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 July 29, 2006
Snowbird (northern tourist)

"Snowbird” is the name of a northern tourist who visits Florida to escape the winter.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
1923 Nation 31 Oct. 487 In winter, when building is at a standstill in the North, northern workmen, ‘snow birds’ or ‘white doves’ in Negro parlance, flock south. 1924 ‘DIGIT’ Confessions 20th Century Hobo 12 Snowbird, in the Southern States a Northerner who migrates south to avoid the winter. 1962 Economist 22 Dec. 1206/1 The Negro, who regularly loses his job to the ‘snowbirds’ from New York in the winter holiday season. 1979 United States 1980/81 (Penguin Travel Guides) 243 This figure swells..during the winter months when ‘snowbirds’ arrive. (‘Snowbird’ is a tricky term as used in Miami, it refers primarily to tourists escaping the Northeastern freeze.)

16 November 1913, Los Angeles Times, pg. II2:
Even now the advance rush of the snow-birds is upon. The past week thirty-one from Winnipeg came in one party, also fifty-two from Sioux City, S. D.

21 December 1931, Key West Citizen, pg. :
Two of the first “snowbirds” of the hitch-hiker type to reach Key West for the approaching winter were given an “official” reception and entered a plea of guilty to the charge of breaking and entering when arraigned before County Judge Hugh Gunn this morning. 

20 July 1932, Gettysburg (PA) Times, pg. 2:
The Florida Snow Birds Tourists’ association held a picnic at Caledonia park Tuesday afternoon with the following persons present:... 

10 December 1939, New York Times, “‘Seven Floridas’ Welcome the Tourist,” pg. 179:
They are regarded primarily as snowbirds hurrying to luminous Miami.

Posted by Barry Popik
Florida (Sunshine State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Saturday, July 29, 2006 • Permalink