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Thursday’s Photo Caption Contest


Thinking it was only a myth, the kids were surprised to find the world did actually end at the edge of town.

Ladies and Gentlemen, you have astounded your judge with your caption compositions. Words and phrases like “historical sub-context” and “ingenuity” were used. Also used was the word “shibboleth,” which I had to look up. For the uninitiated, it refers to “any distinguishing practice that is indicative of one’s social or regional origin,” and it was used in reference to Wendy Gish’s winning caption. Not only has she won the approving nod from our esteemed guest judge, but like all our winners, also won 30% off at the National Archives e-Store.

As to the actual caption related to this photo, no, the kids photographed did not arrive at the end of the world, but instead, they arrived upon a small stream. “In 1938, rare flooding in southern California severed a road, trapped an automobile and drew a crowd” according to the book Your Land, Our Land, which highlights the holdings of our regional archives.

This week we dug deep into the Archives to find another photo stripped of context just waiting for a caption to captivate our next guest judge. But who is our mysterious judge? Will he be able to use shibboleth in a sentence? In fact, he will. To find a judge capable of keeping pace with the prose on Pieces of History, we’ve asked Jim Worsham, editor-in-chief extraordinaire of Prologue magazine, to weigh in on what will win this week. And while you’re searching for the right words for your caption, keep an eye out for the summer issue of Prologue, too—on your iPad, in your mailbox, or on your desktop next week.

Your Caption Here!

Your Caption Here!

For starters:

After a three day pursuit, the hunting party finally cornered the elusive white obelisk.

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Comment from Darren
Time July 22, 2010 at 9:02 am

The Confederate National Mall just didn’t quite have the same appeal as the one in DC.

Comment from Linda Wilky
Time July 22, 2010 at 10:30 am

NASA – the early days.

Comment from Gary Lutz
Time July 22, 2010 at 10:48 am

The specifications for the height of the structure were accidentally left off of the first copies of the construction plans for the Washington Monument.

Comment from Joanie Gearin
Time July 22, 2010 at 11:09 am

If we keep it in this tiny cage, hopefully it won’t grow bigger.

Comment from Harold McClendon
Time July 22, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Washington buried in volcano ash from eruption in Yellowstone National Park.

Comment from Rick B
Time July 22, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I got your point. No, really, I got your point!

Tether berth for all those balloons lost by children.

UFO signal trap.

Thaddeus to Elmer: “Now what should we do?!
Elmer to Thaddeus: “I TOLD you we shouldn’t use that ethanol mix rocket fuel for the missile!”

Houdini’s gravestone.

Gimme da key. GIMME DA KEY! I gotta go BAD and I CAN’T if you can see me!

Zero milestone. It ALL began here.

Pagliacci’s final resting place.

Comment from Bob Angelnutz
Time July 22, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Asian constructed obelisks really are smaller than their African and American counterparts.

Comment from Rebecca
Time July 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Ma, Look what we made out of our Legos!

Comment from Charley
Time July 24, 2010 at 11:22 pm

Washington Dept. of Zoning Control

Comment from Rebecca
Time July 26, 2010 at 3:03 pm

The remains of the Washington Monument after the July 16th earthquake.

Comment from Rebecca
Time July 28, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Advertising photo for Jones Brothers Fencing Company – Finely crafted fencing to fence in any object.