Please join The Emperor's Bridge Campaign as we celebrate Emperor Norton's 198th birthday on 4 February 2016.Read More
Filtering by Category: Tributes
A portion of remarks offered by Emperor's Bridge Campaign founder and president John Lumea at the Campaign's inaugural celebration of Empire Day in San Francisco's Redwood Park on 17 September 2015. The event was held to mark the 156th anniversary of Joshua Norton's declaration of himself as "Emperor of these United States" on 17 September 1859 and to welcome the 157th year of the Nortonian realm and reign.Read More
In the current San Francisco mayoral election, one of the challengers to sitting mayor Ed Lee has offered an anti-corruption plan that includes a proposal that San Francisco create a new elected office for a Public Advocate.
Other major cities already have Public Advocates; the level of authority depends on the city.
But the general idea is that the Public Advocate is a kind of official watchdog — someone who helps to ensure that the citizens are being treated fairly; that government agencies and private companies are properly maintaining basic utilities and services like streets, public transit, water, electricity and gas (and not gouging the people in the process); and that corruption that affects the general populace is called out wherever it is found.
Sound familiar? It should.
The original Public Advocate is Emperor Norton.
On a beautiful if blustery afternoon yesterday in Colma, about 40 friends of Emperor Norton gathered for the laying of a special historical plaque for the Emperor at Home of Peace — the cemetery of Congregation Emanu-El, where the Emperor attended synagogue every Saturday.Read More
It long has been known that, upon Emperor Norton's death in January 1880, many of his personal effects — including his regimentals, a hat, his sword and his treasured Serpent Scepter, an elaborate walking stick given him by his subjects in Oregon — went to the Society of California Pioneers (only to be lost 26 years later in the earthquake and fire).
Many, but not all. This week, we discovered archival traces of an early 1880 donation to the Odd Fellows' Library Association of San Francisco. The donation — by David Hutchinson, Emperor Norton's longtime landlord at the Eureka Lodgings — included the stamp the Emperor used to place his seal on his proclamations. It might also have included the Emperor's final proclamation: written and sealed, but not yet delivered and published.Read More
Emperor Norton was an English Jew. In San Francisco, he attended synagogue services at Congregation Emanu-El every Saturday. But he was never given a Jewish funeral or burial.
Now — 135 years after his death in 1880 — those who admire and revere the Emperor have an opportunity to participate in an afternoon of activities — on Sunday 3 May 2015 — intended to help mend this historical tear in the fabric of the Emperor's story. The ceremonial highlight of the afternoon will be the laying of a special plaque for Emperor Norton at Home of Peace, Emanu-El's cemetery in nearby Colma, Calif.Read More
A hotel driveway entrance is not the sort of thing to which one generally pays much, if any, attention. It's a hotel driveway entrance. How exciting can it be? But, in the case of the Parc 55 Hilton, in San Francisco, that assumption would be a big mistake. Emperor Norton, it seems, can appear in the most unexpected of places.Read More
On 15 February 2015, a number of us from The Emperor's Bridge Campaign attended the 40th anniversary of the International Court's annual pilgrimage to the graves of Emperor Norton and José Sarria, the Widow Norton. Rev. Lyle Beckman of San Francisco Night Ministry offered especially touching keynote remarks drawing parallels between the Emperor and his widow.Read More
Yesterday, I was honored to be welcomed by Clampers far and wide as a guest at their Emperor Norton Day celebration in Colma, Calif.Read More
Through the magic of television, Emperor Norton paid a memorable visit to the Ponderosa ranch on 27 February 1966. That's the date that the episode "The Emperor Norton" originally aired on the popular television series, Bonanza. Watch the full episode here.Read More
Our friend, Katie Haverkamp, did her nails. Click for the fabulous reveal!Read More
In his new review of Emperor Norton's Boozeland for 7x7, Stuart Schuffman a.k.a. Broke-Ass Stuart explains why Emperor Norton matters now more than ever.Read More
Written in 1944 by Lu Watters, "Emperor Norton's Hunch" became a signature song for Watters and his Yerba Buena Jazz Band. In this video, a recording of the song by the band is the musical setting for a quick look at answers to the two questions raised by the song's title: Who was Emperor Norton? and What was his hunch?Read More
The first episode of Up to Speed, Timothy "Speed" Levitch's brilliantly offbeat 2012 travel series on Hulu, is about San Francisco. The episode includes a fabulous segment on Emperor Norton that concludes with Levitch calling for the whole Bay Bridge to be named for him.Read More
At tomorrow evening's inaugural tweetup of The Emperor's Bridge Campaign, our host watering hole — Emperor Norton's Boozeland (what else?) — will be mixing up its signature Emperor Norton cocktail — normally $14 — for a ten-spot. Just for us.Read More