Quick Click … From the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History: Oct. 15, 2015

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djn-1992-04-03-0-122We are now in October, a beautiful month. The peak of fall colors will soon be upon us. The weather is beginning to cool; the nights become chilly and, soon, we will be staring into the face of a Michigan winter.

But, some lucky members of the community, the “Snowbirds,” are already making plans to escape the Great White North.

This raises a question that several staff members of the Jewish News have asked — when was the term “Snowbirds” first used?

Doing a bit of research, I could not find the origins of the word. The Oxford Dictionary defines a snowbird as a “northerner who moves to a warmer southern state in the winter.” This seems to fall into the category of “tell us something we don’t know!”

Around these parts, we all know that Michiganders and Canadians are prime candidates to be snowbirds.

We know one other fact, however, from the William Davidson Archives. The first use of the term “snowbird” in the JN appeared in the Feb. 6, 1981, issue, noting that the Shaarey Zedek Sisterhood held its second annual “snowbird” luncheon at the home of Mrs. Erwin Harvith, Pompano Beach, Fla.

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.

By Mike Smith, DJN Foundation Archivist

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