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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 • GEORGE WASHINGTON CROSSING THE PIES

On the Same Team: 1943

On the Same Team: 1943

March 1943. "Negro Marines prepare for action. Breaking a tradition of 167 years, the U.S. Marine Corps started enlisting Negroes on June 1, 1942. The first class of 1,200 Negro volunteers began their training three months later as members of the 51st Composite Defense Battalion at Montford Point, a section of the 200-square-mile Marine Base, Camp Lejeune, at New River, North Carolina. Evidence of the lack of racial friction may be seen in the sports program at the camp. On the baseball team Negro enlistees and white non-com officers are teammates. Camp Lejeune has its own baseball league, with the Montford Point team a strong contender for championship honors." Medium-format safety negative by Roger Smith for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Camp LeJeune integrated

My dad was stationed at Camp LeJeune from 1959-63. I went to the base elementary school for first through third grades, with both black and white students. Nothing about the base was divided by race. It was, however, a shock to go to anything off the base and find the Jim Crow laws in full effect. I remember waiting in a line at Sears, in Jacksonville, once, and noticing that there were four restrooms: colored ladies and men and white ladies and men. I was horrified!

Tough Catcher

That catcher doesn't need any pads. He's a MARINE.

Totally Tough

He's positioned for a quick lethal bayonet parry and thrust. Hard to break USMC close combat training.

Semi-Tough

This picture looks pretty cool, but the batter would definitely look tougher if he were not positioned for a mere bunt.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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