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Golda Meir's Denver Legacy Preserved At Auraria Museum

By Michelle Zelinger

DENVER (CBS4)- A Denver duplex once home to Israel's first female Prime Minister Golda Meir has been rededicated as a museum and Jewish education center. Meir was born in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 3, 1898, and named Golda Mabovitch. Her father fled to Wisconsin in response to pogroms and the expulsion of Jews from the Russian Empire.

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(credit: Golda Meir House Museum)

Executive Director of the Golda Meir House Museum Lena Fishman described the oppression in Ukraine at the time as similar to today, saying "There was a lot of violence, there was extreme anti-Semitism and government-sanctioned mobs called pogroms that went throughout Jewish towns, destroying homes and businesses and much worse."

Golda ran away from home as she did not want to marry -- as her mother wanted her to. She took a train to Denver to live with her sister and her sister's family, the Korngolds.

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(credit: Korngold Family)

In Denver, the Korngolds held intellectual meetings in the evening at home where Golda was exposed to debates on Zionism, literature and women's suffrage. Golda wanted to be part of the talks so she volunteered to clean the teacups after the talks. She wrote in her autobiography, titled "My Life," "To the extent that my own future convictions were shaped and given form, those talk-filled nights in Denver played a considerable role."

Golda met her husband Morris Meyerson and married in December 1917. Meyerson introduced her to many aspects of cultural life. He took Golda to Denver's City Park Jazz concerts, which continue today.

Many Colorado lawmakers were involved in efforts to save the house from demolition and aid in its restoration.

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(credit: Golda Meir House Museum)

Congresswoman Pat Schroeder of Colorado was influential in saving the house. The Golda Meir House Museum displays the Congressional Record detailing Schroeder's efforts to make the house a historic landmark. In the 1990s, Mayor Wellington Webb worked to make the house a historic landmark -- preserving the place once home to the woman known as Israel's Iron Lady.

LINK: Golda Meir House Museum

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