January ’75 in the Exponent: Gaudy Style of Decade Evident on Cover, Sons Seek to Clear Infamous Parents


When people reminisce about the 1970s, the decade’s general fashion sense often is the subject of ridicule.

Whether it was polyester leisure suits, shag carpeting, harvest gold appliances, the AMC Pacer (and Gremlin) or housing seemingly designed by The Brady Bunch’s architect patriarch, today it generates both laughs and cringes.

The Jan. 17, 1975 cover of the Jewish Exponent is no exception, with a discordant mixture of design elements — photos, boxes, banners, gray screen and a black rectangle containing the lead headline in reverse lettering.

That doesn’t mean, however, the stories weren’t interesting.

One story details a speaking engagement by Robert Meerepol, the son of executed spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who wanted his parents’ case reopened and their names cleared.

The Rosenbergs were executed in 1953, convicted of masterminding an espionage organization and of passing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviets.

Meerepol told a joint meeting of the men’s clubs of Temple Adath Israel and Temple Hillel-Beth El that his parents didn’t receive a fair trial and that key witness Harry Gold was a “pathological liar.”

Both Meerepol and his brother, Michael (they changed their last names), spoke often about their parents, but have since changed their tune — somewhat. In a 2008 Los Angeles Times article, the brothers said that because of then-recent revelations by a co-defendant and documents released in 1995, they believed their father did conduct espionage for the Soviet Union.

But they did say they doubted whether he passed along atomic bomb details.

“To this day, there is no credible evidence that he participated in obtaining or passing on any such secret,” they wrote.

Also on the ’75 cover was a lead story about a possible pullback of Israeli forces in the Sinai, a little over a year since the conclusion of the Yom Kippur War.

Another article detailed how Soviet dancer Valery Panov had recovered from a muscle pull, which had cancelled a planned December debut with his wife, Galina. The Panovs ended up performing Feb. 4 that year at the Spectrum.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here