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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Entry from October 14, 2004
“Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army”
Most people credit Katz's Deli for "Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army," but it actually comes from Louie the Waiter.

12 November 1943, Washington Post, pg. 13:
The New Yorker will do a profile on Louie, the Waiter, who coined the couplet, "Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army," and who alone sold $2,060,000 in war bonds at the delicatessen in the Fifties where he is employed.

10 December 1962, Wall Street Journal, pg. 17:
(Ad for Katz's Delicatessen - ed.)

7 April 1963, Los Angeles Times, pg. M9:
Opened in 1888, Katz also operates a mail order business, shipping salamis around the world. During World War II his slogan was: SEND A SALAMI TO YOUR BOY IN THE ARMY.

13 January 1972, New York Times, pg. 44:
Louis Schwartz, Waiter, Dies:
Sold $9-Million in War Bonds
"Send a Salami"

As "Louie the Waiter," working in the Sixth Avenue Delicatessen, between 55th and 56th Streets, Mr. Schwartz suited his tactics to his customers to persuade them to buy war bonds.

The bonds he sold paid for 66 P-47 Thunderbolt fighter planes and each bore the name "Louie the Waiter" and his sales record to that date.

Mr. Schwartz, a short, plump man with a bouncy walk and pink cheeks, was given to composing doggerel. His customers and his colleagues called him a poet, quoting one of his more famed creations, "Sent (sic) a Salami to Your Boy in the Army."

30 December 2001, New York Times, pg. CY11:
(212) 254-2246; 205 East Houston Street, (Ludlow Street); $; Article 1/1/99

While classic Jewish delis are dwindling in number in New york, Katz's has kept going since 1888. By the time Katz's hung its famous World Was II sign, "Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army," the place was already an institution.
Posted by Barry Popik
Food/Drink • (1) Comments • Thursday, October 14, 2004 • Permalink

My great grandparents also owned a Deli in NYC, not far from Katz’s.  Family legend has it that Louis stole the slogan from my great grandparents, who first coined the term.

Posted by Scott  on  08/15  at  01:01 AM

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