birdwatcher (birdwatcher) wrote,
birdwatcher
birdwatcher

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NORMART

     The first Armenian arrived in Fresno in 1876. He expected a “paradise,” as it had been represented to him, but he thought the hot, bleak desert was more like Hell. He went back to Philadelphia two years later.
     Nevertheless, he was the first Armenian to set foot in California. His real name was Mardiros Yanikian, but supposedly he told the inspector at Ellis Island in Armenian, “Nor mart em!” (“I am a new man!”) So he became Frank Normart.
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