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Venerable Pierre Toussaint

May 28

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 12:00am on of May, repeating indefinitely

(1766-1853)

Pierre was a former Haitian slave who became one of the most popular hair dressers in New York City; together with his wife, they used his earnings to free other slaves and do charitable work. He was widely respected among the New York society ladies whose hair he dressed; a biography written by an admirer contains several stories about his work: “He went continually from house to house performing the office of hairdresser, and was considered quite as a friend among the fair ladies who employed him. They talked to him of their affairs, and felt the most perfect reliance upon his prudence; and well they might, for never in this large circle was he known to give cause for an unpleasant remark. Once a lady, whose curiosity was stronger than her sense of propriety, closely urged him to make some communication about another person’s affairs. ‘Do tell me, Toussaint,’ said she, ‘I am sure you know all about it.’ ‘Madam,’ he replied with dignity, though with the utmost respect, ‘Toussaint dresses hair, he is no news journal.’”

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May 28
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