NAfME Is 108! A Look Back at the First Year

On the occasion of the 108th birthday of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), we want to celebrate with you a rich history of advocating for music education and supporting you, our members. Please join us by sharing your good wishes, favorite memories, and stories from your classroom in the comments section below.


1907: A Music and World History Timeline



During a meeting from April 10-12, 1907, 104 music supervisors met in Keokuk, Iowa, and founded the Music Supervisors National Conference (MSNC) which through the years evolved into the National Association for Music Education. There were some other momentous events in 1907. Here are a few:

January 1: President Theodore Roosevelt shook a record 8,513 hands in one day.


January 22: The Richard Strauss opera “Salome” made its American debut at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC; its racy content (including the Dance of the Seven Veils) sparked outrage.

February 8: A revolution began in Argentina.

February 13: English suffragettes stormed the British Parliament, and 60 women were arrested.

February 16: Fernando Previtali, composer, was born.

February 18: In San Francisco, according to an agreement between Mayor Schmidt, President Theodore Roosevelt, and the San Francisco School Board, Japanese children under 16 were allowed admission to the city’s public schools.

February 22: First cabs with taxi meters began operating in London.

March 9: Henry Leland Clarke, composer, was born.

March 28: Pavel Ivanovich Blaramberg (65), composer, died.

April 17: The Ellis Island immigration center in New York Harbor processed a record 11,747 immigrants, part of a record 1,004,756 for the year.

April 18: Miklos Rozsa, movie composer (Atomic Cafe, Fedora), was born in Budapest, Hungary.

May 10: Paul Dukas’s opera “Ariane et Barbe Bleue,” premiered in Paris.

May 11: The idea of a day set apart each year to honor motherhood is credited to Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia, who, in 1907, suggested the wearing of carnations on the second Sunday in May to honor mothers.

May 26: John Wayne, American actor, was born Marion Michael Morrison in Winterset, Iowa.

May 31: Taxis began running in NYC.

June 14: Women in Norway won the right to vote.

July 16: Orville Redenbacher, agronomist and popcorn entrepreneur, was born in Brazil, Indiana.

July 18: Florenz Ziegfeld’s “Follies of 1907” premiered in New York City.

July 25: Johnny Hodges, jazz musician, was born.

August 3: Lawrence Brown, U.S. jazz trombonist with the Duke Ellington orchestra was born in Kansas.

August 8: Benny Carter, U.S. jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger, and bandleader, was born in Harlem, New York.

August 26: Harry Houdini escapes from chains underwater at Aquatic Park in 57 seconds.

August 31: Britain, Russia, and France entered into the Triple Entente alliance.

September 25: Jean Sibelius’s 3rd Symphony premieres.

September 29: Gene Autry, the “Singing Cowboy,” was born in Tioga, Texas.

October 1: The Plaza Hotel opens in New York City.

October 19: Roger Wolfe Kahn, U.S. jazz musician, composer, and band leader, was born in Morristown, New Jersey.

October 22: Ringling Brothers Greatest Show on Earth buys Barnum & Bailey Circus.

November 13: French cyclist, Paul Cornu, flies 1st helicopter (twin rotor).

November 16: Oklahoma becomes the United States’ 46th state.

December 3: George Cohen’s musical “Talk of the Town” premieres in New York City.

December 16: Eugene H. Farrar is first to sing on the radio.

December 31: First time a ball drops at Times Square to signal a new year.

December 31: Gustav Mahler conducts the Metropolitan Opera.



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The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) provides a number of forums for the sharing of information and opinion, including blogs and postings on our website, articles and columns in our magazines and journals, and postings to our Amplify member portal. Unless specifically noted, the views expressed in these media do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Association, its officers, or its employees.

Ronny Lau, Special Assistant, Center for Advocacy and Constituency Engagement, April 6, 2015. © National Association for Music Education (