LOUIS S. NIXDORFF 1928 OLYMPIC GAMES COLLECTION, 1926-1978, #443
Scope and Content
This collection contains an oversize scrapbook of newspaper clippings, loose clippings from Baltimore newspaper Sunday supplements, a diary recorded by Nixdorff, and an album of photographs that Nixdorff took on the Amsterdam visit and several other trips. An Olympic blazer patch, and two lacrosse numbers have been transferred to the Division of Community Life in this museum.
The newspaper clippings in an oversize scrapbook follow the fortunes of the Johns Hopkins University lacrosse team, national champions for 1926 and 1927, through its 1928 season, a post-season series, the playoffs to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in the summer of 1928, and the Olympic lacrosse games in Amsterdam. Newspaper clippings years later reminisce about the 1928 lacrosse team at the Olympic games in Amsterdam.
The newspaper clippings recounting various games are seldom identified and most of the articles are not dated. Some are from the Baltimore Post, later taken over by the News and were written by Yale Merrill. Others are from the Sunpapers, morning and evening. Some carry an Associated Press identification. Many of the accounts of the 1928 intercollegiate season prior to the Olympic Games were written by W. Wilson Wingate. Some of the news clippings are incomplete.
The trip of the 268 Olympic athletes to Amsterdam on the S.S. President Roosevelt is described graphically by Louis S. Nixdorff in his diary. The diary transcript included later in this Register has been transcribed exactly as written by the author, regardless of omissions of obvious words or occasional misspellings. The diary entries relating to the voyage clearly depict the boredom of the long voyage for young athletes eager to get to Amsterdam and compete in the Olympics. Training was continued during the trip insofar as it was possible on shipboard. Training and meals represented welcome relief from the monotony of the journey.
The diary is written in a clear hand in a soft-cover, lined notebook. Nixdorff presumably purchased it specifically to put his thoughts and observations down on this exciting and, to him, historic trip. The diary covers the period from the departure of the lacrosse team from the Baltimore and Ohio railroad station in Baltimore for New York on July 10, 1928, to the departure from Cherbourg for home on August 15, 1928. It includes Mr. Nixdorff's accounts of shipboard life, the game against the Canadians that the Americans won and their loss to the English team on the following day. England's subsequent loss to Canada meant that each team had a win and a loss. No team was declared a victor. The diary also covers a one-week stay in Paris, including a trip to the nearby World War I battlefields.
The collection contains snapshots that Nixdorff took on the S.S. President Roosevelt en route to Amsterdam, and images of Olympic events and of sightseeing in and around Amsterdam and Paris. These photographs mounted in an album portray an individual's effort to document his travels in a meaningful way. This collection of photographs is similar in intent to three other collections in the Archives Center. The George W. Sims Collection portrays the use of the automobile between 1944 and 1976 in travel, both nationally and internationally, and family travel. The Clyde W. Stauffer Photographic Album portrays family automobile travel across the United States between 1935 and 1940. The Donald Sultner-Welles Collection of travel slides documents locations throughout the United States and around the World.
Other material in the collection includes copies of three reminiscent articles published in the Baltimore Sun magazine section on April 5, 1951, June 26, 1955, and April 23, 1978; photogravure pictures of a Hopkins University of Virginia game and a Hopkins-University of Maryland game without attribution or date; Mr. Nixdorff's visa for France; Gen. Douglas MacArthur's report on the ninth Olympiad to the president of the United States; the official program for August 5, 1928; the passenger list for the S.S. President Roosevelt's return to New York; a cloth Olympic blazer patch; and two cloth lacrosse numbers.
This collection represents a contribution to both sports history and the history of the Olympics. The collection complements several Archives Center photographic collections, emphasizing international travel and touring by an American between the two World Wars. Go to Container List
Revised: January 5, 2000