Matthew Vassar, founder and namesake of Vassar College, to be born on April 29, 1792, in Norfolk, England. Motivated by his niece, Lydia Booth, Vassar donated half of the fortune he had actually made in the brewing business, and 200 acres of soil in Poughkeepsie, new York, to create a women’s college comparable to the ideal educational establishments of the day, most of i beg your pardon excluded women.

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And so you see, to old V.C.Our love shall never fail.Full well we recognize that all us oweTo Matthew Vassar’s ale.

The Autobiography and Letters the Matthew Vassar.External Edited by Elizabeth Hazelton Haight; new York: Oxford college Press, 1916. P. 5

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The Entrance, Vassar College. c1904. Detroit publishing Company. Prints & Photographs Division

Vassar Female college was established in 1861 and opened in September 1865 through 353 students and a faculty that thirty, twenty-two the whom to be women. Process ranged from botany to music, with an yearly fee for tuition and also residence of $350. By 1873, john H. Raymond, the chairman of Vassar, wrote of a collegiate education for women,

The idea has actually ceased to be a strange one to the general public mind. No subject has actually been much more frequently or earnestly disputed for the last five years in the newspapers and magazines, and no one can doubt the the drift the the discussion has been toward a favorable verdict.

Vassar College. A College because that Women, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. A sketch of that is Foundation, Aims, and also Resources, and of the breakthrough of Its plan of Instruction come the present Time…External. All set by the chairman of the college ; new York: S.W. Green, Printer, 1873. P. 74.

Alumnae of distinction include Edna St. Vincent Millay (1917), the very first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize because that Poetry; ecological pioneer Ellen sloop down Richards (1870), the first woman come teach at MIT; Helen C. Putnam (1878), the an initial woman gynecologist; cardiologist Bernadine Healy (1965), the first woman to head the nationwide Institutes the Health; and also Vicki Miles-LaGrange (1974), the first African-American mrs sworn in as a United states Attorney. Rear Admiral elegant Hopper (1928), a pioneer computer system scientist, teach at Vassar prior to joining the U.S. Naval Reserves. Astronomer Maria Mitchell, one of the original faculty members in ~ Vassar, was the an initial woman to be chosen to the American Academy of Arts and also Sciences.

A coeducational institution due to the fact that 1969, Vassar continues to be ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the unified States. Vassar currently enrolls roughly 2,400 student on its currently 1,000-acre campus.

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Vassar College. Thompson photo Co., c1912. Panoramic Photographs. Prints & Photographs Division

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, often said to it is in America’s biggest composer, bandleader, and recording artist, to be born on April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C. Nicknamed “Duke” together a youngster, Ellington turned under a intuitive arts scholarship to focus his life top top music. With a background in classical, popular, ragtime, and stride music, Ellington arised as may be the greatest solitary talent in the background of jazz.

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Portrait of duke Ellington, great Theater, new York…,William P. Gottlieb, photographer, ca Sept. 1946. William P. Gottlieb Collection. Music Division

Duke Ellington is seen below reflected in his dressing room winter in a picture taken by william Gottlieb for an article in the September 23, 1946, problem of Down Beat magazine. The inscription read, “…Duke Ellington, v his mirror showing his always present piano, his conservative ties, his 20 suits, his 15 shirts, his suede shoes and his smiling self.” Ellington took pleasure in being the innovative gentleman and also would tell the band, “Let’s no pout, gentlemen. It makes negative notes.”

Duke Ellington taught himself James P. Johnson’s “Carolina Shout” by slowing down a piano roll and copying each note. When Johnson appeared in Washington, pals moved Ellington come play because that Johnson and also the two became friends. Later in brand-new York, both males played Harlem rent parties.

Portrait of James Price Johnson, new York, N.Y.(?). William P. Gottlieb, photographer, ca. May 1946. Wilhelm P. Gottlieb Collection. Music Division

Ellington rebarisalcity.orgated to brand-new York in 1923 with his band, The Washingtonians. They play a selection of venues and over the year made some sixty recordings. Their very first big break come in 1927 after ~ Joe “King” Oliver turned under an engagement at the cotton Club and also The Washingtonians play instead.

throughout an era of strict segregation, the club prided chin on presenting black color performers come white audiences. Paradoxically, however, it refused to seat african Americans—making exceptions for only a few famous people such as Bill “Bojangles” Robinson or Ethel Waters. Nevertheless, regular live radio broadcasts native the cotton Club, whereby the tape played from 1927 with 1931, meant that listener all throughout the nation became familiar with the Ellington sound.

Beginning through their operation at the cotton Club, and over the following forty-plus years, Ellington and his band (later referred to as the duke Ellington Orchestra) preserved an very busy schedule in ~ home and also abroad. No venue was too little or also grand. The orchestra frequently played two shows a day because that weeks and then included in a record session. Despite a slump throughout the late 1940s and also early 1950s, Ellington and also his remarkably stable orchestra performed in ~ this rigorous pace right into the early on 1970s.

Trombonist Lawrence Brown joined the band in 1932 and also stayed because that nineteen years. Drummer Sonny Greer was v the tape from its beginning in Washington, D.C. Willie Smith hosted a chemistry level from Fisk and played alto sax v Ellington in the early on 1950s. In 1929, Ellington hired trombonist Juan Tizol, who added a Latin influence. Mar Lou Williams, one of the good ladies the jazz, periodically arranged for Ellington and sat in for him in ~ piano as soon as he to be hospitalized. Ray Nance play both the violin and trumpet, earning the nickname “Floorshow” because that his performance style. Johnny Hodges, well-known for his genius on the saxophone, was with Ellington for virtually forty years. Al Sears played interesting solos top top the tenor sax for roughly five years. Over there were countless others as well, including Paul Gonsalves that was through Ellington because that twenty-four years and also caused a close to riot with his twenty-seven-chorus solo in ~ the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival.

