Aunt Jemima; Theater Restaurant; War on Crime

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Jun 26 11:26:29 UTC 2001


   The Library of Congress's American Memory database has some very interesting Aunt Jemima items.  "Aunt Jemima" is entered in the RHHDAS.  There is also a book, THE STRANGE CAREER OF AUNT JEMIMA (Univ. of Virginia, 1998).
   The first Aunt Jemima was Nancy Green, who performed her culinary magic at the 1893 Chicago Fair.  Rosie Riles also comes up on the web, as does Anna Short Harrington.
   The "original Aunt Jemima" was probably not this white person in blackface, but here it is, from the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, 2 September 1937, pg. 14, col. 4:

_Mrs. Bernard Buried;_
_Original "Aunt Jemima"_
Likeness on Flour Posters; On
   Stage for 41 Years
   Mrs. Mary Bernard, the original "Aunt Jemima," whose likeness appeared on subway posters and other advertising mediums for the pancake flour for more than twenty years, was buried yesterday in Cedar Groves Cemetery, Flushing, Queens.  Mrs. Bernard, known on the stage as May Dean, died Saturday in Queens General Hospital, Jamaica, after an operation.
   Mrs. Bernard had been on the stage for forty-one years and last appeared in "Mississippi."  She was a dancer and comedienne and appeared in blackface.  Recently she had been in several short motion pictures.


   OED has "supper club" from the 1920s and "dinner theatre" from the 1960s.
   From the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, section VII, 5 September 1937, pg. 2, col. 2:

_The Newest Theater Restaurant_
   The first modern theater-restaurant in New York built specifically for that purpose is the new International Casino, which will open on Thursday evening with a revue, "Bravo!"
   The International marks a step forward in the evolution of theater-restaurants.  The idea of combining entertainment on a large scale with dining and dancing is not precisely new in this city.  As far back as 1911 Jesse Lasky and the late Henry B. Harris got together in a venture of this kind in what later became known as the Fulton Theater.  They were somewhat ahead of their time and their effort proved an expensive experiment.
   They were followed by other entrepreneurs.  But in every subsequent case they operated in converted theaters.  In other words, they took a lease on some legitimate house which had not been paying for itself, pulled out the seats, installed tables and chairs, improvised a kitchen and opened for business.  When they failed, the tables and chairs were removed, the improvised kitchen dismantled, the seats re-installed and it was a theater again. (...)
   The International Casino occupies a block on the east side of Broadway between Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Streets.


   A generation before the "War on Poverty" was the "War on Crime."  THIS WEEK magazine in the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE ran a series of articles by crossdressing crimestopper J. Edgar Hoover.
   "A War on Crime" is on page 2, col. 2, 12 September 1937.

   If Gerald Cohen's interlibrary loan people are getting lonely today, they might search for:


   It's just 20 pages long, available only at the University of Texas.  I don't know if it has any food or drink items, such as nachos or margaritas of Montezuma's revenge.

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