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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

Fight Therapy

Fight Therapy

Circa 1919, "Boxing at Walter Reed Hospital." With some connection to the Knights of Columbus. View full size. National Photo Company glass negative.

 

Boxing fans

As expected, a mostly male audience. But I was surprised at how many women there are (and at least one child -- a little boy near the right margin).

Weekly Bouts Receive Stamp of Approval

Washington Post, Jan 28, 1919

Five Bouts for Soldiers under Auspices of K. of C.

Pat Moore, the little Memphis bantamweight, who defeated Jimmy Wilde, king of the little boxers in England, in a recent allied boxing tournament in London, will show his wares to the boys at Walter Reed Hospital tomorrow night. He will box in a series of bouts to be held under the auspices of the Knights of Columbus.
...
The K. of C. will direct a series of weekly bouts from now on at Walter Reed. The boys there are enthusiastic over the sport.

Washington Post, Mar 2, 1919

Dempsey Headliner on Boxing Program
at Walter Reed Gym

A boxing program of a dozen bouts featured the opening of a new gymnasium at Walter Reed Hospital last night. And the convalescents there put the stamp of approval on the sport in no uncertain manner. They saw Jack Dempsey, who will fight Jess Willard for the world's championship next July, and they let him know they hope he will be champion when they see him again. Dempsey boxed three rounds with this sparring partner, Terry Keller, and of course he looked a champion all over under such circumstances.
...

K of C connection

Support for our troops during the Great War (World War One) included "moving-picture shows, boxing contests, continuation schools, canteens where women workers served American-made dishes—these were some of the activities following the men. The Y. M. C. A. and Knights of Columbus bore the largest share of this work. More than $300,000,000 was contributed by the people of America to the maintenance of these activities."

Other groups that provided similar support included the American Red Cross, Y. W. C. A., Jewish Welfare Association, Salvation Army and the American Library Association.

[source]

My grandfather was in the US Army 85th Division detachment that fought the Bolsheviks in North Russia from Sept. 1918 through June 1919 (the American North Russia Expeditionary Force, a.k.a. "Polar Bears"). He wrote home on stationery imprinted with "Knights of Columbus - On Active Service with the American Expeditionary Force" and also "Army YMCA, North Russia".

Tight

I like the two guys sharing the chair in the front row right... best friends!

If they are well enough to box...

The first thing I thought was, if these guys were not injured enough, they come to Walter Reed and box and hope for at least a broken hand?

Then I realized if they are well enough to box, even emotionally enough to deal with that level of violence...shouldn't they go home?

[The boxers are not sick, or injured, or patients at Walter Reed. This is entertainment for the patients. - Dave]

Yikes!

Whoa, whoa, whoa! The tighty whities go UNDER the shorts, man!! I wonder if this was the frightening sight that lead to the invention of Boxer briefs???

Therapy

Discarded crutches at the ringside... bandages thrown carelessly aside... in a hospital already!... is there a doctor in the house?

 
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