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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FRENCH BICYCLE GODDESS, c. 1898

Pete Seeger: 1944

Pete Seeger: 1944

February 1944. Pete Seeger singing at a Valentine's Day party to mark the opening of the United Federal Labor Canteen in Washington. View full size. Medium-format safety negative by Joseph Horne for the Office of War Information.

 

Contemporary Sketch Of Pete

In 1944, my Mom was a young lady of 21 and was volunteering as a hostess at the famous Stage Door Canteen in New York City. She was also a talented artist who went on to become a very successful clothing designer.

Pete Seeger and some of the other top folk artists of the day (Leadbelly, etc) came often to entertain at the Canteen and other similar places where the young folk gathered.

One evening during a Seeger visit Mom had her sketchbook with her and made this great sketch of him singing. She caught his body language exactly and the photo of him above validates her picture completely.

P.S.

I met Pete Seeger once. During my guitar learning stage. Had no idea who he was. I remember thinking, This man has tremendous talent and he understands the heart and soul.

It's Pete's birthday

Pete Seeger is 90 years old today and still going strong. Sing out, Pete!

Teaspoon Brigade

Pete Seeger is still at it - singing for peace, that is. This article from Sunday's New York Times highlights his recent efforts.

When asked if he thought singing beside the road could end the war, Seeger said that "working for peace was like adding sand to a basket on one side of a large scale, trying to tip it one way despite enormous weight on the opposite side.

"Some of us try to add more sand by teaspoons," he explained. "It's leaking out as fast as it goes in and they’re all laughing at us. But we’re still getting people with teaspoons. I get letters from people saying, 'I'm still on the teaspoon brigade.' "

Sing on, Pete.

"I must put a goat on."
Winston Churchill (possibly misheard)

Goober Pea

Pete Seeger's Last War

"Pete cannot seem to get past his old loyalty to the communists. He's never sung a song about the totalitarianism of the Soviets or the horrible oppression under Castro. But he's quick to criticize the United States. That's his prerogative, naturally—it's a free country. He just doesn't seem to care for it very much." -- Ronald Radosh, quoted by David Hadju in Mother Jones

Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska

Strum und Drang

Although Seeger had joined up after the Germans invaded Russia, and had served in the Pacific, when asked what he had done in the war, he said "I just strummed my banjo."

Pete

What an amazing, kind-hearted man. I saw a documentary about his life yesterday on PBS, very inspirational.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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