Presented here are some of America's most important documents in the long hard struggle that has become the never ending battle for "Civil Rights": The court martial papers from the trial of Jackie Robinson. Actual file copies of the very papers putting American hero on trial during famous United States Army court martial! Fascinating piece of U.S. history absolves future Hall of Famer from charges of insubordination during World War II! Complete with hand-written initials of Jackie Robinson, future Hall of Famer during one of the most trying times of his young life!
Jackie Robinson was acquitted on August 2, 1944 after several hours of testimony. Who voted for acquittal and how many judges did so may remain unknown. What is known is every night during his ordeal; Robinson affirmed his faith in the Almighty by dropping to his knees to pray as he remembered his mother telling him "God will take care of you." After writing to the Adjutant General's office in Washington about his case, Robinson would leave the service with an honorable discharge in November of 1944.
The military court marshal papers presented in this auction represent not only a slice of the life of a Hall of Fame player, but a priceless link to an important moment in the civil rights history of the United States. On the day of his acquittal Robinson could not have imagined he would play baseball for the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers, the 1954 United States Supreme Court would order the desegregation of our nation's public schools, Rosa Parks, in 1965, would refuse to move to the back of a Montgomery, Alabama city bus, Martin Luther King, in 1955, would begin the nationwide civil rights movement, and Thurgood Marshall, in 1967, would be appointed as a United States Supreme Court justice. In the process of his defense to the charges, no Americans marched in Robinson's support, no civil rights attorneys offered to defend him and no newspaper reporters wrote articles of Robinson's unjust treatment because of his race.
The court martial papers include the acquittal order, the court martial charges, the witness statements, and the log notes referring to Robinson's concurrent agonizing ankle injury bring a special and an unrelenting reality to Robinson's struggle for his equality. When this auction lot is sold, the new owner will cherish the willingness to be a steward in caring for and in preserving this historical account of facts, and he or she will sense the chilling magnitude of Robinson's struggle for acquittal and equality.
This is not just an auction for some memorabilia regarding the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues. These are historic documents from a crossroads in the life of a great American who happened to be a man of color.
Make your best effort to obtain this incredible piece of American/Baseball History as you may never have another opportunity to acquire such an important artifact!
MIN BID $5,000 (RESERVE)
Special thanks to J. Catanzaro and M. Fogel for the assistance on this lot.
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