July 16, 2012

Those who can…

Only one source claims this is the birth date of Eunice Hunton Carter (1899-1970), but while double-sourcing is usually required, she is a lady whose life we can celebrate any day of the year.

Eunice Carter at work.

She was Smith College Class of ’21, the first African-American woman to receive a law degree from Fordham University and the first black woman assistant district attorney in New York State. As an assistant D.A., she convinced her boss – D.A. Thomas Dewey – to pursue a case against Lucky Luciano and helped send the mob boss to jail for ten years.

The granddaughter of a slave who was able to purchase his freedom just before the Civil War, Eunice Hunton carried on a family tradition of accomplishment – her father had founded the black division of the YMCA and her mother was a social worker.

She married Lisle Carter, one of New York’s first African-American dentists.  Their son Lisle Carter Jr. became an attorney and fathered five children, one of whom – Steven L. Carter – is a Yale law professor as well as an author.  His first book was a bestseller – The Emperor of Ocean Park.

* * *

Belated birthday wishes to Van Cliburn, who turned 78 last Thursday.  He’s still the only classical musician ever to have a NYC ticker-tape parade held for him. And that’s because he singlehandedly won a major Cold War victory when he was named winner of the USSR’s first International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958 – reportedly they had to ask Kruschev’s permission to give him first place.

Here he is on a return visit in 1962:



  1. Love the look on K’s face. Van C. appears loose compared to other piano performers. I never once worried that he’d miss a note. Of course his hair is/was too curly to flop around. That helps.


    Comment by Carol — July 16, 2012 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  2. awesome! go eunice it’s your birthday! 🙂


    Comment by nina c — July 16, 2012 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

  3. Super blog thank you.


    Comment by avery zia — July 17, 2012 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

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