A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 01, 2008
Heart of the Valley (Donna motto/slogan)

The city of Donna is located in the Rio Grande Valley. As early as the 1930s, Doona has called itself the “Heart of the Valley.” A longer motto/slogan is: “The City with a Heart in the Heart of the Rio Grande Valley.”
The 1942 movie Heart of the Rio Grande starring Gene Autry was not specifically about Donna, but helped further popularize the “Heart of the (Rio Grande) Valley” slogan.
Wikipedia: Donna, Texas
Donna is a city in Hidalgo County, Texas, United States. The population was 14,768 at the 2000 census. The town motto is “The City with a Heart in the Heart of the Rio Grande Valley”.
Donna is part of the McAllen–Edinburg–Mission Metropolitan Statistical Area.
City of Donna
Heart of the Valley
Handbook of Texas Online
DONNA, TEXAS. Donna is off U.S. Highway 83 and State Spur 374, fourteen miles northeast of McAllen in southeastern Hidalgo County. It is in territory that was granted to Lino Cabazos as part of the La Blanca land grant on May 19, 1834, by the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. The Cabazos family inhabited the area for at least twenty years after taking possession of the land, and their descendants continued to live in the area into the twentieth century. The first known Anglo-American settler was John F. Webber, who, accompanied by his wife Sylvia (Hector), a former slave, settled in the area in 1839. The Webbers moved to the area in order to escape persecution for their interracial marriage.
The citizens of Donna first started using the motto “The City with a Heart in the Heart of the Rio Grande Valley” to promote the city in the 1940s. By 1945 the town had a population of 4,712 and seventy-eight businesses and continued to be a citrus and vegetable growing center. In 1953 Donna had three gins, three wholesale groceries, hardware and farm implements dealers, a wholesale distributor for feed mills, and the Donna News.
Donna: The Heart Of The Valley
Sweatshirt X-Large
Other products by SHOPZEUS
7 August 1931, Brownsville (TX) Herald, pg. 11, col. 5 ad:
CASH AND CARRY grocery and meat market located in heart of Rio Grande Valley or will sell grocery without market. For more information write Box 155 Donna, Texas.
3 December 1936, Brownsville (TX) Herald, pg. 3, col. 1:
The exhibit advertises Donna as “heart of the Valley.”
(Valley Mid-Winter Fair—ed.)
Internet Movie Database
Plot summary for
Heart of the Rio Grande (1942)

As foreman of a dude ranch, Gene has two problems. One is a guest, the spoiled daughter of a millioniare, and the other is the disgruntled ex-foreman that Gene replaced, now just a ranch hand. Gene eventually gets the daughter straightened out but has to fire the ex-foreman and this leads to trouble when he returns intent on revenge. Written by Maurice VanAuken {mvanauken@a1access.net}
12 May 1946, San Antonio (TX) Express, pg. 37, col. 2 ad:
LEASE for sale—Business property in heart of Rio Grande Valley. 50x75 ft. Fronting on main street of Donna.
8 January 1950, Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, TX), pg. 14, col. 4 ad:
FOR SALE. Our own home in Donna. In the heart of the Valley.
20 August 1961, San Antonio (TX) Express and News, pg. 32, col. 4 ad:
Warehouse in
Donna, Tex.

“The Heart of the Rio Grande Valley.”
OCLC WorldCat record
Listing the cities of Donna & Alamo : welcome to the “heart of the Rio Grande Valley”
by Mosher-Adams Inc.
Type:  Map; English
Publisher: Oklahoma City, OK : Mosher-Adams, Inc., ©1986.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Sunday, June 01, 2008 • Permalink

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