Tag Archives: duke ellington

New Year’s Eve, Lewes Style

Ticket for a c. 1975 New Year's Eve party at the Happy Day Club in Lewes.

One of the most important spots in town for Lewes’s black community was the Happy Day Club, a hopping night spot that attracted big name entertainment to Lewes – including Duke Ellington – during its heyday of the 1940s & 50s.

Previously known as Robinson’s Coliseum or Robinson’s Hall, the Happy Day Club was located at the corner of Fourth and Dupont Streets.  Acts would play throughout the night with whites attending in the second floor balcony.  Music would play throughout the night with the club honoring the letter of the law by stopping the music at midnight – but resuming at 12:01 am.

The Happy Day Club surely sponsored several New Year’s Eve celebrations throughout the years.  This undated ticket , pictured at left, was part of materials recently acquired from the estate of Franklin J. Brittingham (2010.2.13).  Based on the disco music being advertised, our guess is that it dates from the mid-1970s when the club was owned and managed by Archie and Marshall Lockwood.

Best wishes for happy and prosperous 2011 from your friends at The Lewes Historical Society!