As I’m pulling artifacts, pictures, and documents to go in our upcoming exhibit Roaring Lakewood: The 1920s & Lakewood, I’m discovering more and more interesting facts about Lakewood’s history. For interest, we have a collection of The Cinema, Lakewood High School’s yearbooks from the 1920s. It is amazing how talented the students of L.H.S. were. In these yearbooks, students drew pictures, and put the publication together!
Since it is March, I’m trying to keep in mind the various activities and influences the women and girls of Lakewood had on our community, state, and country. For instance, as I’m looking for just the right piece from The Cinema to go in our exhibit, I came across the Girls’ Athletic Association entries. In a time when we are so used to women being involved with sports like basketball, tennis, volleyball, field hockey, and swimming, it can be easy to overlook the athletes of decades past. The 1970s brought with it the passage of Title IX, allowing for the inclusion of girls in sports across the country. But, how many realize that girls and young women participated in sports prior to that at L.H.S? According to the 1929 edition of The Cinema, the Lakewood High School female athletes did not compete inter-scholastically with other schools, like their male counterparts. But, they were fiercely competitive. Just some of the sports these young ladies participated in included hockey (this was not the hockey we associate with ice and a puck, it was instead field hockey), basketball, volley ball [sic], tennis, and even life saving.
Many more girls participated in sports throughout the history of Lakewood High School. Seeing the various sports these young ladies participated in made me think about other sports and and how many female athletes were represented in larger competitions, such as the Olympics. According to the International Olympic Committee’s Women in the Olympic Movement, updated just two months ago, the only sports where women competed were in Tennis, Golf, Archery, Skating, Aquatics, Fencing, and Gymnastics from 1900-1928. Out of close to 1,000 athletes competing in the Olympics at the time, only a very small percentage were female. It certainly is intriguing to think about women’s involvement in sporting events and those ties to local history.
The Cinema, Lakewood High School, 1929.