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Thursday’s Photo Caption Contest

We here at Prologue’s Pieces of History understand that history can be a very solemn study. Understanding past conflicts and pouring over the details of a battle, while exhilarating, can also be a trying, somber process.

But for all the wars and historic events that are cataloged in the National Archives, one thing is true: they often result in really funny photos, especially when pulled out of context.

And that’s why we want all you hard-working researchers and history aficionados to take a quick break and exercise your funny bone. We’ve compiled a growing number of awkward, strange, silly, and downright weird still images from our collection, and we’d like you to come up with funny captions for them.

Post your captions in the comment box below, and then our expert panel of judges (with occasional special guest judges) will announce who won the contest when we post a new photo next Thursday.  Every winner will get 30% off a one-time purchase from the National Archives e-Store, too.

UPDATE:  Our first guest judge is the Archivist, David S. Ferriero!

Insert your caption!

Insert your caption!

Here’s a caption to get you started:

“Oompah, loompah, doompa dee do…”

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Comments

Comment from Natalie Scala
Time June 17, 2010 at 10:03 am

Mattress Sheik: The Latest Style in 1940s Men’s Ware

Comment from Helio
Time June 17, 2010 at 10:09 am

Polish paratroopers.

Comment from Natalie Scala
Time June 17, 2010 at 10:21 am

Oops! I mean:

Mattress Chic: The Latest Style in 1940s Men’s Ware

Comment from Lori
Time June 17, 2010 at 10:27 am

Hope the bedbugs don’t bite!

Comment from Kathryn
Time June 17, 2010 at 10:36 am

Santa Suit: Step 1

Comment from Anna
Time June 17, 2010 at 10:38 am

Hit me with your best shot ;

Comment from Ron
Time June 17, 2010 at 10:44 am

America’s first test dummies.

Comment from Bill B
Time June 17, 2010 at 10:46 am

The evening hazing session starts at 8 pm.

Comment from Pilar
Time June 17, 2010 at 10:49 am

Puching-ball human

Comment from Mario Robert
Time June 17, 2010 at 10:57 am

Waiting for the dogs.

Comment from Irene
Time June 17, 2010 at 10:59 am

When regular Depends just won’t do…

Comment from Bull
Time June 17, 2010 at 11:02 am

The four brothers were determined not to “look like a fool wit’ yo’ mattress on the ground”.

Comment from Judy
Time June 17, 2010 at 11:03 am

Four bed-rolls to go!

Comment from Stephanie
Time June 17, 2010 at 11:54 am

Just in case there were people still unconvinced that the brothers were crazy, they tied on their mattresses and put on a fashion show for the neighbors.

Comment from Trey Takahashi
Time June 17, 2010 at 11:57 am

“In my day, we didn’t have cups!”

Comment from Bob Angelnuts
Time June 17, 2010 at 11:58 am

This led to new US laws, which not only required mattress tags but also were stamped in bold letters with the message “Do not remove under penalty of law.”

Comment from Brenna C
Time June 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm

The newest members of PAD: Pregnancy Apparatus for Dads.

Comment from Peter
Time June 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

The testing of the worlds first, and sadly unsuccessful, bullet proof vest.

Comment from Nancy A
Time June 17, 2010 at 12:49 pm

The origin for the term “doughboys.”

Comment from Linda
Time June 17, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Group photo – first annual meeting of Bedwetters Anonymous.

Comment from Beatriz
Time June 17, 2010 at 1:20 pm

This is… ¿bulletproof vest?

Comment from Beatriz
Time June 17, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Clean pipe and chimney sweeps

Comment from Beatriz
Time June 17, 2010 at 1:28 pm

To jump from ship to ship at sea, the sailor is introduced into a canyon and is released and is picked up by a network in the other boat

Comment from Francisco Jose
Time June 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm

To clean the inside of a large caliber cannon, tha sailor. The sailors are introduced into the barrel and dragged with ropes

Comment from Joel S
Time June 17, 2010 at 2:02 pm

“Hey Bill, fix your collar. You look ridiculous.”

