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Francis M. McAlister Scrapbook, 1924-1927: Finding Aid

Published in May 2019

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
  • Call number: MS 503
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Francis M. McAlister Scrapbook
  • Dates: 1924-1927
  • Size: 1.88 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 flat box, 1 half-manuscript box
  • Creator: McAlister, F. M. (Francis Marion), 1905-
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Francis M. McAlister was a General in the United States Marine Corps and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1927. The Francis M. McAlister Scrapbook spans from 1924 through 1927. The scrapbook, a product of McAlister's time as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, focuses on the Army-Navy sports rivalry, Naval Academy musical and dramatic productions, summer training cruises, and midshipman social life.

Biography of Francis M. McAlister

Francis Marion McAlister was born in Houck, Arizona on March 29, 1905. After completing one year of study at Mississippi A&M, McAlister received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy from Representative B. G. Lowrey of Mississippi. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy in 1927, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, rising to the rank of Major General at retirement. Early in his career, McAlister served in Nicaragua in 1928 and 1929 during the American occupation. He would later serve with the Fourth Marines in Shanghai.

At the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, McAlister was the commanding officer of the Marine Barracks at Oahu. He would go on to serve in seven campaigns in the Pacific during World War II, and would later be wounded in action during the Korean War. In 1954, he was assigned to Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, DC as Assistant Chief of Staff, remaining there until 1957. McAlister finished his career as Commander, Third Marine Division at Okinawa, with additional duty as Commanding General, Department of the Pacific. Major General McAlister retired from the Marine Corps in July 1960 and died on September 2, 1965 at the Air Force Base Hospital in Keesler, Mississippi.

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Description of Contents

The Francis M. McAlister Scrapbook, comprising 1.88 linear feet of documentation, spans from 1924 through 1927. The scrapbook, a product of McAlister's time as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, focuses on the Army-Navy sports rivalry, Naval Academy musical and dramatic productions, summer training cruises, and midshipman social life.

Included in the scrapbook are event programs, photographs, newspaper clippings, menus, postcards, tickets, schedules, and other pieces of ephemera.

Much of the focus of the scrapbook is on athletics. Naval Academy sports covered by the scrapbook include football, baseball, boxing, lacrosse, and track & field. Special attention is given to the 1923 Army-Navy Game at the Polo Grounds, the 1926 Army-Navy Game at Soldier Field, the 1924 Navy-Princeton football game, the 1926 Navy-Michigan football game, and Army-Navy baseball. Documentation includes game programs, season schedules, newspaper clippings, invitations to related events, and game and pep-rally photographs.

Musical and drama events covered in the scrapbook include both Naval Academy and non-Naval Academy productions, represented largely by event programs and show bills. Naval Academy produced shows include Gymkhana productions for 1924 through 1927; the Combined Musical Club production of "The Tale of the Comet, as well as the spring concerts of 1925 and 1927; and the Masqueraders productions of "Adam and Eva," "Bulldog Drummond," "A Full House," and "The Cat and the Canary." Non-Naval Academy shows include "Big Boy" featuring Al Jolson; various shows at Ford's Theater in Baltimore and several theaters on Broadway; and the Navy Relief Society productions of "The Blimp," "Clarence," and "Modern Methods."

The scrapbook includes documentation for at least two summer practice cruises, notably McAlister's 1924 cruise aboard U.S.S. Wyoming (Battleship: BB-32) and 1926 cruise aboard U.S.S. Utah (Battleship: BB-31). Among the cruise materials are information cards, station billets, event programs, ships' newspapers, and photographs. The scrapbook's selection of picture postcards from Torquay, the Royal Naval College, The Hague, and Naval Station Guantanamo Bay are presumably also artifacts of McAlister's practice cruises.

The scrapbook also includes hop cards and menus from social events such as the 1924 Christmas Hop, Christmas Dinner, Thanksgiving Dinner, and St. Patrick's Day celebrations at the Naval Academy. Throughout the scrapbook are photograph of the Academy's buildings and grounds. Towards the end of the volume, the scrapbook includes several pages of materials pertaining to June Week events and the graduation of the Class of 1927.

Filed separately from the scrapbook are a number of photographs of Naval Academy events, such as parades, graduation, and sporting events, as well as portraits of McAlister, other midshipmen, and their companions. There are also several photographs of aircraft and ships, the latter of which are likely the product of McAlister's summer cruises. Also included are several loose documents, including a dress parade program, swim team schedule, a telegram, and an additional postcard from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.

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The Francis M. McAlister Scrapbook is organized by document type.

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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Francis M. McAlister Scrapbook is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of Marsha Lynn Wilkins in February 2010. Accession No. 10-02.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to Francis M. McAlister in this repository include his Midshipman Personnel Jacket (sealed until 2022) and Alumni Jacket.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Francis M. McAlister Scrapbook, MS 503

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:

McAlister, Francis Marion Alumni Jacket, RG 405, Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in May 2019. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in May 2019.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • McAlister, F. M. (Francis Marion), 1905-
  • Midshipmen -- United States -- Conduct of life
  • United States Naval Academy -- Buildings and grounds
  • United States Naval Academy -- Football
  • United States Naval Academy -- Midshipmen -- Cruises
  • United States Naval Academy -- Social life and customs
  • United States Naval Academy -- Sports
  • United States Naval Academy -- Students
  • United States Naval Academy. Class of 1927

Genre Terms

  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Manuscripts
  • Photographs
  • Printed ephemera
  • Programs (documents)
  • Scrapbooks
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Scrapbook, 1924-1927

Box 2 Folder 1

Ephemera, 1925-1927, undated

Box 2 Folder 2

Photographs - Aircraft, undated

Includes a photograph of a biplane being salvaged, possibly from the Severn River.

Box 2 Folder 3

Photographs - Athletics, undated

Includes photographs of a track meet and an event on Lawrence Field.

Box 2 Folder 4

Photographs - Graduation, 1927

Graduation ceremonies inside Dahlgren Hall.

Box 2 Folder 5

Photographs - Midshipman Quarters, undated

Interior of a midshipman room in Bancroft Hall.

Box 2 Folder 6

Photographs - Parades and Formations, 1927, undated

Includes photographs of a dress parade and the Color Parade.

Box 2 Folder 7

Photographs - Portraits, 1926-1927 (approximate), undated

Includes a formal portrait of McAlister, as well as several group portraits and informal portraits arising from graduation and a 1926 trip to Valley Forge.

Box 2 Folder 8

Photographs - Ships and Cruises, undated

Photographs of battleships and destroyers, likely from a summer cruise, including one of a vessel in a canal lock.

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