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This photograph, showing prisoner athletes and performers lined up on the field, 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. 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.
California State Prison at San Quentin Marin County (Calif.) Track and field Athletics Prisoners 1910-1940 Olympic Club (San Francisco, Calif.) Recreation--California--Marin County Parades & processions Tamalpais, Mount (Calif.)--Pictorial works Stanley, Leo L. (Leo Leonidas), 1886-1976 California State Prison at San Quentin--Little Olympics Holohan, James B Johnston, James A., 1874-
Marin County (Calif.) San Quentin (Calif.)
Photograph from folio , 1930 San Quentin Field Meet album, Dr. Leo L. Stanley Collection, Anne T. Kent California Room, Marin County Free Library (Call number 365.979462 Stanley).