hill District; Troy Hill
Occupation (father)
Storeowner
Length (hours)
3
Interviewer1
Herzog, Bernice
Interviewer2
Herzog, Marvin
Indexer
Herzog, Bernice
Collateral Materials
Box 104 FF 32
Identifier
ais196440.311
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh