Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris; the 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in French as Parisiens, they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent
The Belle Époque or La Belle Époque was a period of Western history. It is conventionally dated from the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Occurring during the era of the French Third Republic, it was a period characterized by optimism, regional peace, economic prosperity, an apex of colonial empires, technological and cultural innovations. In the climate of the period in Paris, the arts flourished. Many masterpieces of literature, music and visual art gained recognition; the Belle Époque was named in retrospect when it began to be considered a "Golden Age" in contrast to the horrors of World War I. The Belle Epoque was a period in which, according to historian R. R. Palmer, "European civilization achieved its greatest power in global politics, exerted its maximum influence upon peoples outside Europe."In the United Kingdom, the Belle Époque overlapped with the late Victorian era and the Edwardian era in a period known as Pax Britannica. In Germany, the Belle Époque coincided with the reigns of William I, Frederick III and the Wilhelminism of Wilhelm II.
In Italy, with the reigns of Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto I and early of the reign of Victor Emmanuel III. In Russia, with the reigns of Alexander III and Nicholas II. In the United States, emerging from the Panic of 1873, the comparable period was the Gilded Age. In Brazil, it started with the end of the Paraguayan War, and in Mexico, the period was known as the Porfiriato. The French public's nostalgia for the Belle Époque period was based on the peace and prosperity connected with it in retrospect. Two devastating world wars and their aftermath made the Belle Époque appear to be a time of joie de vivre in contrast to 20th century hardships, it was a period of stability that France enjoyed after the tumult of the early years of the French Third Republic, beginning with France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, the Paris Commune, the fall of General Georges Ernest Boulanger. The defeat of Boulanger, the celebrations tied to the 1889 World's Fair in Paris, launched an era of optimism and affluence.
French imperialism was in its prime. It was a cultural center of global influence, its educational and medical institutions were at the leading edge of Europe, it was not the reality of life in Paris or in France, however. France had a large economic underclass who never experienced much of the Belle Époque's wonders and entertainments. Poverty remained endemic in Paris's urban slums and rural peasantry for decades after the Belle Époque ended. Conflicts between the government and the Roman Catholic Church were regular during the period; some of the artistic elite saw the Fin de siècle in a pessimistic light. Those who were able to benefit from the prosperity of the era were drawn towards new forms of light entertainment during the Belle Époque, the Parisian bourgeoisie, or the successful industrialists called nouveau-riches, became influenced by the habits and fads of the city's elite social class, known popularly as Tout-Paris; the Casino de Paris opened in 1890. For Paris' less affluent public, entertainment was provided by cabarets and music halls.
The Moulin Rouge cabaret is a Paris landmark still open for business today. The Folies Bergère was another landmark venue. Burlesque performance styles were more mainstream in Belle Époque Paris than in more staid cities of Europe and America. Liane de Pougy, dancer and courtesan, was well known in Paris as a headline performer at top cabarets. Belle Époque dancers such as La Goulue and Jane Avril were Paris celebrities, who modelled for Toulouse-Lautrec's iconic poster art; the Can-can dance was a popular 19th-century cabaret style that appears in Toulouse-Lautrec's posters from the era. The Eiffel Tower, built to serve as the grand entrance to the 1889 World's Fair held in Paris, became the accustomed symbol of the city, to its inhabitants and to visitors from around the world. Paris hosted another successful World's Fair in the Exposition Universelle. Paris had been profoundly changed by the French Second Empire reforms to the city's architecture and public amenities. Haussmann's renovation of Paris changed its housing, street layouts, green spaces.
The walkable neighbourhoods were well-established by the Belle Époque. Cheap coal and cheap labor contributed to the cult of the orchid and made possible the perfection of fruits grown under glass, as the apparatus of state dinners extended to the upper classes. Exotic feathers and furs were more prominently featured in fashion than before, as haute couture was invented in Paris, the center of the Belle Époque, where fashion began to move in a yearly cycle. In Paris, restaurants such as Maxim's Paris achieved a new splendor and cachet as places for the rich to parade. Maxim's Paris was arguably the city's most exclusive restaurant. Bohemian lifestyles gained a different glamour, pursued in the cabarets of Montmartre. Fashion in the Belle Epoque era was the peak of luxury living for a select few. Not only did this era bring in new trends to fashion, they kept trends from the Edwardian trends; the Belle Epoque was different from the Edwardian era though they used the styles because the garments were not influenced by the English King or the Prince of Wales.
They wanted nothing to do with the era. Clothes were designed and marketed for those wealthy and those who were privileged; these garments covered most garments from daily wear to formal gowns. It is hard to distinguish between the two. La Belle Epoque influenced by custom designs and tailor-mad
New York City
The City of New York called either New York City or New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles, New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, exerts a significant impact upon commerce, research, education, tourism, art and sports; the city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of, a separate county of the State of New York. The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898; the city and its metropolitan area constitute the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. New York City is home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside the United States, the largest foreign-born population of any city in the world. In 2017, the New York metropolitan area produced a gross metropolitan product of US$1.73 trillion. If greater New York City were a sovereign state, it would have the 12th highest GDP in the world. New York is home to the highest number of billionaires of any city in the world. New York City traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan.
The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790, it has been the country's largest city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the U. S. by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is an international symbol of the U. S. and its ideals of liberty and peace. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability, as a symbol of freedom and cultural diversity. Many districts and landmarks in New York City are well known, with the city having three of the world's ten most visited tourist attractions in 2013 and receiving a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017. Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world. Times Square, iconic as the world's "heart" and its "Crossroads", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, a major center of the world's entertainment industry.
The names of many of the city's landmarks and parks are known around the world. Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world. New York is home to the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, with multiple signature Chinatowns developing across the city. Providing continuous 24/7 service, the New York City Subway is the largest single-operator rapid transit system worldwide, with 472 rail stations. Over 120 colleges and universities are located in New York City, including Columbia University, New York University, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top universities in the world. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. In 1664, the city was named in honor of the Duke of York.
James's older brother, King Charles II, had appointed the Duke proprietor of the former territory of New Netherland, including the city of New Amsterdam, which England had seized from the Dutch. During the Wisconsinan glaciation, 75,000 to 11,000 years ago, the New York City region was situated at the edge of a large ice sheet over 1,000 feet in depth; the erosive forward movement of the ice contributed to the separation of what is now Long Island and Staten Island. That action left bedrock at a shallow depth, providing a solid foundation for most of Manhattan's skyscrapers. In the precolonial era, the area of present-day New York City was inhabited by Algonquian Native Americans, including the Lenape, whose homeland, known as Lenapehoking, included Staten Island; the first documented visit into New York Harbor by a European was in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine explorer in the service of the French crown. He named it Nouvelle Angoulême. A Spanish expedition led by captain Estêvão Gomes, a Portuguese sailing for Emperor Charles V, arrived in New York Harbor in January 1525 and charted the mouth of the Hudson River, which he named Río de San Antonio.
The Padrón Rea
9th arrondissement of Paris
The 9th arrondissement of Paris is one of the 20 arrondissements of the capital city of France. The arrondissement, called Opéra, is located on the right bank of the River Seine, it contains many places of cultural and architectural interest, including the Palais Garnier, home to the Paris Opera, Boulevard Haussmann, its large department stores Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. The arrondissement has many theaters including Folies Bergères, Théatre Mogador and Théatre de Paris. Along with the 2nd and 8th arrondissements, it hosts one of the business centers of Paris, located around the Opéra; the land area of this arrondissement is 2.179 km2. Rue des Martyrs Boulevard Haussmann Rue de la Chaussée-d'Antin Passage du Havre Square Montholon Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra National de Paris Paris Olympia Folies Bergère at 32, rue Richer Fondation Dosne-Thiers Hôtel Drouot, auction house Opera Garnier Galeries Lafayette at 40, boulevard Haussmann Printemps department store Musée de la Franc-Maçonnerie Musée Grévin Musée Gustave Moreau at 14, rue de la Rochefoucauld Musée du Parfum Musée de la Vie Romantique Parts of Pigalle area Takashimaya ParisWikimedia France has its offices in the arrondissement.
Groupe Danone has its head office in the 17 Boulevard Haussmann building in the 9th arrondissement. Danone moved there in 2002. BNP Paribas has its head office in the arrondissement. Crédit Industriel et Commercial. Kroll Inc. has an office in this arrondissement. Gameloft has its registered head office in the 9th arrondissement, it is on the fifth floor of 14 rue Auber. Until June 1995, the head office of Société Générale was in this arrondissement. On that month the head office moved to the Société Générale Towers; the former head office remains as the company's registered office. Google Paris has its offices in the arrondissement; the peak population of the 9th arrondissement occurred in 1901. Since the arrondissement has attracted business activity; as a result, the population was in 1999 only 55,838 inhabitants. Media related to Paris 9e arrondissement at Wikimedia Commons 9th arrondissement travel guide from Wikivoyage
Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti, professionally known as Dalida, was a French vocalist and actress, born in Egypt to Italian parents. She won the Miss Egypt beauty contest in 1954 and began a 31-year singing career in 1956, selling 140 million albums and singles worldwide, she committed suicide in 1987. Dalida was born Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti in Cairo, Kingdom of Egypt, on 17 January 1933, her father Pietro Gigliotti and mother Giuseppina were born in Serrastretta, Italy, of Calabrian descent. Pietro played violin in taverns. Unable to make a living in their hometown, the young couple moved to the Shubra district of Cairo the year they were married, between the births of Iolanda's older brother Orlando and younger brother Bruno, the Gigliotti family became well established in the community. In addition to earnings from Giuseppina's work, their social status benefited when Pietro became primo violino at Cairo's Khedivial Opera House, the family bought a two-storey house. At 10 months old, Iolanda had to wear bandages for 40 days.
Sometimes crying day and night, her father would play lullabies on the violin to soothe her. She underwent eye operations between the ages of five. Having to wear glasses throughout elementary school, for which she was bullied, she recalled: "I was enough of it, I would rather see the world in a blur than wear glasses, so I threw them through the window." Iolanda attended the Scuola Tecnica Commerciale Maria Ausiliatrice, an Italian Catholic school located in northern Shubra. In 1940, Allied forces took her father and other Italian men from their quarter to the Fayed prison camp in the desert near Cairo; when Pietro was released in 1944, he returned home as a different person, he was a violent person that Iolanda and other children in the neighbourhood were scared of him. She recalled, "I hated him when he beat me, I hated him when he beat my mom and brothers. I wanted him to die, he did." Iolanda was twelve when Pietro died of a brain abscess in 1945. That trauma influenced her search for a male partner the rest of her life.
In her teen years, Iolanda developed an interest in acting due to her uncle's job as a projectionist for a local cinema, participated in school performances at the end of the semester, becoming popular in the neighborhood. She graduated in 1951, but started working as a copy typist in a pharmaceutical company in the same year. While required to work to financially help her family, Iolanda still had acting ambitions as she continued searching for an opportunity for a breakthrough. Shortly thereafter, her best friend Miranda introduced her to Miss Ondine, a minor Cairo beauty pageant which she joined under two conditions: to be the minor one and that her mom Giuseppina must not find out; when Iolanda won the second prize and Miranda second runner-up, they were unexpectedly photographed and came out in newspapers Le journal d'Égypte and Le progrès Égyptien. The next day when Guiseppina found out, she forcibly cut Iolanda's hair short. With time, her mother gave up on her principles and Iolanda left her job to start modelling for Donna, a famous Cairo-based fashion house.
On her 21st birthday, her mother gave her blessing for Iolanda to join the Miss Egypt competition. Held during spring in the salons of the L'Auberge des Pyramides, she made a sensation of appearing in a two-piece panther-print bikini; the judges were overwhelmed and Iolanda won the Miss Egypt 1954 title, automatically becoming the representative of Egypt on Miss World 1955 in London. As the election was attended by several film directors, the victory opened her the doors of the Egyptian cinema when Marco de Gastyne cast her in The Mask of Tutankhamun and Niazi Mostafa for leading role in A Glass and a Cigarette, on which posters she appears with her newly adopted stage name Dalila because, as she explained in 1968, "it was a frequent name in Egypt and I liked it a lot." She was offered a contract by an Egyptian film producer, but turned it down because Gastyne advised her to try her luck in Paris. Dalila decided to not represent Egypt on Miss World 1955, but Egypt did not compete that year because of the Suez Crisis.
On 25 December 1954, Dalila left Egypt for Paris. Her first residence was a room in an apartment of the impresario Vidal, she failed each time. Vidal relocated her to a smaller apartment where her first neighbour was Alain Delon, with whom she had a brief relationship. Dalila's difficulty in finding acting work led her to try singing. Vidal introduced her to Roland Berger, a friend and professor who agreed to give her singing lessons 7 days per week at a low price, he was strict and used to yell, with Dalila responding more loudly. Their lessons sometimes ended with her slamming the door but she always returned the next day. Seeing her progress, Berger arranged for her to perform in the famous cabaret Le Drap d'Or on Champs-Élysées. There she was spotted by Jacques Paoli, the director of the cabaret La Villa d'Este, who engaged her for a series of performances. After the first performance and screenwriter Alfred Marchard advised Dalila to change her name to Dalida: "Your pseudonym resembles too much of the movie Samson and Dalila and it won't help to boost your popularity.
Why don't you replace the second'l' with a'd', like God the father?" She accepted the change. On 9 April 1956, Dalida participated in the singing contest Les Numéros 1 de demain, performing Etra
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin was an English comic actor and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, "The Tramp", is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry, his career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, encompassed both adulation and controversy. Chaplin's childhood in London was one of poverty and hardship, as his father was absent and his mother struggled financially, he was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of nine; when he was 14, his mother was committed to a mental asylum. Chaplin began performing at an early age, touring music halls and working as a stage actor and comedian. At 19, he was signed to the prestigious Fred Karno company, he began appearing in 1914 for Keystone Studios. He soon formed a large fan base, he directed his own films and continued to hone his craft as he moved to the Essanay and First National corporations.
By 1918, he was one of the best-known figures in the world. In 1919, Chaplin co-founded the distribution company United Artists which gave him complete control over his films, his first feature-length film was The Kid, followed by A Woman of Paris, The Gold Rush, The Circus. He refused to move to sound films in the 1930s, instead producing City Lights and Modern Times without dialogue, he became political, his next film The Great Dictator satirized Adolf Hitler. The 1940s were a decade marked with controversy for Chaplin, his popularity declined rapidly, he was accused of communist sympathies, while he created scandal through his involvement in a paternity suit and his marriages to much younger women. An FBI investigation was opened, Chaplin was forced to leave the United States and settle in Switzerland, he abandoned the Tramp in his films, which include Monsieur Verdoux, Limelight, A King in New York, A Countess from Hong Kong. Chaplin wrote, produced, starred in, composed the music for most of his films.
He was a perfectionist, his financial independence enabled him to spend years on the development and production of a picture. His films are characterized by slapstick combined with pathos, typified in the Tramp's struggles against adversity. Many contain political themes, as well as autobiographical elements, he received an Honorary Academy Award for "the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century" in 1972, as part of a renewed appreciation for his work. He continues to be held in high regard, with The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator ranked on lists of the greatest films of all time. Charles Spencer Chaplin was born on 16 April 1889 to Charles Chaplin Sr.. There is no official record of his birth, although Chaplin believed he was born at East Street, Walworth, in South London, his mother and father had married four years at which time Charles Sr. became the legal guardian of Hannah's illegitimate son, Sydney John Hill. At the time of his birth, Chaplin's parents were both music hall entertainers.
Hannah, the daughter of a shoemaker, had a brief and unsuccessful career under the stage name Lily Harley, while Charles Sr. a butcher's son, was a popular singer. Although they never divorced, Chaplin's parents were estranged by around 1891; the following year, Hannah gave birth to a third son – George Wheeler Dryden – fathered by the music hall entertainer Leo Dryden. The child was taken by Dryden at six months old, did not re-enter Chaplin's life for 30 years. Chaplin's childhood was fraught with poverty and hardship, making his eventual trajectory "the most dramatic of all the rags to riches stories told" according to his authorised biographer David Robinson. Chaplin's early years were spent with his mother and brother Sydney in the London district of Kennington; as the situation deteriorated, Chaplin was sent to Lambeth Workhouse. The council housed him at the Central London District School for paupers, which Chaplin remembered as "a forlorn existence", he was reunited with his mother 18 months before Hannah was forced to readmit her family to the workhouse in July 1898.
The boys were promptly sent to another institution for destitute children. In September 1898, Hannah was committed to Cane Hill mental asylum – she had developed a psychosis brought on by an infection of syphilis and malnutrition. For the two months she was there and his brother Sydney were sent to live with their father, whom the young boys scarcely knew. Charles Sr. was by a severe alcoholic, life there was bad enough to provoke a visit from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Chaplin's father died two years at 38 years old, from cirrhosis of the liver. Hannah entered a period of remission but, in May 1903, became ill again. Chaplin 14, had the task of taking his mother to the infirmary, from where she was sent back to Cane Hill, he lived alone for several days, searching for food and sleeping rough, until Sydney – who had enrolled in the Navy two years earlier – returned. Hannah was released from the asylum eight months but in March 1905, her illness returned, this time permanently.
"There was nothing we could do but accept poor mother's fate", Chaplin wrote, a
Josephine Baker was an American-born French entertainer and French Resistance agent. Her career was centered in Europe in her adopted France. During her early career she was renowned as a dancer, was among the most celebrated performers to headline the revues of the Folies Bergère in Paris, her performance in the revue Un vent de folie in 1927 caused a sensation in Paris. Her costume, consisting of only a girdle of artificial bananas, became her most iconic image and a symbol of the Jazz Age and the 1920s. Baker was celebrated by artists and intellectuals of the era, who variously dubbed her the “Black Venus”, the "Black Pearl", the "Bronze Venus", the "Creole Goddess". Born in St. Louis, she renounced her U. S. citizenship and became a French national after her marriage to French industrialist Jean Lion in 1937. She raised her children in France. "I have two loves, my country and Paris." The artist once said, sang: «J'ai deux amours, mon pays et Paris». Baker was the first African-American to star in a major motion picture, the 1927 silent film Siren of the Tropics, directed by Mario Nalpas and Henri Étiévant.
Baker refused to perform for segregated audiences in the United States and is noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. In 1968 she was offered unofficial leadership in the movement in the United States by Coretta Scott King, following Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. After thinking it over, Baker declined the offer out of concern for the welfare of her children, she was known for aiding the French Resistance during World War II. After the war, she was awarded the Croix de guerre by the French military, was named a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by General Charles de Gaulle. Baker was born as Freda Josephine McDonald in Missouri, her mother, was adopted in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1886 by Richard and Elvira McDonald, both of whom were former slaves of African and Native American descent. Josephine Baker's estate identifies vaudeville drummer Eddie Carson as her natural father despite evidence to the contrary. Baker's foster son Jean-Claude Baker wrote a biography, published in 1993, titled Josephine: The Hungry Heart.
Jean-Claude Baker did an exhaustive amount of research into the life of Josephine Baker, including the identity of her biological father. In the book, he discusses at length the circumstances surrounding Josephine Baker's birth: The records of the city of St. Louis tell an unbelievable story, they show that Carrie McDonald... was admitted to the Female Hospital on May 3, 1906, diagnosed as pregnant. She was discharged on her baby, Freda J. McDonald having been born two weeks earlier. Why six weeks in the hospital? For a black woman who would customarily have had her baby at home with the help of a midwife? There had been complications with the pregnancy, but Carrie's chart reveals no details; the father was identified as "Edw"... I think Josephine's father was white – so did Josephine, so did her family... people in St. Louis say that had worked for a German family. He's the one who must have paid to keep her there all those weeks, her baby's birth was registered by the head of the hospital at a time when most black births were not.
I have unraveled many mysteries associated with Josephine Baker, but the most painful mystery of her life, the mystery of her father's identity, I could not solve. The secret died with Carrie, she let people think Eddie Carson was the father, Carson played along, Josephine knew better. Carrie McDonald and Eddie Carson had a song-and-dance act; when Josephine was about a year old they began to carry her onstage during their finale. She was further exposed to show business at an early age because her childhood neighborhood was home to many vaudeville theaters that doubled as movie houses; these venues included the Jazzland, Booker T. Washington, Comet Theatres. Josephine lived her early life at 212 Targee Street in the Mill Creek Valley neighborhood of St. Louis, a racially mixed low-income neighborhood near Union Station, consisting of rooming houses and apartments with no indoor plumbing. Josephine was always poorly dressed and hungry as a child, developed street smarts playing in the railroad yards of Union Station.
She had little formal education, attended Lincoln Elementary School only through the fifth grade. Josephine's mother married a kind but perpetually unemployed man, Arthur Martin, with whom she had a son and two more daughters and Willie, she took in laundry to wash to make ends meet, at eight years old, Josephine began working as a live-in domestic for white families in St. Louis. One woman abused her, burning Josephine's hands when the young girl put too much soap in the laundry. By age 12, she had dropped out of school. At 13, she worked as a waitress at the Old Chauffeur's Club at 3133 Pine Street, she lived as a street child in the slums of St. Louis, sleeping in cardboard shelters, scavenging for food in garbage cans, making a living with street-corner dancing, it was at the Old Chauffeur's Club where Josephine married him the same year. However, the marriage lasted less than a year. Following her divorce from Wells, she found work with a street performance group called the Jones Family Band.
In Baker's teen years she struggled to have a healthy relationship with her mother, Car