Harry Murnick

Murnick, Harry b.1880-1/1/1928

Family- Wife: Children: Two girls and a boy

Munick was born in Vidzh, Lithuania. In Durham, he became a grocer. In Leonard Rogoff's book, "Homelands: Southern Jewish Identity in Durham and Chapel Hill North Carolina", Murnick is mentioned in relation to the following anti-Semitic incident:

According to Rogoff, in 1921, Murnick had gone to the water company to pay his bill. He gave the bookkeeper a roll of 50 cents. As the bookkeeper was counting the change, his manager, Harvey Bolton, stepped out, knocked the pennies over and ordered Murnick to pick them up.

"The bill is paid, and those pennies belong to you," Murnick responded.

"Goddamned Jew," Bolton replied locking the door and grabbing Murnick by the jacket.

After trying to choke him with a towel, Murnick dug into his pocket, gave Bolton a dollar and took back his pennies, whereupon Bolton threw him out and warned him not to return.

Represented by Durham lawyer R. O. Everett, Murnick sued the city for damages and the case went to the state Supreme Court. The court supported Murnick's right to sue and argued the manager should have been fired, not just fined. "The world has long outlived this treatment of an historic race, except perhaps in darkest Russia when under the Czars," wrote chief justice Walter Clark. He then asked Everett to have his opinion published in the local newspaper to promote "good opinions and friendship" with the Jews.