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Catalog Number WF 1747
Caption 1940 Lady Eagles Minstrel Show
Description Lady Eagles from Anacortes lodge #249, Fraternal Order of Eagles, (FOE) are performing in a minstrel show. The 5-16-1940 ANACORTES AMERICAN reported, "Minstrel show features women. Ladies of the Marching Order of Eagles will present an all-Women's Minstrel Show to raise funds to send their marching troup to the Washington State Eagle's Convention." See WF 3403. Women in blackface are sitting in a large room probably the interior of the Eagles' Hall. See WF 1748.
These type of theatricals were used as fund raisers for the Lady Eagles' work. The blackface minstrel show or character appears in numerous Ferd Brady photos, from children participated in the Marineers' Pageant "Kiddy Parades" of the 1930s and 40s, to Anacortes High School theatrical presentations. See WF 1392.013, 1392.016, 1745-8. The entertainment genre frequently appeared in Anacortes from the 1890s through the 1930s. See the 3-9-1905 ANACORTES AMERICAN article "Minstrel Show Fine Success," and the 5-20-1926 issue's "Minstrel show to benefit municipal band at Empire Theater." Also see WF 1713.

Anacortes Aerie #249 was organized on August 19, 1902 with 45 members. They built their lodge at the southwest corner of 7th and Q Avenue in 1920. Women's auxiliary branches were authorized in 1926, and the Anacortes branch of Lady Eagles was founded soon afterward; they were very active in the community. See other photos of their activities in WF 1196, 1341, 1407, 1432, 1449, 1456, 1457, 1465, 1534, 1744 to 1750.

Fraternal organizations played an extremely important role in the Anacortes community. The Fraternal Order of Eagles is the only fraternity with its birthplace in Washington State. It was founded February 6, 1898, by six theater owners (John Cort, John Considine, T. J. Considine, Mose Goldsmith, H. L. Leavitt, and Melvin Winstock) in a Seattle waterfront shipyard. The Fraternal Order of Eagles, then called the Order of Good Things, not only welcomed the average man as a member, but fought for his right to a life of dignity and self-respect. By 1908, 1871 Eagle Clubs were chartered. It was the Eagles who started Mother's Day, who provided the impetus for social security, who pushed for workman's compensation, old age pensions and Medicare, and who ended job discrimination based on age. Harry S. Truman often reiterated that the Eagles were his type of organization - one founded by, and for, the common man.
Date 1940, May
Photographer from the BRADY, Ferd collection
Collection Wallie Funk Collection
Subjects Place - Anacortes, WA
Organization - Fraternal
Credit line Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection
Place Anacortes, WA
Search Terms Lady Eagles
Fraternal Order of Eagles
Anacortes Aerie #249
Minstrel Show
Object Name Negative