Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jenny Lind, CA & Lind, WI

Jenny Lind was never an American citizen but she made such a memorable impression that both of these communities were named in her honor. Jenny Lind was a famous European opera singer who came to the United States in 1850 to do a two year tour. P.T. Barnum was her promoter and both enjoyed tremendous success to her standing room only performances. Jenny was known as the “Swedish Nightingale” and her ability to hit high F sharps drew crowds of people to her 91 American performances. When she arrived in America, there were over 40,000 people waiting to see a glimpse of her coming off the ship. It is reported that she made over 250,000 dollars while P.T. Barnum probably made 3 times as much. Unlike Barnum, Jenny Lind gave much of her fortunes to charities. She was well known for her philanthropy of funding many schools, hospitals and churches. Today, you can still find American streets named after her and the Jenny Lind beds and cribs are still popular pieces of furniture.

Photo courtesy of Library of Congress