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Government in Action: 1917

Government in Action: 1917

1917. "Walter Camp exercise school. Cabinet officials exercising with other government officials." This seems to have been a manifestation of the "defense league" movement led by former Yale footballer Walter Camp. Anyone up for some miniature base(ket)ball? Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.


Celebrity spotting!

Hi Dave! Long-time reader, first-time commenter.

I'm quite certain I've seen other pictures from this series (and am desperately trying to find the one I have in mind) - so if this is the same group I'm thinking of, it features a young Franklin Delano Roosevelt before being stricken with polio. He's the tall fellow in the dark pants, third from the right in the back row.

The plot that thickened

Reminds me of a P.G. Wodehouse story.

Questions answered

The game usually played here is Basekitball. It's not a dance, but the music is "The Wind in the Willows."


Here is yet another example of the internet's evil influence on modern society. We no longer take the time to play Simon Says like the elderly gentlemen pictured above, or Red Rover, which they probably next played.

That is an awful price to pay for progress. All you people need to rise up, and take back the great outdoors.

I can't do it since I am always too busy with the internet.

What music is playing?

During my county government service we had a Tai Chi instructor visit once a week. I would participate just so I could watch the other people, almost as much fun as looking at this picture. The most annoying part was the continuous loop of relaxing John Denver music.

Government pork

Of all the unusual images on Shorpy, this has to be one of the stranger ones. Gotta love the schlubby paunches on these guys. And for them to jettison their wardrobe accouterments, like ties and coats, shows their dedication to a good hard workout! (Not!)


The Ministry of Silly Calisthenics.

Way Back Then

Politicians either stood on the "right" or the "left" in those days too.


That whole picture is puzzling to me. It has two basketball goals in a grassy area. Not much dribbling here. It has sort of a ball diamond...too small to play on. A row of tree intruding on the left and the whole thing is on an incline. To top it off a group of professional men out practicing their Swan Lake moves. Just what is going on???

Hokey Pokey

You put your left foot out......

In "Hokey Pokey" There's Always One

Fifth man from the front line and the first man in light-colored trousers seems to not know the difference between his right and left leg. I wonder if this confusion ever conflicted with the gentleman's duties in government work.

And you shake it all about

It seems to be an early version of the Hokey Pokey.

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