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Northern Pacific Railroad track along Commencement Bay, Tacoma, Washington Territory

Northern Pacific Railroad track along Commencement Bay, Tacoma, Washington Territory, circa 1885. Mt. Tacoma (Rainier) and tideflats in background. The railroad tracks were built on fill dirt. The water-filled half-moon section would also be filled in to become the railroad yard, called appropriately the "half-moon yard." KING-008, G76.1-101 (Digital copy only. No print or negative available).

HBS-031

Undated photograph of the Matrons Club. The woman seated front left is Helen Beck Stafford, one of the founders of the group. Dr. Stafford moved to Tacoma in 1926 to marry Wendell P. Stafford on New Years Eve. Even though she had taught for a few years in Kansas schools, Tacoma school personnel directors refused to hire a black teacher. She stayed at home and cared for her husband and daughter. She and several other women who stayed home to rear their children would get together for a social outlet. In 1927, they formally organized the Matrons Club. The women who attended the meetings often brought their children along and the children would play together. (TNT 2/22/1982- NWR clipping file) (photograph by Liberal Engraving Co., 907 1/2 Commerce)

HBS-030

ca. 1946. One of the functions of the United Service Organizations (USO) was to create a welcoming atmosphere for servicemen and women away from home, especially during the holidays. From the look of the guests' hats and leis, the social event in this undated photograph was held during the holidays in the main hall of the USO #2, 713-15 Commerce St. The military was still segregated during World War II, so USO #2 was provided for the entertainment of African American soldiers.

HBS-029

Volunteers of USO No. 2 shown in this undated World War II era photograph include community activist Helen Stafford, second from right. USO No. 2 opened at 713 Commerce Street in September 1942 to serve Tacoma's African American servicemen and closed in March 1947. This location also served servicemen during World War I as the Army-Navy Club. TPL-5977

HBS-028

This undated photograph was taken in front of the snack bar at the USO No. 2 in Tacoma. At the head of the table was Arthur Hayes and at the end closest to the camera was Helen B. Stafford, local civic activist. USO No. 2 opened at 713 Commerce Street in September 1942 to serve Tacoma's African American servicemen and closed in March 1947. This location also served servicemen during World War I as the Army-Navy Club.

HBS-027

The 70 piece Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Pacific Northwest performed in front of the temporary bandstand, topped with unfurled flags, at the USO Music Festival held July 28, 1946 at Point Defiance Park. The young orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Francis Aranyi, was one of the favorites of the 7,000 concert viewers. (TT 7/27/1946, pg 2 and 7/28/46, pg 1; TNT 7/27/46, pg.1 and 7/29/46, pg. 1& 2; Photo by F.L. Powell, YMCA, Tacoma)

HBS-026

Undated photograph of four unidentified children seated in a jeep in a wooded area.

HBS-025

On July 28, 1946, over 7,000 people attended the second US Music Festival at Point Defiance Park. Featured performers were the Seattle Elks Band, the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Pacific Northwest, the Puget Sound Navy Orchestra, the 448th Special Service Band, Sharps and Flats led by Joe Jordan and the Three Dynamos. (TT 7/27/1946, pg 2 and 7/28/46, pg 1; TNT 7/27/46, pg.1 and 7/29/46, pg. 1& 2; Official photograph, U.S. Army Air Forces McChord Field)

HBS-024

This undated photograph appears to have been taken at the USO club #2, the Tacoma club reserved for servicemen and women of color. Second from left was Tacoma Mayor C. Val Fawcett (acting 1943-45, elected 1946-50) and on the far right is Rabbi Bernard Rosenberg of Temple Beth Israel.

HBS-023

ca. 1947. Orson Welles (standing), noted performer and director of stage, screen and radio, conferred with an unidentified African American pianist in this undated photograph. Two women in hats looked on from the drawing room beyond. The occasion was possibly in March of 1947, when Mr. Welles spoke to 5,000 persons in the Armory as a guest of the Tacoma Jewish Association in observance of Brotherhood Week.

HBS-022

ca. 1947. Orson Welles (right), noted performer and director of stage, screen and radio, posed in this undated photograph with a longtime friend and Army-Navy USO Club leader Bennie D. Brown. The occasion was possibly in March of 1947, when Mr. Welles spoke to 5,000 persons in the Armory as a guest of the Tacoma Jewish Association in observance of Brotherhood Week.

