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Plaque Notes Historic Publishing Date

The historic contract to publish the Maple Leaf Rag was a major event in American music history.  Joplin’s composition became the first ragtime best seller and ushered in the Ragtime Era of American popular music. 

The unique royalty contract itself was a milestone in the protection of intellectual property rights and went a long way toward stimulating what became known as Tin Pan Alley.But it was also a major event in American race relations as a white businessman and the son of a slave entered a inter-racial partnership to publish a black man’s composition.  

Thus, this location at 114 E. Fifth Street marks the site of an important place where America’s music began!

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