1939 - 1944 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF A YOUNG STUDIOUS WOMAN WITH AN ACTIVE SOCIAL LIFE OF FRIENDS, FASHION, AND BOYS UNTIL SHE GRADUATES HIGH SCHOOL AND BEGINS HER STUDIES AS A PROMISING NURSING STUDENT

By: MARY LUCILLE ARCHER

Price: $2,255.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is the five year diary of Mary Lucille Archer, a High School aged girl living an exciting life in Little Rock, Arkansas. The diary begins in 1939 with Lucille finishing her last year of Middle School and beginning her first year of high school. Her entries early in the diary are fairly simple and easy, stating in a matter-of-fact way the events of the day. She attends school everyday, studies quite often, and states that she graduates from middle school with ‘all four honors’. She also spends time with many of the friends who will stay with her throughout all of her highschool years. She writes often of having a ‘grand time.’ There are very few entries from 1940, and they are usually short statement. Usually they just say “Letter from Margaret” who is the author’s sister. 1941 and 1942 have the most consistent entries in the diary, showing a maturing woman coming into her own in the South. She travels occasionally, going to places such as Nashville, Memphis, and (in the summer) the very small town of Meridian, Arkansas where a good bit of her extended family lives. Starting in 1941, there is now almost constant talk of boys, fashion, and friends. She has a number of suitors in these years, and she often goes on dates with these boys, sometimes a number of dates in a week. She also attends church occasionally, goes horseback riding often in the summer, sees movies and plays, and in general lives a social and active young life. After she graduated cum laude from High School in 1942, she has an active summer with family and friends, and then gets a job at a local department store. This does not last long though, as she writes that she goes to see ‘Sister Mary Louis about getting in training’ for nursing at St. Vincent’s School of Nursing in Little Rock. The Sister gives her an application. At the very end of the month, December 29th, Mary is accepted into St. Vincent’s, where she will study until 1946, graduating and becoming a Registered Nurse. The very back pages of the book contain a number of addresses of people mentioned in the diary , as well as lists of birthdays, 1942 Christmas presents, and Graduation presents. The front cover of the book states “The Property of: Mary Lucille Archer. 5516 West 29th St. Little Rock, Arkansas.” There is also a little note in the top corner that reads, “From: Aunt Jessie. Christmas 1938.” Mary’s handwriting is easily legible and a delight to read. It is mostly written in pen, but there are occasional entries in pencil. The diary is roughly 380 pages long, and roughly half of the pages have writing in them. Most dates only include an entry for one year, however there are plenty that have two years, and a handful that have three or more years on them. The book is in good condition, showing minimal wear. The front cover is in red leather and shows a bit of discoloration. Structurally, the book is in very good condition. Excerpts from the diary: “May 27, 1939. Got up. Read the paper. Went to town and got my graduation dress. Came home and went to bed.”; “May 30, 1939. Graduated from M.S. I got all four honors. Only one that was clapped for. Went to H.S. graduation. Mr. ‘B’ said I did fine and made fine grades.”; “August 6, 1941. Had a lovely birthday. Got lots of nice things. Went to see ‘Double Date’ with Bud, James and Helen”; “September 8, 1941. Started to school. Went over to the church. Came home, took a bath, got my lessons, and went to bed.”; “January 19, 1942. Had (final) test in Home Management. Made 297/329. Letters from Merle and Ben Edelen.”; “February 9, 1942. Letters from Merle and Ben. Changed from Standard time to War time.” [During World War II, Congress enacted the War Time Act on January 20, 1942. Year-round Daylight saving time was reinstated in the United States on February 9, 1942, as a wartime measure to conserve energy resources]; “April 12, 1942. Went to school. Heard the choir broadcast over N.B.C. Selma, Bessie Ann, and I went to zoo and around with 3 soldier boys.”; “May 17, 1942. Sang at Me. Church in 2nd period. Sr. girls glee club. Went to W.A.C. church afterward and home.”; “May 29, 1942. I graduated from High School. I was the 5th one to graduate. I was an honor graduate with 24.5 honor credits.”; “June 25, 1942. Had a blind date with Jimmy Hawk. He is a very nice boy. David Williams drowned.”; “August 21, 1942. Had a date with Rodney Allen. He took me to see the ‘Magnificent Dope’ and afterwards let me drive some.”; “November 17, 1942. I applied for jobs at Cohn’s and Pfeifers. Mr. Rice at Pfeifer told me to come work at Pfeifer’s the next day at 9:00 A.M.”; “December 29, 1942. Letter of acceptance from St. Vincent’s. Letter from Geo. with 2 blank checks. Went to town with Ray. Got a pair of nurses shoes.” (Background: Mary Lucille Archer was born August 6, 1925 to George Thornton Archer, Sr. and Irma John Ray Archer. She was a Cum Laude graduate of Little Rock Sr. High in 1942. Mary graduated with honors from St. Vincent School of Nursing in January 1946 and was a Registered Nurse. She worked at hospitals in Wellesley, MA and St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock. She later worked with her husband in the real estate, insurance and construction businesses while raising their family. As the youngest of five children, Mary devoted many years caring for elderly parents and siblings. She was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Little Rock for 34 years where she taught Sunday school. From 1979 until 2009, she was a member of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church. Mary was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Col. (USA Ret.) James M. Collins.)

Title: 1939 - 1944 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF A YOUNG STUDIOUS WOMAN WITH AN ACTIVE SOCIAL LIFE OF FRIENDS, FASHION, AND BOYS UNTIL SHE GRADUATES HIGH SCHOOL AND BEGINS HER STUDIES AS A PROMISING NURSING STUDENT

Author Name: MARY LUCILLE ARCHER

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Manuscript, 20th Century Diary,

Publisher: LITTLE ROCK ARKANSAS, AK, ST. VINCENT'S, 1939

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall

Seller ID: 0009069

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