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Finding Aids | The Breman Museum

Jewish Research and Education - Cuba Family Archives, Finding Aids

Dates:  1919-1975

Creator:  Harry Sunshine Family

Summary/Abstract:  Harry Sunshine was actively involved in both the Jewish and general communities and generously supported a number of different causes in Atlanta and in the State of Israel. The papers include correspondence, family history, legal documents, obituaries, and records relating to land purchases and support of the State of Israel, Grady Memorial Hospital, and Sunshine Department Stores.

Quantity/Physical Description: .2 linear feet

Language(s):  English

Repository:  The Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History, The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.

Restrictions on Access:  There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Restrictions on Use:  Copyright restrictions may apply.  Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.  Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation:  Box #, Folder #, Mss 60, Harry Sunshine Family Papers, The Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History, The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.

Separated Material:  All photographs transferred to visual arts and all oversized material transferred to oversized collection.

Arrangement:  All material is arranged in alphabetical order and chronologically within each folder.

Biographical/Historical Note:  Harry Sunshine’s father, Ben Zion Sunshine, was born in Voroshilovskove, Russia in 1868. Ben Zion married Gussie Spector, a girl from his village, in 1894. She was born in 1876. They lived in a small cottage that had dirt floors. Be Zion was deeply religious and he came from a long line of rabbis. When Ben Zion came to America in 1913 he was using the name Sensen, the same name he used in Russia. When he landed in Galveston, Texas he was given the name Sunshine. He immediately moved to Rock Island, Illinois, where Gussie’s relatives were living. He stayed there for six months but he did not like it and moved to Atlanta where he had some cousins. Harry followed his father to America. He landed in Savannah and moved to Atlanta. When the rest of the family came in 1914 they landed in Baltimore and moved directly to Atlanta. When Harry got to this country, he was seventeen years old. He started to peddle junk and opened his junk metal shop in Anniston, Alabama before he went to serve in World War I. When he returned, he met Lillie Shemper and a year later they got married in Hattiesburg synagogue in 1920. They went back to Atlanta and stayed with his family before moving to New Orleans to go to school. When they returned to Atlanta they bought a house and started a clothing business that blossomed into Sunshine Department Stores. They had four children, their youngest being Phillip. He was a member of Ahavath Achim Congregation.

Scope and Content:  Researchers studying the Harry Sunshine Family Papers will gain insight into immigration and Jewish businessmen in Atlanta, Georgia. All material is arranged in alphabetical order and chronologically within each folder.

Collection Inventory

Box File Description Date
1 1 American Jewish Committee – AIS Ben Massell to Harry Sunshine 1951
2 Correspondence to Harry Sunshine and Lillie Sunshine from various correspondents 1965-1970
3 Correspondence to Harry Sunshine from WWII soldiers 1945
4 Family history Undated
5 Grady Memorial Hosptial – Sunshine room 1961-1979
6 Israel, state of – Kalman – Minnie Rothberg Vocational School 1969
7 Israel, State of – land purchases 1950-1959
8 Israel, State of – Ragosin Enterprise 1962-1975
9 Jewish War Veterans – Post 112 1970
10 Legal documents (photocopies) 1919-1920
11 Newspaper articles 1958-1969
12 Obituaries of Harry Sunshine 1967
13 Poem related to Harry Sunshine Undated
14 Sunshine Department Stores 1940-1979
15 Torah presentation – Fort Benning, GA 1965


Posted in: Finding aids

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