Comment from Donna Fisher
Time June 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Before there were parachutes…

Comment from Jeff
Time June 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Brian was horrified when he discovered that not one, but three other people wore the same outfit to the party.

Comment from Harold
Time June 17, 2010 at 2:19 pm

These men are always prepared to go to the mattresses.

Pingback from Before the webinar, technology & archival captions | Elizabeth Skene
Time June 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

[...] National Archives is holding a photo caption contest – it’s being judged by none other than the Archivist of the United States himself AND [...]

Comment from Joel S
Time June 17, 2010 at 2:21 pm

“What do you mean they don’t have a mattress check?”

Comment from Marilyn R
Time June 17, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Project Runway: The War Effort

Comment from LGR
Time June 17, 2010 at 2:38 pm

“Does this outfit make me look fat?”

Comment from vwtheresa
Time June 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Stop drop and unrole!

Comment from Mikki D.
Time June 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm

The Japanese had hoped that Americans might embrace Sumo wrestling as a sport, however significant cultural differences arose that stymied their efforts.

Comment from Keith Ramsey
Time June 17, 2010 at 3:06 pm

“Isn’t it about time someone invented the parachute?”

Comment from SJH
Time June 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm

The first ones that we tied to our feet didn’t work out well in the test trials.

Comment from Cyn M
Time June 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm

The briefer historical inspiration for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – “DON’T ASK…”

Comment from JanisCJ
Time June 17, 2010 at 5:40 pm

The new silencers failed because none of the men could reach their sidearms.

Comment from JanisCJ
Time June 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm

All believed the enemy cavalry could easily be infiltrated by “human bedrolls.”

Comment from JanisCJ
Time June 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Sgt. Joe was known for his cruel way of dealing with bedwetters.

Comment from Laurie Stevens
Time June 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm

College students invent the first sleeping bags.

Comment from JanisCJ
Time June 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Preparations for shore leave were almost complete, if the lads could just convince Sgt. Joe they would not, once more, be looking for a fight.

Comment from JanisCJ
Time June 17, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Somehow, Cpl. Andy knew the salesman had not been completely honest in his glowing praise of the new “cloaks of invisibility.”

Comment from JanisCJ
Time June 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Suddenly, Pvt. Bill wished he had transferred his money to a wallet before leaving on his weekend pass.

Comment from Martin
Time June 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Do we really need these if the TITANIC is unsinkable?

Comment from Dawn A.
Time June 17, 2010 at 6:03 pm

“When Good Munchkins Go Bad”

Comment from Laura B
Time June 17, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Well, *somebody’s* about to get the stuffing knocked out of them….

Comment from Stephanie
Time June 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm

The SSG felt the punishment fit the crime, no doughboy would get gassed enough to call him a cootie ever again.

Comment from Meredith
Time June 17, 2010 at 8:47 pm

“Sir, I thought this was sleep study. I didn’t realize I signed up for a bed bug experiment.”

Comment from Jeff
Time June 17, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Who is the dummy now?

Comment from Bruce Guthrie
Time June 17, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Gees, guys… If these are the outfits we had to wear for the police line-up, just imagining the crime involved makes my head hurt.

Comment from Mike Peters
Time June 18, 2010 at 6:47 am

OK you two, no more excuses, if you don’t have to go, get back on the truck.

Comment from Bill LeFurgy
Time June 18, 2010 at 9:42 am

BP says that its “mattress shot” has an 80 per cent chance of success in plugging the leaking well.

Comment from Ron
Time June 18, 2010 at 9:57 am

Every soldier will make their bed each morning according to clear, governmental guidelines.

Comment from Matt
Time June 18, 2010 at 10:41 am

America Goes Over: At Heidelabed and Murphieabed the enemy first realized that the Yanks were there!

Comment from Battleshipbob
Time June 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm

BP’s answer to unemployment and oil cleanup in the Gulf

Comment from JBK
Time June 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Do these mattresses make us look fat?

Comment from Carol
Time June 20, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Check out our new mattresses. They take “falling into bed” to a whole new level!