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San Quentin Prison-Little Olympics Field Meet – Dr. Leo Stanley Collection, 1930

Owning Institution: Marin County Free Library

About this Collection

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. This album forms part of the Dr. Leo Stanley Collection. Dr. Stanley was the prison doctor at San Quentin from 1913-1951.

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58 items found in this collection

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