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1.2.2 Port Hueneme Seabees at Bond Rally Drive in downtown Ventura, September 1943

Aerial view of marching Port Hueneme Seabees on a street in downtown Ventura, spectators on sidelines. Image originally obtained from NAVFAC Archives U.S. Navy, Port Hueneme.
United States. Navy

Port Hueneme Seabees at Bond Rally Drive in downtown Ventura, September 1943; Black Gold Cooperative Library System

This is a gathering of many people in the city of Ventura (Southern California) in 1943. Why do you think they have come together? Who are the men in the photograph, and what are they doing? How do you think the people are feeling as they watch the parade? How do you think the men who are marching are feeling?
Parades are festive community events that are organized by both civic and government agencies. They usually happen in central locations, such as this military parade in downtown Ventura during World War II. Students may be familiar with or may have attended parades in their communities — Fourth of July, St. Patrick's Day, Gay Pride, Lunar New Year, Thanksgiving, and Veteran's Day are just a few possibilities. The African American men marching are enlisted in the US Navy and are members of the Port Hueneme Seabees. Seabees are responsible for building and maintaining naval installments. These Seabees are most likely in a segregated unit, as President Harry Truman did not desegregate the US military until 1948. Encourage students to think about what events warrant streets to be closed off for parades and parades' purpose for the people who participate and those who are spectators.

Photograph of people in uniform lined up in formation, with onlookers.