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Introducing Our New Column! Postcards from the Past

Compiled by Sindya N. Bhanoo Email Compiled by Sindya N. Bhanoo
April 2015
Introducing Our New Column! Postcards from the Past

Snapshots from Indian-American history

New York’s first known Indian restaurant

April 3rd, 1921 -

The New York Times reports the discovery of one of the first known Indian restaurants in New York. The restaurant was located in Manhattan. The article states, “Six short weeks ago an Indian restaurant was discovered on Eight Avenue near Forty-second Street. Grave Indian gentlemen, with American clothes but with great turbans on their heads used to come in for their curry and rice. Six short weeks—and already the restaurant is half full of tourists, eagerly peering at each other for turbans and local color.” The article is likely referring to the Taj Mahal Hindu Restaurant, a restaurant that was first established in 1918. A few blocks away, the Ceylon Restaurant was opened earlier, in 1913.

 

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The Richelieu Theater in San Francisco screens Hindi films

April 27, 1966 -

The Richelieu Theater in downtown San Francisco screens a double header of two Hindi films starring an actress known as “Sandya the Music Maker.” The advertisement promises that Sandya “captivates all men,” “tantalizes their emotions,” and “commands their destinies.” The two films were Do Aankhen, Barah Haath and Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje starring the actress Sandhya and directed by Shantaram. They were among the earliest Hindi films screened in the United States and brought to California by Ram Bagai, an Indian-American in Los Angeles.

 

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The “Khan Sculpture” arrives in Chicago

April 27, 1988 -

The Mayor and Members of the City Council of the City of Chicago announce the arrival of the “Khan Sculpture,” in Chicago, recognizing “one of the great structural engineers of our time.” The tribute is to Fazlur Rahman Khan, a pioneering Bangladeshi-American who designed the Hancock Center and the Sears Tower in Chicago. The city also dedicated a street to him in 1998. Khan was born in Dhaka in 1929 and came to the United States in 1952 to pursue his two Master’s degrees and a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 


Sindya N. Bhanoo writes the Observatory column in the Science section of The New York Times. She is also a board member of South Asian American Digital Archive. This column’s material is from SAADA. https://www.saadigitalarchive.org/.



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