1816-1916 Centennial Lot Fort Armstrong (Rock Island Arsenal)


This is a scarce lot for an active participant in the Fort Armstrong Centennial Celebration June 18-24, 1916. White silk ribbon measures 7 1/2" tall overall, is in excellent condition and reads "1816-1916 - Ft. Armstrong Centennial - Guide - U.S.S.B.". The Button is 1 1/4" diameter and reads "Member - Honor League - Fort Armstrong Centennial - 1816-1916 - June 18-24".

I had a hard time figuring out what the U.S.S.B. was, until I stumbled across the article "Descendants of Black Hawk: Generations of Identity in Sauk Portraits" in the American Quarterly Magazine. The United Sunday School Band can be loosely described as a pack of young hooligans who dressed as Indians and whooped it up, engaged in digging up Indian graves searching for relics - even going so far as posing for photographs with Chief Black Hawk's skull. An interesting bit of Americana.

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