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Pay Off of Spec—the Good Old Times
In the American circus, the spectacle, or “spec,” developed as a procession that took place around the hippodrome track inside the big top, or circus tent, featuring as many of the performers and animals as the circus director was able to costume. Traced back to the earliest circuses in America, the spec was originally a lavish performance of literary or historical tales intended to entertain and edify the audience. The costumes created for specs were often exotic, representing cultures from all corners of the globe. The costumes also could be ...
Contributed by
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
The Near East
This 1952 map by the Army Map Service of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides a broad overview of the Near East, the geographic region traditionally thought of as encompassing the countries of southwest Asia, including Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Israel, and Jordan, and the countries of the Arabian Peninsula. In addition to political borders, the map shows lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water, marshlands, cities by population, pipelines, railroads, and pumping stations. Above the key is a glossary of topographic terms with transliterations and translations into ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Middle East Countries: Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Saudi-Arabia
This map of the Middle East, originally published in August 1950 and revised in February 1955, was issued by the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center, Air Photographic and Charting Service, Military Air Transportation Service (MATS), of the United States Air Force. In addition to Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, it shows the eastern parts of Egypt and the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium of Sudan as well as parts of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Many borders on the map, particularly on the Arabian Peninsula, are shown as still undetermined. Territories shown ...
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Library of Congress
Airlines of the Eastern Mediterranean and Adjacent Areas: As of October, 1947
This map of airline routes in the Eastern Mediterranean and adjacent areas was compiled and drawn by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for the Department of State, based on information supplied by the Foreign Air Transport Division of the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board. It presumably was for use by diplomats at the newly established International Civil Aviation Organization. Some of the airlines whose routes are shown exist to the present day; others have merged, gone bankrupt, or changed their names. Athens, Cairo, Lydda (Lod in present-day Israel; until ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
The Uganda Journal, Volume I, Number 1, January 1934
The Uganda Literary and Scientific Society was established at Entebbe, Uganda Protectorate, in 1923. Its main activity consisted of the reading of papers and the delivery of lectures on topics relating to Uganda. In 1933 the society moved its headquarters to Kampala and decided to issue a regular publication, The Uganda Journal. The journal’s declared aim was “to collect and publish information which may add to our knowledge of Uganda and to record that which in the course of time might be lost.” Four issues per year were published ...
Contributed by
National Library of Uganda
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Gaucho Drinking “Mate”
This photograph shows a gaucho in traditional dress pouring hot water from a kettle to make maté, a traditional drink common to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay that is made from the yerba maté plant native to subtropical South America. In the background is a tepee-like structure. Gaucho is a term used to denote descendants of the early Spanish colonizers who traditionally led a semi-nomadic life on the South American pampas. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which ...
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Columbus Memorial Library, Organization of American States
George Bush, Captain of the Yale Baseball Team, Receives Babe Ruth's Manuscript of His Autobiography Which He Was Donating to Yale
George Herman (“Babe”) Ruth was the most celebrated American athlete of the 1920s, a period that has been called the Golden Age of Sports for its extraordinary hero-athletes in baseball, football, golf, boxing, horse-racing, and other sports. Ruth was born to German-American parents in Baltimore in 1895. He began his major-league career in 1914 as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, winning 89 games in six years. In 1920 he was sold to the New York Yankees and converted to being an outfielder, where he made his mark as ...
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U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Conga Drums at Carnival Time
This photograph from Cuba shows a group of male revelers in traditional costumes and large sombreros, with various types of drums and other musical instruments, in a Conga line. The conga is a dance that originated in Cuba, and in which the participants form a winding line, take three steps forwards or backwards, and then kick. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the ...
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Columbus Memorial Library, Organization of American States
Conga Dancers
This photograph from Cuba shows dancers and drummers similarly adorned in costumes of balloon-like trousers, long coats, and head wraps made of the same shiny fabric, moving in a long conga line. The conga is a dance that originated in Cuba, and in which the participants form a winding line, take three steps forwards or backwards, and then kick. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas ...
Contributed by
Columbus Memorial Library, Organization of American States
Procession in Otovalo, Walking to the Mass
This photograph from Otavalo, Ecuador, shows a procession of residents on their way to mass, all of them wearing hats and ponchos with distinctive stripes, and carrying lit torches on long poles. Otavalo has a population that is largely indigenous, and is famous for its textiles and other handicrafts. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on ...
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Columbus Memorial Library, Organization of American States
Corpus Christi Parade, Cuzco, Peru
This photograph from the Corpus Christi festival in Cuzco, Peru, shows indigenous peoples carrying religious artifacts. The festival begins 60 days after Easter. Representatives from nearby churches take part in the main day procession, bearing statues of their patron saints in a procession to the city’s main cathedral. On the eve of the procession, it is customary to prepare 12 traditional dishes, including cuy chiriuchu (guinea pig), cornbread, beer, and chicha (fermented corn beverage). The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of ...
Contributed by
Columbus Memorial Library, Organization of American States
Devil Dancer Mask
This photograph shows a scary mask used in the Festival of the Virgin of Carmen that takes place in the Peruvian town of Paucartambo every July. The Virgin is the patron saint of the mestizo peoples, and the costumes worn at the festival represent the demons that the Virgin is credited with driving away. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were ...