HBS-020

ca. 1946. A group of at a refreshment table at the USO #2, 713-15 Commerce St., around 1946. The border in the background is formed of a line of thumbtacked photographs of the USO Club. (photograph by F.L. Powell of Tacoma)

HBS-019

ca. 1946. One of the purposes of the USO was to make the holidays more festive for servicemen stationed away from home and their families. This picture of a local pair, left, and four servicemen was taken around Christmas at the USO Club #2. All of the people in the picture are unidentified. The Club was reserved for servicemen of color; at this time, the military was still segregated. (Photograph by F.L. Powell, YMCA, Tacoma).

HBS-018

From September of 1942 until the end of March, 1947, 713-15 Commerce housed USO #2, a club reserved for the entertainment of servicemen and women of color. One of the unique activities in the club took place each year during "Be Kind to Animals" week. Servicemen assisted in the planning and production of a dog show with the pets of local children. Ribbons were presented to the best in each catagory. In this photograph dated September 16, 1945, unidentified children and servicemen pose with a variety of dogs at the club. (photograph by F.L. Powell of Tacoma)

HBS-017

This photograph from the Helen Stafford collection is dated July 29, 1945, meaning it was taken at the first USO music festival at Point Defiance. Six thousand attendees sat on the grass to listen to the 362nd Army Band from Fort Lewis play Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Also performing were the 29th Special Service Band directed by Sgt. Earnest Hayden and the 25 voice Naval choir from Bremerton. (TNT 7/29/1945, PG. 1; Photograph by F.L. Powell of Tacoma)

HBS-016

On July 29, 1945, the USO hosted its first Music Festival at Point Defiance Park. Over 6,000 spectators were on hand to enjoy the concert. The main feature was a performance of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" by the 362nd Army Band of Fort Lewis. Cpl. William Sumner of New York City was the featured soloist. Cpl. Sumner was the solo pianist with the National Broadcasting Company before entering the Army. Other performers included the 29th Special Band directed by Sgt. Earnest Hayden and the 25 voice Naval choir from Bremerton, featuring baritone soloist Robert Brown. (TNT 7/29/1945, pg. 1; photograph by F.L. Powell of Tacoma)

HBS-015

An unidentified majorette performs with the Seattle Elks Band at the USO Music Festival at Point Defiance Park on July 28, 1946. The band was one of many performers in the concert attended by over 7,000. (TT 7/27/1946, pg 2 and 7/28/46, pg 1; TNT 7/27/46, pg.1 and 7/29/46, pg. 1& 2; Photo by F.L. Powell, YMCA, Tacoma)

HBS-014

The performance by the 70 piece Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Pacific Northwest, under the direction of Dr. Francis Aranyi, was one of the highlights of the USO Music Festival held July 28, 1946 at Point Defiance. The festival was held in the natural amphitheater at the entrance to the park. The concert drew over 7,000 listeners. It was also broadcast over the Mutual Network by KMO. (TT 7/27/1946, pg 2 and 7/28/46, pg 1; TNT 7/27/46, pg.1 and 7/29/46, pg. 1& 2) Photo by F.L. Powell, YMCA, Tacoma)

HBS-013

The Puget Sound Navy Orchestra, from Seattle, performed jazz at the second annual music festival on July 28, 1946, at Point Defiance Park. The orchestra was under the direction of Ensign William Paul Currence. Watching and waiting for their turn to play, right, was either the 448th Special Service Band or Sharps and Flats, both groups from Fort Lewis. The newspapers classified their sound as "Boogie-Woogie." The 448th was under the direction of Sgt. Benjamin W. Martin; Sharps and Flats was under the direction of Joe Jordan. The concert, held in the natural amphitheater at the entrance to the park, drew over 7,000 listeners. It was also broadcast over the Mutual Network by KMO. (TT 7/27/1946, pg 2 and 7/28/46, pg 1; TNT 7/27/46, pg.1 and 7/29/46, pg. 1& 2; Photo by F.L. Powell, YMCA)

HBS-012

The second annual USO Music Festival was held at Point Defiance Park on July 28, 1946. One of the featured performers was the 70 piece Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Pacific Northwest, under the direction of Dr. Francis Aranyi. The concert took place around the temporary bandstand set up in the natural amphitheater at the entrance to the park. It was attended by over 7,000 people. (TT 7/27/1946, pg 2 and 7/28/46, pg 1; TNT 7/27/46, pg.1 and 7/29/46, pg. 1& 2; Photo by F.L. Powell, YMCA, Tacoma)

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