Kathrine Switzer, Marathon Woman

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer took to Boston only to do what she loved, and something that was otherwise a relatively uncontroversial pastime for many: running. The difference on this day, however, was that Switzer would be participating in her first Boston Marathon, and as men viewed women far too “fragile” to complete the 26-mile race, that was a feat a woman had never accomplished before.

Undeterred by myth, Switzer’s ambitions were met with aggression early-on in the race. Manhandled by the race manager (seen above trying to pull off Switzer’s numbers), demonized by her then-boyfriend for ruining his sports career, and antagonized by the press with asinine questions like “What are you trying to prove?”, Switzer ran to cross more than a finish line that day; she ran to achieve equal rights for women in sports and to silence the squawks of those whose anachronistic views on a woman’s physical abilities had kept countless capable women out of athletics for centuries. Said Switzer to her running-mate and coach Arnie Briggs following the race manager debacle, “I have to finish this race. Even on my hands and knees. If I don’t finish, people will say women can’t do it, and they will say I was just doing it for the publicity or something.”

She did finish the race. And at this year’s marathon, nearly 70% of the 11,606 female runners followed in Switzer’s footsteps.

20 Incredible Photos Dissecting Civil Rights Protests

In the thick of the civil rights movement, Virginia newspaper publisher George Lewis said in a letter to LIFE Magazine that to him, truly marked and socially-acceptable steps toward social equality included the printing of a black person’s face in his newspaper when that person appeared in the news. The “act” of sharing a lunch counter, though, was just beyond the pale.

Unfortunately for Lewis, the latter could not be forgotten with a simple turn of the page. Throughout the early 1960s, a wave of sit-ins–as gracious as they were courageous–tore through the American South and aided substantially in the passing of the incredibly necessary Civil Rights Act of 1964. That could not have been achieved without the sacrifice, strength and strategy of civil and human rights activists throughout the country, though particularly in the South. From teaching the illiterate to write to training the impassioned to resist provocation while voting, the American civil rights movement left no stone unturned in its pursuit of equality.

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Activists protest in Petersburg, Virginia.

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Activists singing "We Shall Overcome" at a Virginia State College.

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A CORE group training an activist not to react when smoke is blown in her face.

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Demonstrators during a 1960 protest for integration and civil rights laws.

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One woman teaches an illiterate black female to write so that she may vote.

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One woman trains a black voter not to respond when smoke is blown in her face.

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A Virginia literacy class in 1960.

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A 1960 photo documenting CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) training for sit-ins.

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A training school in Virginia, where black voters are taught that they should not respond to white harassment.

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Preparing for non-violent civil disobedience.

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Civil rights protest in Petersburg, Virginia.

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Martin Luther King discusses civil rights strategies with other activists at Atlanta University.

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Martin Luther King and other civil rights activists (including future Washington DC mayor Marion Barry) during a civil rights strategy planning session at Atlanta University in 1960.

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Training for sit-in harassment.

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Preparing for non-violent civil disobedience.

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A lunch counter in Petersburg, Virginia.

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Training for sit-in harassment.

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Reverend Martin Luther King in Virginia, 1960.

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A crowd of activists at a Martin Luther King speech in Virginia.

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Civil rights protests in Petersburg, Virginia.

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Thanks to Time and Magnum Photos for the above images.

The History Of America’s Defunct Baseball Teams


Defunct Baseball Teams No. 1: Providence Grays

When baseball was first organized in the late 19th century, the majority of its fans lived in the northeast region of the country. At one point, there were five teams in southern New England, and another five in New York state. But before the Yankees, Giants, and Red Sox reigned supreme, the Providence Grays of Rhode Island were a dominant force both in the standings and in the real world. In addition to winning two championships, one recent study suggests that the Grays debuted the first African-American player in 1879, five years before the player previously believed to break the pre-nadir color barrier.


Defunct Baseball Teams No. 2: Worcester Worcesters

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The Funeral Following The Hindenburg Disaster

Hindenburg Disaster Funeral New York City 1937

Source: The Atlantic

A little under five years before the United States was to become involved in World War II, swastikas appeared in the same room as the American flag to recognize the loss of 35 lives, 28 of whom were German. Another death, albeit unseen, was that of the airship era.