The picture above is not of actor James Franco. If captioning can be believed, this is the ‘youngest veteran’ of World War I, posing with other more appropriately aged and clothed veterans, next to some clearly satisfied women. (Notice what the lady in black is staring at.) Yes, he is handcuffed.
These pictures were taken in Queens at the Worlds Fair of 1939-40. The fair at Flushing-Meadows hosted many events throughout its duration honoring ‘Veterans of Foreign Wars’, although sadly the greatest war of them all was looming on the horizon.
I was not able to confirm the identify the scantily clad man in the photograph, but he might be Paul Iogolevitch, a corporal for the Russian army who allegedly enlisted when he was 13. [A 1919 Boys Life article wrote him an enthusiastic bio.] He wrote a book on his exploits and seems to have coasted on the ‘youngest veterans’ tag for, well, as long as the 1939-40 World’s Fair, apparently. (If that’s not Paul, I’m open to other guesses. But he looks like a hardy Russian man, no?)
If you liked that picture, you’ll love this one. I have absolutely no idea what the context is. Caption reads ‘”Youngest Veteran” handcuffed on boat’:
You can check out more of these unusual photographs in the New York Public Library archive.
I’m not sure if anybody will be handcuffed or wearing bikinis, but if you’re interested in the ’39 World’s Fair, I suggest you check out a new photography exhibit opening at the Queens Museum of Art — Luis MÃ¡rquez in the World of Tomorrow: Mexican Identity and the 1939-40 New York Worldâ€™s Fair. Marquez was the official photographer of the fair and advisor for the fair’s Mexican Pavilion. The show opens this Sunday, November 14.
5 replies on “The strangest Veterans Day pictures you will see today”
Maybe he was gonna pull a Houdini and escape from the handcuffs after being tossed overboard?
OMGosh. truth is stranger than fiction.
The military officer male in dark uniform is a Coast Guard Warrant Officer; the female in white uniform is a Coast Guard Petty Officer, 1st Class, the small boat, CG-5221, is a Cost Guard vessel, as is the row boat w/rower.
Since this was one of the few pages I fond when googling Paul Iogolevitch, I thought I’d note here that his war exploits were reported in New-York tribune., August 04, 1918, Page 5, Image 25. His book was The young Russian corporal; the story of the youngest veteran of the war (1919).
Checked Ancestry.com and someone had Paul in a member tree. He was living at Manhattan in federal censuses 1920 and 1930, died in New York Dec 7 1980. All photos of a younger man, but it is not impossible that that is him in your pics.