People’s Hall of Fame

1997 Honorees

The Bronx Old Timers Stickball League

for keeping a classic New York City street game alive

stickballPlayed by generations of New Yorkers using a broomstick and “spaldeen,” stickball was disappearing when the Old Timers established their league in 1967 and precipitated a revival. Now other groups throughout the city, and in places like Florida and California, keep the game alive through annual championships and weekend stickball gatherings. Visit to explore the world of stickball.

Harlem Blues and Jazz Band

for bringing the rich musical legacy of Harlem to new generations of New Yorkers

Harlem BluesTogether since 1973, the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band is the world’s most authentic swing band, starring veteran jazz and blues musicians whose roots reach to the classic period of the 1920s and 30s. Members actually “jumped” at the Woodside and “stomped” at the Savoy. Call Dr. Al Vollmer at (914) 834-6882 for information or to book the band.

The Jewish Daily Forward

for fostering Yiddish language, literature, folklore and culture since 1897

Jewish Daily ForwardOne hundred years old in 1997, the Forward was the most famous of the Yiddish-language newspapers, providing news, advice, and editorial opinion to vast numbers of immigrant readers. Now published in Yiddish, English and Russian, today’s paper carries on the mission of its visionary first editor Abraham Cahan: to preserve Yiddish culture, and at the same time, tear readers away from it on behalf of American fulfillment. Visit their website at

Nuyorican Poets Cafe

for nurturing the tradition of the poetry slam and setting the City—and the world—ablaze with the poetic spirit of the Lower East Side.

Nyorican Poet'sFounded by poet Miguel Algarín in 1994, the Cafe has given voice to a generation of young Latino, African American, and other poets, providing them with a forum for their art and a new medium of expression. The Cafe popularized the contest of poets known as the slam, and gave it a decidedly Nuyorican slant. Visit their website at

Yeh Yu Chinese Opera Association

for preserving Chinese Opera and bringing it to the people of New York.

Chinese OperaEach Saturday since 1958, a troupe of Chinese Americans, all volunteers, all deeply committed to the tradition of Beijing opera, gather to rehearse. Practicing an art form dating back to the 8th century, Yeh Yu’s performances preserve traditional themes and stylized forms, incorporating voice, music, dance, pantomime, acrobatics, and the martial arts. Call Shang Kao at (914) 561-5259 for information about the Opera Association.


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