Digital Transgender Archive

Parade of prisoners, some in female dress, with prison buildings in background, San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet, 1930

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This photograph is from the 17th annual field meet held at San Quentin in 1930 when James B. Holohan was the acting warden. Olympic Club member, Frank G. Kane, was Master of Ceremonies. It depicts a procession of the entertainers and cross-dressers, who were a popular attraction. The scoreboard for the "Shops," "Mill," and "Mess" teams appears in the background. Beginning in 1913, an annual track and field meet known as the Little Olympics was held at San Quentin Prison on a holiday such as Thanksgiving Day or Admission Day, under the auspices of the San Francisco Olympic Club. This was a day when prison rules were suspended and prisoners were allowed to participate in athletic and stage events, cheered on by their fellow inmates. The meet was the brainchild of reformist warden, James A. Johnston, who was a member of the Olympic Club. After Olympic Club sponsorship ended, athletic events and field meets inspired by the Little Olympics continued to form part of prison life. In addition to traditional track and field events, the Little Olympics also included such non-traditional activities as a tug-of-war between teams recruited from the San Quentin mill and shops, a pie-eating contest, sack races, clowns, and musical and stage entertainment.

Item Information:

Identifier
pr76f341v
Collection
Prison Photographs
Institution
Anne T. Kent California Room, Marin County Free Library
Contributor(s)
Stanley, Leo L.
Date Created
1930
Dates Covered
1930s
Genre
Photographs
Places
California > Marin County > San Quentin State Prison
Topic(s)
Crossdressing
Parades
Prisoners
Prisons
Resource Type
Still Image
Analog Format
Black and White; 11 x 16 cm
Language
English
Rights
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