Francis M. McAlister Scrapbook, 1924-1927: Finding Aid
Published in May 2019
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 503
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: Francis M. McAlister Scrapbook
- Dates: 1924-1927
- Size: 1.88 linear feet (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.
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.
The Francis M. McAlister Scrapbook is organized by document type.
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.
Acquisition and Appraisal
Provenance and Acquisition
Gift of Marsha Lynn Wilkins in February 2010. Accession No. 10-02.
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.
Processing and Other Information
Francis M. McAlister Scrapbook, MS 503
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:
McAlister, Francis Marion Alumni Jacket, RG 405, Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.
This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in May 2019. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in May 2019.
These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.
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
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Programs (documents)