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Jump Back in Time Gilded Age (1878-1889)

A screen shot from Fights of Nations

This old movie, Fights of Nations from 1907, features a tap dance by a character known as "The Bully"

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Bill "Bojangles" Robinson Was Born
May 25, 1878

When motion pictures and radio took over vaudeville's popularity in the 1930s, Robinson danced right into the scene. He appeared in 14 films, most frequently opposite Shirley Temple. He also appeared with Lena Horne in Stormy Weather (1943), an African American production, rare at the time.

Bill Robinson continued to wow audiences with his moves on stage and in film, even late into his life. On his 61st birthday, he danced down the street of Broadway in New York City. Performers and fans of dance still pay tribute to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, a man of professional genius and personal generosity.

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VIDEO CREDIT: Fights of Nations, 1907. Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress. Call Number FEC 2538.