Collections: Objects of the Month
January 2011: Photograph in Milton S. Kronheim, Sr.'s lunchroom
Object #: 1998.54
Donor: Estate of Milton S. Kronheim, Sr.
Description: Photograph of Chief Justice Earl Warren’s birthday party in the dining room at Milton S. Kronheim’s warehouse, early 1970s.
From left (sitting): Associate Justice William O. Douglas, Judge Simon Sobeloff, Milton S. Kronheim, Sr., Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Associate Justice Thurgood S. Marshall. Standing from left are Milton King, Judge David L. Bazelon, former Maryland Governor Theodore R. McKeldin, Stanley Rosenzweig, Judge J. Skelly Wright, and Associate Justice William E. Brennan, Jr.
Milton S. Kronheim, Sr., owner of Milton S. Kronheim & Son, the area’s largest liquor distributor, presided over a modestly appointed lunchroom at his liquor warehouse in Northeast Washington. There, he attracted gathering of presidents, lawmakers, Supreme Court Justices, sports figures, religious leaders and representatives of numerous charities. Kronheim gave his first lunch in 1928. He continued informally hosting the city’s most influential persons until his death in 1986, at age 97.
Kronheim devoted himself to an array of political and charitable causes as well as national Jewish organizations. He was a major supporter of the Democratic Party and his fundraising for Israel Bonds was so successful that a town, Nachalat Kronheim, was named after him. Kronheim also found time to pitch for his baseball team, the Kronheim A.C. Bearcats, until his arm gave out when he was in his mid-eighties. D.C. delegate, Walter Fauntroy, often played for the team.
Kronheim’s treasured photographs lined the walls of his company’s lunchroom. In 1998, his family donated more than 400 photographs and other items to the Jewish Historical Society, and the Society produced an exhibition of a selection of them the following year. The photographs are both a pictorial biography and a who’s who of Washington throughout most of the 20th century.
Do you have material documenting a notable local Jewish community member that you’d like to donate to the Jewish Historical Society? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 789-0900.