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Episode 15 - A Terrible Tango

In 1917, a dance craze swept through the streets of New York City, prompting reformers to launch a campaign against tango bars and the “Tango Pirates” that preyed upon lonely middle-aged women. When a married woman was found strangled to death in one of the city’s ritziest hotels after meeting an infamous Tango Pirate, it made front-page news and launched a full-on investigation into the seedy underbelly of Broadway.


Barber, Donn Ed., “The New York Architect: A National Magazine” Vol. IV, (New York: The Harwell-Evans Company, July 1910).

Grimes, William. Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York, (New York: North Point Press, 2009).

“Fur Age: The International Fur Journal of Quality,” December 1919.

Knowles, Mark. The Wicked Waltz and Other Scandalous Dances, (Jefferson: MacFarland & Company, 2009).

Landmarks Preservation Commission, Hotel Martinique, 5 May 1998.

Matallana, Andrea. “Eugenia Kelly and the Tango Pirates.” Andrea Matallana: Radio, Tango e Industrias Culturales.

New York Board of Aldermen, Proceedings of the Board of Aldermen of the City of New York from April 3 to June 26, 1917, Vol. II.

People of the State of New York v Benjamin Sternberg (Trial #3319) (Grand Jury of Court of General Sessions of the Peace March 28, 1917).

Music: Dellasera by Shane Ivers -

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