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Posts Tagged ‘horses’

On May 17, 1875, Aristides, a chestnut thoroughbred, became the first winner of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. About 10,000 people gathered to watch 15 horses compete in the race, which at 1 1/2 miles was slightly longer than today’s 1 1/4 mile race. While Aristides’s owner, Hal McGrath, expected his other horse Chesapeake to take first place, Aristides maintained an early lead over the field for the win.

Aristides’s jockey, Oliver Lewis, was one of many African-American champions who dominated the sport in the late 19th century. Fifteen African-American jockeys won in the first 28 years of the Kentucky Derby, and only two white jockeys rode in the 1875 race. The most famous of these jockeys gained celebrity status and could earn over $20,000 per year, equal to over $475,000 today. As the prize money for jockeys increased and Jim Crow-era racist policies spread throughout the nation, African Americans were increasingly prevented from winning or even competing in horse races. While some black jockeys found success in Europe, no African American won the Kentucky Derby after 1902.

Panoramic views of the 1921 (above) and 1940 Kentucky Derby races at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Images courtesy of the Library of Congress

Opening History includes numerous images of horse racing, including those in the Jack Bradley Photojournalism Collection from Bradley University and Panoramic Photographs: Taking the Long View, 1850-1991 from the Library of Congress.

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YWCA founded 140 years ago

The YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) was founded 140 years ago, on February 10, 1870, in New York City. Originally the services provided by the association includes access to educational and religious classes, hostels for young women, and opportunities for both service and recreation. Today YWCA is a movement of women working for social and economic change around the world, and is present in over 120 countries.
The photograph below, taken in 1918, courtesy of Utah State Historical Society, Shipler Photograph Collection, illustrates the recreation mission of the YWCA.

Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) Group (1918)

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December 11 is observed worldwide as International Mountain Day since 2003.
International Mountain Day is an opportunity to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build partnerships that will bring positive change to the world’s mountains and highlands.

High Uintas mountains Kamas Lake
The photograph above, courtesy of Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library, George Beard Photograph Collection, was taken by George Beard in High Uintas mountains around Kamas Lake in Summit County, Utah, between 1900 and 1909.

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120 years ago, on November 11, 1889, Washington Territory, which had existed since 1853, was admitted to the Union and became the 42nd U.S. state.
The two images below — a lantern slide and a bird’s-eye view — picture Seattle (the largest city of Washington Territory) and Mt. Vernon (one of the Territory’s smaller towns) shortly before admission to the Union. Seattle was incorporated 20 years, and Mt. Vernon only 4 months before the Washington Territory became Washington state. Images courtesy of King County Snapshots digital collection and Western Waters Digital Library.

Horse-drawn streetcar at Front Street and James, Seattle, ca. 1887

Horse-drawn streetcar at Front Street and James, Seattle, ca. 1887

Mt. Vernon, Washington territory (1889)

Mt. Vernon, Washington territory (1889)

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