Dancers on the Hanford Theater Stage Declassified

Juli Kearns Art-Paintings, Hanford Declassified 1 Comment

Shall we dance? Shall we dance? Shall we Dance?

Dancers on the Hanford Theater Stage Declassified
Dancers on the Hanford Theater Stage Declassified
2005
16.5 h by 30 w inches
Digital Painting by Juli Kearns, Copyright © 2005 Juli Kearns

Lightbox enlargement

Based on a photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”

Read the introduction to the Remixing the Hanford Declassified Project paintings

When I first began looking through the Hanford Declassified Project, no search results appearing for Nagasaki or Hiroshima, I then looked for photos of people dancing. Why? I don’t recollect. Maybe because my husband is a musician and thus music is center in my life and always has been, for my mother was a pianist and I studied violin as a child and teenager. To look for photos related to music and dancing seemed a natural thing to do as music is an important part of the lives of most individuals and I thought it possible there would be music-related photos

There were a number of music-related photos. Some were of individuals, in costume, performing folk dances in what must have been clubs created for that purpose. There were pictures of people presumably performing the polka, and I remembered that as a child a neighboring friend had a costume made for her polka folk dance performance, complete with Dutch apron and cap, so folk dancing as a hobby in Richland was still going strong in the 60s.

They enjoyed international folk dances.

1950 INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCE
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0054802”
Accession Number N1D0054802
Document Number 1423A-50-NEG-C
Alternate Document Number 1423A-50-NEG
Title Description INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCE
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s) FOLK DANCING,HANFORD PERSONNEL,RECREATIONAL
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 25-Oct-1950
Public Availability Date 14-Jun-2002

They enjoyed square dancing.

1954 SQUARE DANCERS CLUB
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0005929”
Accession Number N1D0005929
Document Number 10208-NEG-H
Alternate Document Number 10208-NEG
Title Description SQUARE DANCERS CLUB
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s) HANFORD SITE PERSONNEL,SQUARE DANCERS CLUB
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 22-Jun-1954
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

They even danced the can-can.

1950 MEDICAL DEPARTMENT DANCE
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0055764”
Accession Number N1D0055764
Document Number 523-50-NEG-B
Alternate Document Number 523-50-NEG
Title Description MEDICAL DEPARTMENT DANCE – 1950
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s) DANCE,HANFORD SITE,MEDICAL DEPARTMENT
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 05-Feb-2002
Public Availability Date 14-Jun-2002

More than once, they danced the can-can. It was apparently a popular dance.

1952 Hanford Medical Dept. Cancan Girls

I also came across this picture of black dancers performing at a talent show during the war years at what would have been a talent show at the Hanford Theater.

Talent Show Dancers
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0024840”
Accession Number N1D0024840
Document Number D-5347-NEG
Alternate Document Number D-5347-NEG
Title Description PEOPLE DANCING
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s)
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 04-Dec-2001
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

The photos made me wonder–what were race relations like amongst the workers who built the bomb?

With a little research, my understanding is that black individuals who worked at Hanford didn’t reside at the trailer city at Hanford where many working construction lived, or in Richland where the white collar employees were housed in a town built expressly for them. Black workers lived further away in Pasco. And, indeed, having gone through many photos of Hanford Trailer City, I’ve yet to see a black face in any of them.

I did find black face elsewhere.

One, two, three and?

1952, HAMTC MINSTREL SHOW
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0041342”
Accession Number N1D0041342
Document Number 3213-2-NEG-F
Alternate Document Number 3213-2-NEG
Title Description HAMTC MINSTREL SHOW
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s)
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 28-Mar-1952
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

1952 HAMTC MINSTREL SHOW
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0041340”
Accession Number N1D0041340
Document Number 3213-2-NEG-D
Alternate Document Number 3213-2-NEG
Title Description HAMTC MINSTREL SHOW
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s)
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 28-Mar-1952
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

1952 HAMTC MINSTREL SHOW
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0041339”
Accession Number N1D0041339
Document Number 3213-2-NEG-C
Alternate Document Number 3213-2-NEG
Title Description HAMTC MINSTREL SHOW
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s)
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 28-Mar-1952
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

Vaudeville Act
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0025605”
Accession Number N1D0025605
Document Number D-6593-NEG
Alternate Document Number D-6593-NEG
Title Description VAUDEVILLE ACT
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s)
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 04-Dec-2001
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

Hanford Black Face "Buy Bonds", WWII Years
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0025604”
Accession Number N1D0025604
Document Number D-6592-NEG
Alternate Document Number D-6592-NEG
Title Description CLOWNS – BUY BONDS
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s)
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 04-Dec-2001
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

There are fewer pictures of black faces, in the Hanford Declassified archives, than there are of black face

Pictures of black individuals in the database are infrequent.

All that we learn, in the database, about black people at Hanford is that they waitress.

WAITRESSES PREPARING SERVING PITCHERS - SECURITY GUARD STANDING CLOSE BY
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0024625”
Accession Number N1D0024625
Document Number D-4994-NEG
Alternate Document Number D-4994-NEG
Title Description WAITRESSES PREPARING SERVING PITCHERS – SECURITY GUARD STANDING CLOSE BY
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s)
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 04-Dec-2001
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

They drink beer.

WAITRESSES SERVING DRINKS TO CUSTOMERS
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0024626”
Accession Number N1D0024626
Document Number D-4995-NEG
Alternate Document Number D-4995-NEG
Title Description WAITRESSES SERVING DRINKS TO CUSTOMERS
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s)
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 04-Dec-2001
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

They dance and sing.

Hanford Talent Show

Oh, and they go to jail.

The one picture I came across of an individual being arrested, in the entire Hanford Declassified archive, was of an apparently intoxicated black woman being put into a paddy wagon.

Which was interesting to me, that this was the sole picture of a person being arrested in the archive.

A black woman.

Patrol Men Putting Woman in Paddy Wagon
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0025435”
Accession Number N1D0025435
Document Number D-6181-NEG
Alternate Document Number D-6181-NEG
Title Description PATROLMEN PUTTING WOMAN IN PADDY WAGON
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s)
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 04-Dec-2001
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

I suppose that says quite a bit about race relations at Hanford.

“The Department of Energy, Richland Operations Office (RL) has aggressively implemented the commitments made by the Federal Government to openness in Government which was stated as a ‘Fundamental principle that an informed citizenry is essential to the democratic process and that the more the American people know about their Government, the better they will be governed. Openness in government is essential to accountability . . .’ RL is committed to responsible openness. The Hanford Declassification Project (HDP) was initiated by RL to declassify to the maximum possible extent all previously classified Hanford operations information (documents and photographs). There are over 77,000 declassified photographs of early Hanford (1943 – 1960) available… \These World War II and Cold War era photographs depict early Hanford construction and the employees/families who lived and build/operated the site.”

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