Soong Mei-ling (Madame Chiang Kai-Shek) in Riverdale

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    • #2124
      ndembowski
      Keymaster

      I received an email inquiry about Soong Mei-ling (Madame Chiang Kai-Shek) and her time in Riverdale.  There was not very much written about her in the Riverdale Press in the 40s.  Understandably, she probably kept a pretty low public profile.  She lived at 4645 Delafield Ave–one of the Fieldston homes that are visible from the Henry Hudson Parkway.

      I did find a connection she had to a local restaurateur, Tommy Hsu, who had previously been a liaison between nationalist Chinese forces and the US Navy in WWII.

      7/14/1958 Riverdale Press

      In addition to the restaurant on Lexington referenced above, Tommy Hsu also ran “Ah Ping Restaurant” on Riverdale Avenue:

      The June 30, 1960 Riverdale Press covered a trip Tommy Hsu took to Asia, where he rendezvoused with Madam Chiang Kai-Shek:

      Riverdale Press read like a small-town paper in those days:

    • #2125
      Thomas Casey
      Participant

      An interesting story from recent Riverdale history.  I wonder if anyone has a photograph

      of the restaurant.

    • #2126
      ATekirian
      Participant

      This was interesting especially the old restaurant menu.  Thank you for sending.

       

    • #2127
      bstein
      Participant

      In the 1950s when I was a boy, I thought Madame Chiang lived at 3900 Greystone Avenue, the apartment building where I grew up. She certainly visited there, and gave my parents an ornate bowl from China, which my mom proudly displayed in the living room for as long as she lived.

      Incidentally, The Riverdale Press of the 1940s was a short-lived publication that had no relationship with today’s Riverdale Press, founded by my father David Stein in April 1950. Ah Ping was an early advertiser, and Tom Hsu and my father became friends. Mr. Hsu traveled to China frequently, and claimed to be working with U.S. intelligence. On one of his trips, he brought back a bolt of silk brocade fabric for my mom.

      Their friendship ended when Mr. Hsu fell afoul of the law. In 1968, he was convicted of defrauding eight victims of $250,000 by claiming to be an aide to Madame Chiang’s husband Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek. He was furious that The Press reported his conviction. My father never ceased to regret the story and its consequences, but he always remained convinced of the necessity of reporting the news.

    • #2128
      ndembowski
      Keymaster

      Thanks for the follow up.  Interesting about Tommy Hsu but also the history of the Riverdale Press.  It is certainly great for local history to have access to those stories.  I use the Fulton Search site to read back issues.

    • #2129
      ATekirian
      Participant

      Thank you for sharing the interesting story about Tommy Hsu and the early days of the Riverdale Press.

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