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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Young America: 1941

Young America: 1941

1941. "Kids' race at the Fourth of July celebration in Vale, Oregon." Acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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Winners! Shoeless is best!

If I recall my vintage catalog research well, shoes at the time mostly came with leather soles, in addition to leather uppers. With certain exceptions, like boots for barn wear or inclement weather, which were of course rubber. Leather soled shoes would be much too slick to run in, when what you're running on is dry dirt, therefore, stocking feet - for which you'll certainly get a scolding when your mother finds the condition of the "soles" of your socks! - or better yet, bare feet, are surely the way to go!

[Another exception would be the rubber-soled sneakers worn by zillions of boys. - Dave]

Boy on left

Never run a race without your Stetson on.

Fit bunch

Not a lot of body fat in the group.


Barefoot seems to be the way to win. Stocking feet seems to be doing well also. Who needs shoes!

Nice to see that the race is one class and not split between boys and girls or between ages. Of course, don't know if they have separate prizes but at least it is one race.

Chalk one up for the girls.

They seem to be holding their own among all the boys.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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