Ellington, according to Alvin Ailey, “collected around him a team of superbly gifted musicians that were choose his Stradivarius.” A couple of are pictured here.

Portrait that Sonny Greer, Aquarium, new York, N.Y.. Wilhelm P. Gottlieb, photographer, ca. Nov 1946. Wilhelm P. Gottlieb Collection. Music DivisionPortrait the Willie Smith and Juan Tizol, new York, N.Y. Wilhelm P. Gottlieb, photographer, ca. 1946 come 1948. Wilhelm P. Gottlieb Collection. Music DivisionPortrait of beam Nance, Aquarium, brand-new York, N.Y. William P. Gottlieb, photographer, ca. Nov. 1946. Wilhelm P. Gottlieb Collection. Music DivisionPortrait the Johnny Hodges and Al Sears, Aquarium, new York, N.Y. Wilhelm P. Gottlieb, photographer, ca. Nov. 1946. William P. Gottlieb Collection. Music Division

Billy Strayhorn, Ellington’s the next collaborator, join the band in 1939; barisalcity.orgk composed with each other constantly till Strayhorn’s death in 1967. Their association is one of the most necessary in the history of American music. Gordon Parks said, “They were prefer Clark Kent and Superman…they didn’t talk around the music, one would simply leave it because that the other one, and he would certainly pick up as if he had actually been creating the whole thing himself.” This practice has made it an overwhelming to identify clear authorship in much of the “Ellington” work.

Portrait the Billy Strayhorn, brand-new York, N.Y. In between 1946 and 1948. Wilhelm P. Gottlieb, photographer. Wilhelm P. Gottlieb Collection. Music Division

Over the years Ellington worked musically v many people who became his friends and also admirers: Florenz Zigfield, Irving Berlin, Jimmy Durante, Al Jolson, mar Lou Williams, man Coltrane, will Marion Cook, Lena Horne, light Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Max Roach, count Basie, luigi Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Charles Mingus, frank Sinatra, Maurice Chevalier, and Bing Crosby amongst others.

Ellington’s musical adaptability was astounding and also not restricted to a timeless jazz format. He additionally wrote oratorios, suites, concertos, and even opera, and for the Broadway stage, movies, television, nightclubs, and also more. Ellington, commonly working through Billy Strayhorn, developed over 1,500 piece of music — almost 6,000, if quick musical interludes room included. His shows, performance, and also theater pieces include Jump because that Joy, “Man with four Sides,” and also “My People” (for the Century that Negro development Exposition in Chicago). His classical music contains “The Liberian Suite” (commissioned for the centenary that Liberia), lift music because that Shakespeare’s Timon the Athens, and also versions that Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite and Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite.

Ellington also wrote for and also performed in a number of films: Black and also Tan Fantasy, Cabin in the Sky, and also Assault on a Queen. In 1950, Ellington was featured in 3 film shorts: Salute to fight it out Ellington; Symphony in Swing; and Date v Duke, which an unified live activity and man puppets performing the Ellington/Strayhorn piece, “Perfume Suite.” Ellington and also Strayhorn also composed the score because that the 1959 film Anatomy of a Murder.

In his seventies, Ellington continued to tackle brand-new musical challenges. He accepted a commission indigenous the American Ballet Theatre to construct The River, a ballet choreographed by Alvin Ailey, as well as a commission indigenous the new York windy Broadcasting organization station, WNET, to finish a comic opera.

Ellington got sixteen honorary doctorates from U.S. Universities and also numerous citations. His image has actually been illustrated on postage stamps and also medals, schools and also bridges, and babies have actually been named in his honor. Ellington was knighted, and received the French Legion of Honor, the Ethiopian Emperor’s Star, the stimulate of Lenin indigenous the Soviet Union, the Spingarn Medal, and the Presidential Medal that Freedom.

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Portrait of battle each other Ellington, Aquarium, new York, N.Y., in between 1946 and also 1948. William P. Gottlieb, photographer. Wilhelm P. Gottlieb Collection. Music Division

The ideal known the Ellington’s later works to be his three sacred Concerts, which drew on both classic European and also African-American forms and styles. The an initial was perform in 1965 at elegant Cathedral in san Francisco; the 2nd premiered at the Cathedral the St. Man the magnificent in new York; and the 3rd in 1973 in ~ Westminster Abbey, London. Inquiry why it took so lengthy to create the last of his concert Ellington said, “You have the right to jive v secular music, yet you can’t jive v the Almighty.” When battle each other Ellington died in 1974 over 12,000 mourners said goodbye to “the piano player,” together he called himself; “…our Shakespeare, Goethe, and Cezanne,” according to rob Gibson, the Lincoln Center’s director of Jazz.

“The Rosary External.” Georgia B. Welles, composer; Robert Cameron Rogers, words; Philadelphia: Eclipse, 1903. Historical American sheet MusicExternal battle each other University Libraries

At four-years-old, Edward Ellington listened come his mommy play a famous piano tune, “The Rosary,” and tears pertained to his eyes because, “It was so pretty. For this reason pretty.” He began to study piano in ~ seven and told his following door neighbor, “One of these days I’m walk to it is in famous.”


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Search on state such together rag and also jazz in the adhering to collections come see instances of together tunes as they were distributed in paper music type when Ellington was young. Remember the these main historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and also beliefs of various times and may contain materials offensive to part readers.Read an ext about James Reese Europe through newspaper coverage discovered in Chronicling America, the database of historical American newspapers. Begin with James Reese Europe: subject in Chronicling America