On August 6, 1890, baseball great Cy Young pitched his first professional game, leading the Cleveland Spiders past the Chicago Colts. Over the course of his 22-year career, Young won at least 508 games (511 is the generally accepted number) and averaged more than 23 victories per season. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937.
“Cy” Young, Cleveland’s veteran pitcher, has had a long and successful career. Among his greatest individual feats are a game of May 5, 1904, when not one of the hard-hitting Athletics reached first base, and another June 30, 1908, against the Highlanders, when only one man got “on” in nine innings. Prior to 1910 he failed only three times in his many years pitching to turn in a majority of victories. In 1910 he won his 500th game, an unsurpassed record. August 12, 1908, “Cy” Young Day was celebrated in Boston. He was presented with the entire receipts of the game, and more silverware and floral designs than he could carry.
Born Denton True Young in Gilmore, Ohio, on March 29, 1867, Young earned his nickname when he tore off several fence boards with his pitches, leading a bystander to observe that the fence looked like it had been hit by a cyclone. He played for the Cleveland Spiders from 1890 until 1898, spent the next two years with St. Louis, and then signed with the Boston Americans (renamed the Red Sox in 1908) in the American League. Young’s final season was 1911, which he split between the Cleveland Naps and the National League’s Boston Rustlers. The Cy Young Award, instituted in 1956, is given annually to the best pitcher in each professional league.
- Explore the online exhibition, Baseball Americana.
- Examine additional memorabilia through the Library’s Baseball Cards collection, which includes 2,100 early baseball cards dating from 1887 to 1914. See the special presentation “Tinkers to Evers to Chance!” — a tribute to three of Young’s baseball contemporaries.
- Find more pictures and stories of the game. See the special presentation Early Baseball Pictures, 1860s to 1920s in the collection By Popular Demand: Jackie Robinson and Other Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s.
- Search across the collections on baseball, or search Today in History on baseball, to learn about legendary baseball players such as Jackie Robinson, Connie Mack, and Satchel Paige.
- Search Chronicling America, a database of historic American newspapers, on the phrase Cy Young to find articles about and images of Young, as well as recaps and box scores for games in which he pitched. See also the special presentation Baseball’s World Series(1903-1922): Topics in Chronicling America.
- Review Baseball Resources at the Library of Congress, a comprehensive online guide to baseball-related materials available on the Library’s website and in its physical collections.
On August 6, 1848, Susie King Taylor was born on a plantation in Georgia. In spite of her enslavement, she became a teacher, a nurse, and the only African American woman to write a Civil War memoir.
Taylor’s grandmother obtained permission for Taylor to live in Savannah with her. Although illegal, she also arranged for Taylor to learn to read and write.
When the Civil War started, Taylor, her uncle, and his family eventually made it to St. Simons Island, where Union Troops were stationed. Here, Taylor met and married Sergeant Edward King who served with the 1st Carolina Volunteers, later the 33d United States Colored Troops (USCT). When her husband and the soldiers left the island for active duty, Taylor departed with them. She used her education to serve as their teacher and her skill as a nurse to care for them. Although she received much praise for her work, she never received any compensation. Regardless of this, when she settled in Boston after the war, she continued to serve veterans through various organizations.
In 1898 Taylor traveled from Boston to Shreveport, Louisiana to care for her gravely ill son. During her stay, she observed outrageous regulations and appalling race-related practices that forced Black people into servile positions, restricted their rights, and sometimes resulted in their death.
When she returned to Boston, Susie was inspired to honor the members of the 33d USCT. She wanted history to remember that Black soldiers and other military personnel like her made sacrifices to win the war, end slavery, and reunite the Union. Taylor accomplished this with her 1902 publication, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops, Late 1st S.C. Volunteers.
Taylor concludes her memoir by writing:
“….my people are striving to attain the full standard of all other races born free in the sight of God, and in a number of instances have succeeded. Justice we ask,—-to be citizens of these United States, where so many of our people have shed their blood with their white comrades, that the stars and stripes should never be polluted.”
Reminiscences of My Life in Camp With the 33d United States Colored Troops, Late 1st S. C. Volunteers, by Susie King Taylor. Boston, 1902. p75-76.
- Read Reminiscences of My Life in Camp With the 33d United States Colored Troops, Late 1st S. C. Volunteers, by Susie King Taylor
- Follow the life of Susie King Taylor through the story map, Susie King Taylor: An African American Nurse and Teacher in the Civil War.
- Read the following blog posts that honor Susie King Taylor and other African American women who served their country:
- From the Picture This blog, read Susie King Taylor: The Courage of an African American Nurse and Teacher.
- From the Inside Adams blog, read Honoring African American Contributions in Medicine: Nurses.
- Find additional autobiographies and biographies in African American Women Authors of the Civil War Era: A Resource Guide.
- Explore the research guide, African American Women in the Military and at War.
- Search for African American women in the Veteran’s History Project.