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. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 07, 2005
Puerto Rican Day Parade
New York held a Puerto Rican Day Parade in 1958, and it's since become national, held in other American cities.

In 1998, it was featured in an episode of the television show Seinfeld, for which the NBC network later apologized. In 2000, violence was associated with the parade.

The parade continues to be one of New York's oldest and largest.

The 2006 parade was June 11th.

Puerto Rican Day parade
June 11, 11am
Now a national event, the Puerto Rican Day Parade began right here in New York. Almost two million people throng the streets every year, making it one of the country's largest, and craziest, outdoor events. And it's televised, so you can wear a "Hi Mom" shirt and hope for the best.
Fifth Ave from 44th to 86th Sts.

The first New York Puerto Rican Day Parade was held on Sunday, April 12 1958 in "Barrio" in Manhattan. Amongst its founders were; José "Chuito" Caballero, Peter Ortiz, Luisa Quintero, Victor López, Luis Amando Feliciano, Vicente Hernández, Angel M. Arroyo, Atanacio Rivera Feliciano, y Amalio Maisanave Ríos. Its first President was Victor López and it was coordinated by José Caballero. The Grand Marshall was Oscar González Suarez, Esq. Prominent personalites from Puerto Rico headed by then Governor Don Luis Muñoz Marin, attended the initial parade. Several Mayors from Puerto Rico, led by the Mayr of the Municipality of Corozal, Hon. Leo Cabranes also participated.

In 1995 we felt that it was time to expand this event to the national scene, reminding Puerto Ricans throughout the country of their heritage and fostering the positive image of our people. An example of the national interest in this expansion effort is the participation of delegations from thirty-one states, including Alaska and Hawaii in the 1999 Parade. The National Puerto Rican Day Parade is the successor to the New York Puerto Rican Day Parade, an event that operated for thirty-eight (38) consecutive years, enhancing the pride of the Puerto Rican people and promoting their contributions to the United States. The National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inc., a nonprofit 501 ( c )(3) corporation founded in 1995, has been created to provide Puerto Ricans throughout the United States and all its possessions with a vehicle for the promotion of our people and their culture in a national setting. Its founding members were; Dr. Ramón S. Vélez, Ralph Morales, María Román and Madelyn Lugo.

14 April 1958, New York Times, pg. 27:

20,000 Sing, Make Merry,
Even Dance in a Parade
Reviewed by Wagner

The Borinquenos - Puerto Ricans - took over the Fifth Avenue parade route yesterday.

Twenty thousand men, women and children of Puerto Rican birth or descent were in the line of march. And 125,000 spectators applauded them.

The purpose, according to the Committee for the Puerto Rican Parade, was to demonstrate Puerto Rican civic and cultural contributions and emphasize the ties between the island commonwealth and the United States.

4 May 1959, New York Times, pg. 8:

Puerto Ricans Take Major
Part as Carnival Spirit
Pervades "Unity Day"

8 June 1964, New York Times, pg. 31:

Bands From Far and Wide
Join in Gay Parade Up
La Avenida Quinta

9 May 1998, New York , "NBC Apologizes for "Seinfeld Episode on the Puerto Rican Day Parade" by The Associated Press, pg. B3:
The second-to-last "Seinfeld" featured Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer driving back from a Mets game and getting stuck in a traffic jam created by the Puerto Rican Day parade. At one point, Kramer tossed a sparkler and accidentally lighted a Puerto Rican flag on fire. He tried putting out the burning flag by stomping on it.

Angry paradegoers then began chasing Kramer. When they lost him, the mob began shaking Jerry's empty car and threw it down a stairwell. Kramer remarked that "it's like this every day in Puerto Rico."

14 June 2000, New York Times, "The Outrage in Central Park," pg. A26:
New Yorkers were rightfully outraged when they learned that a roving mob of young men assaulted several women in Central Park early Sunday evening, just after the annual Puerto Rican National Day parade.
Posted by Barry Popik
Holidays/Events/Parades • (3) Comments • Tuesday, June 07, 2005 • Permalink

The founder of the Puerto Rican Parade is Peter Ortiz, the rest of the people mention were a big part of it also, but let be clear that the father and founder name is Peter Ortiz.

Posted by Dalma Matos  on  10/21  at  12:40 PM

Hello, I was in that first parade back in 1958 I remember I was one of the maids at the foot of the princess of the parade I wore a blue dress, crown, and long white gloves.  I was about seven at the time, if anyone has pictures of that parade I would love to have copies.  I would love my grand kids to see. I remember we lived at St Anns avenue in the the Bronx 138th Street.  Please if you know anyone, email me

Posted by Irene Luna  on  03/17  at  09:47 PM

I got to meet SR Ortiz. He is a very smart man and very much alive and well here in Levittown. I drink at the small Cantina he owns on Calle Atena. Neat man glad I got to meat and talk with him. I have some good video of him dancing solo.

Posted by Paul Landers  on  11/29  at  01:26 PM

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