Contributed by
Columbus Memorial Library, Organization of American States
Religious Parade, Santa Rosa de Lima
This photograph shows a procession in honor of Saint Rose of Lima, the first Catholic saint in the New World and the patroness of the Americas and the Philippines. On August 30, the feast day of the saint, the faithful from throughout Peru visit her sanctuary in Lima, as well as the town of Santa Rosa de Quives, where she spent her teenage years. Saint Rose was born in Lima on April 20, 1586, and died there on August 24, 1617. Known for her extreme piety, she was canonized in ...
Contributed by
Columbus Memorial Library, Organization of American States
Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Posed and Ready to Swing
Jack Roosevelt Robinson, better known as Jackie Robinson, was the first African American major league baseball player. Previously, he had been a star athlete at the University of California at Los Angeles, served in the Army, and played with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League. Robinson officially broke the major league “color line” in April 1947 when he put on a uniform, number 42, of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Baseball fans and players reacted to Robinson with everything from unbridled enthusiasm to wariness and open hostility, but he soon ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Sketch of the DNA Double Helix by Francis Crick
The iconic image of the double helix--the twisted ladder that carries the codes for earth's huge variety of life forms–goes back to 1953 and the homemade metal model created by the British scientist Francis Crick and his American collaborator, James Watson. Determined to solve the puzzle posed by the research evidence at the time, they obtained new insights by visualizing the structure of the complex molecule through a physical model. This pencil sketch of DNA was made by Crick and forms part of the extensive Crick Archive at ...
Contributed by
Wellcome Library
All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Player Marg Callaghan Sliding into Home Plate as Umpire Norris Ward Watches
Many minor baseball league teams had disbanded by late 1942, because of young men of military age being drafted to serve in World War II. The All-American Girls Baseball League was founded as a nonprofit association in 1943 by a group of powerful financial figures in professional baseball, concerned that baseball parks across the United States might collapse. They included the owner of Wrigley Field in Chicago, businessman Phillip K. Wrigley; Brooklyn Dodgers president and general manager Branch Rickey; and Paul V. Harper, a Chicago attorney who was a trustee ...
Contributed by
State Library and Archives of Florida
Midwinter Crowd at Miami Beach
Winter tourism became a major factor in the development of Miami and south Florida from the 1920s onward. Development, particularly of hotels, grew apace, with the increasing popularity of this tourism and retirement haven, and much helped by the spread of commercial aviation. By 1940 Miami had about two million vacationers a year. President Harry S Truman was there for the dedication of the Everglades National Park in 1947. Some of the new hotels, such as the 1948 Sherry Frontenac, had fine Art Deco details. This photograph, taken on December ...
Contributed by
State Library and Archives of Florida
The Bunyoro Agreement 1955
This document, from the National Archives of Uganda, is the original of the Bunyoro Agreement of 1955 between Great Britain and the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara, one of the traditional kingdoms of Uganda. The agreement, in both English and Lunyoro, was signed on September 3 by Sir Andrew Cohen (1909–68), governor of the Uganda Protectorate, on behalf of the British government in London and the government of the protectorate, and the Omukama (king), Sir Tito Gafabusa Winyi IV (1883–1971), on behalf of himself and his successors, the Rukurato (the ...
Contributed by
National Library of Uganda
African American Man Wrestling an Alligator at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
One of the symbols of the state of Florida in the popular imagination is the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). From the earliest European explorers to the present day, visitors have been fascinated by this cold-blooded freshwater reptile. With a name derived from the Spanish word lagarto (the lizard), alligators can grow to an average of 13–15 feet (4–4.6 meters) and weigh 500–1,000 pounds (227–453 kilograms). The alligator used to be prized for its meat and skin, was once hunted and harvested to near extinction ...
Contributed by
State Library and Archives of Florida
Americana Hotel
Designed by Russian immigrant architect Morris Lapidus (1902–2001) and completed in 1956, the Americana Hotel is a dynamic example of the Miami Modern architecture style, or “MIMO,” which rose to prominence in southeast Florida in the 1950s and 1960s. Miami Modern was the local variant of the midcentury modernism, or the international style, which incorporated prefabricated materials, such as cast concrete, to produce explorative designs and project a strong sense of modern technology and innovation. Space-age forms incorporating such elements as parabolic curves were combined with the new possibilities ...
Contributed by
State Library and Archives of Florida
A Mill Worker Watches Over the Loading of Powder Fine Phosphate
Major phosphate deposits were first discovered in Florida in Alachua County in the early 1880s. By the turn of the century, phosphate mining was a major industry as phosphate seams were identified in central and southwestern Florida, and mining became an essential economic engine for cities such as Dunnellon, Newberry, and Mulberry. From hand mining with wheelbarrows and picks, to large-scale mechanized mining employing hydraulic pumps and draglines, the industry changed dramatically in the course of the 20th century. Phosphate rock must be separated from the mud and other materials ...
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State Library and Archives of Florida