A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“Why are there no knock-knock jokes about the U.S.?"/"Because freedom rings.” (7/24)
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Entry from June 24, 2009
Hot Dog Diplomacy

Can hot dog eating among nations promote world peace?

in June 1939, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt invited the king and queen of England to eat hot dogs at Hyde Park, New York. The term “hot dog diplomacy” was not recorded at that time, but it was cited in print by 1945.

In June 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama invited Iranians to July 4th barbecues. The term “hot dog diplomacy” became widely used, but the Iranians were disinvited after Iranian election protests began. 


17 December 1945, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “Hot Dog Diplomacy” by Hallie Scott, section 1, pg. 12:
(Princess Elizabeth a possible guest of Miss Truman—ed.)

4 June 1961, Hartford (CT) Courant, “Chill Hits ‘Hot Dog’ Diplomacy,” pg. B3:
DETROIT (AP)--Hot dog and hamburger diplomacy simply doesn’t work with the Russians, at least not with the Moiseyev dancers now on tour of the United States.

13 August 1978, Syracuse (NY) Herald American, magazine, pg. 17:
By the 1920s SInclair Lewis was telling readers about his Main Street, where a pair of Hot dog stands were big attractions. Later in the century, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt served hot dogs to guests King George VI and Queen Elizabeth—the younger returned the favor some years after, in 1957, when she treated visiting American lawyers to hot dogs at Buckingham Palace.

And to carry Anglo-American hot dog diplomacy a step further, President Nixon’s daughters were hostesses at a 1970 cookout at Camp David in honor of the visiting Prince Charles and Princess Anne; they served—you guessed it—hot dogs.

Agence France-Presse
Hot dog diplomacy: US embassies open to Iranians on July 4
Jun 2, 2009
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Opening a round of hot dog diplomacy with Iran, the State Department said Tuesday it is letting US embassies invite Iranian diplomats to their Fourth of July celebrations this year.

It would be the first time in nearly 30 years that Iranian diplomats have been on the guest list for these affairs, which often feature hot dogs and other traditional Independence Day fare.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood said a cable went out to US missions last week advising that Iranian diplomats “may be invited” to their July 4 receptions.

Telegraph (London)
Hot dog diplomacy: US woos Iranian diplomats with July 4 barbecues
Washington’s latest move to woo Iran comes in the form of an invitation to the most American of celebrations: the July 4 picnic.

Published: 12:26AM BST 03 Jun 2009
For the first time in nearly 30 years, the US State Department has encouraged US embassies around the world to invite Iranian diplomats to their Independence Day celebrations.

New York (NY) Times
This Land
Ambassador Hot Dog

By DAN BARRY
Published: June 6, 2009
(...)
There is no record of the founding fathers ever eating hot dogs, no trace, for example, of mustard on the Declaration of Independence. But the hot dog has played a role in American foreign relations since at least June 1939, when the king and queen of England attended a picnic at President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s estate in Hyde Park, N.Y., while soliciting American support for England in the war about to consume Europe.

The next day, a front-page headline in The New York Times shared the news:

KING TRIES HOT DOG
AND ASKS FOR MORE
And He Drinks Beer With Them

Bob Clark, the head archivist at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, in Hyde Park, agreed on Friday to dig deeper into this seminal event. “Anything we can do to further the diplomacy of the United States,” he said.

He called back to report that: a sample tray of hot dogs was served on a silver tray; the royal guests nevertheless joined everyone else in eating off paper plates; King George VI ate two hot dogs (“with gusto,” the historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. later said); and the brand of hot dog was Swift.

The Herald-Mail (Hagerstown, MD)
Tim Rowland
Hot dogs: America’s olive branch
June 8, 2009
(...)
Still, as diplomatic initiatives go, hot dogs might not be such a bad idea. First, they’re cheap enough. And it’s not as if sanctions or threats or anything else has worked. Maybe food is the key. Who knows, maybe the whole Cold War thing never would have happened if we’d just sent the Soviet Union some cupcakes.

But there’s still one nagging question about this whole hot dog diplomacy business: Has anyone mentioned to the State Department that Muslims as a rule don’t eat pork?

New York (NY) Times - The Caucus Blog
June 24, 2009, 7:05 pm
Pulling the Plug on Hot-Dog Diplomacy
By Mark Landler
It was an attempt by President Obama to reach out to Iran with a classically American invitation: celebrate July 4 with hot dogs and hale fellowship at United States embassies worldwide. Now, hot-dog diplomacy is the latest casualty of the bloody clashes in Tehran.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who had authorized diplomatic posts earlier this month to invite Iranians to their Independence Day parties, sent out a cable rescinding the invitations.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Wednesday, June 24, 2009 • Permalink