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Miami High School Photographs 1950

CP SPC 340


Overview of the Collection

Creator: Miami High School (Miami, Ariz.)
Title: Miami High School Photographs
Inclusive Dates: 1950
Quantity: 20 Photographs (0.02 Linear Feet)
Abstract:This collection houses twenty photographs depicting students at Miami High School during the 1950-51 school year. Most of the images show the basketball team, widely known as the "Mighty Miami Vandals," which won the Class B State Basketball Championship. Also included are photographs of children descending from the families of early Miami settlers. All of these images are copied from Miami High School's yearbook, the Concentrator.
Identification: CP SPC 340
Language: Material in English
Repository: Arizona State University Library. Greater Arizona Collection
Arizona State University Library
P.O. Box 871006
Tempe, AZ 85287-1006
Phone: (480) 965-4932
E-Mail: archives@asu.edu
Questions? Ask An Archivist!

Historical Note

Miami, a small mining town in central Arizona, was first settled in 1909. The town's major industry is copper production, so most of the town's residents worked in the mines in some capacity. Miami suffered from the racism and discrimination rampant in the United States during the early 20th century, including segregated educational facilities and the "Mexican Scale," under which non-white workers were excluded from supervisory positions and paid less than their Anglo counterparts for the same work. Miami High School was founded in 1916. Primary education was segregated, with Anglo children attending the George Washington Elementary School or the Inspiration Addition School and Mexican American children attending Bullion Plaza Elementary School. Miami High School was integrated, but discrimination against non-white students was widespread.

Ernest Kivisto came to Miami High School in 1947, where he taught English and coached the Miami Vandals basketball team. Kivisto quickly discovered that the team included a number of talented Mexican American players, many of whom had grown up playing basketball at the "Mexican Y," and under Kivisto's leadership the Vandals surpassed both state and national scoring records in their first season. Kivisto also fought to secure proper equipment for the Vandals, including making a deal with Converse to procure new uniforms, shoes, and warm-ups. Previously, the team's uniforms were extremely old and many players needed to borrow each other's clothes and shoes in order to play. Kivisto also insisted that his players wear suits and ties on game days, purchasing these items himself if the player could not afford them.

Kivisto emphasized teamwork, insisting that his players put aside their prejudices and treat each other as equals on the basketball court. He also stood up for his players when they encountered discrimination outside of basketball. In one memorable incident, he refused to allow part of the team to eat at a restaurant displaying a sign reading "No Mexicans Allowed" on the grounds that they were a team and if part of the team couldn't eat, then none of the team would. Word of this advocacy spread quickly, helping to unite not only the Vandals but also the town of Miami.

The 1950-51 basketball team, dubbed the "Mighty Miami Vandals," won the Class B State Basketball Championship after an undefeated season. Interestingly, they defeated the team from Carver High School, a segregated school for African Americans in Phoenix, to win this title. Miami was extraordinarily proud of its winning team and hosted several celebratory events, including the Miami Chamber of Commerce's "Vandal Night," which sold over 200 tickets. The Vandals were praised as far away as Helsinki, where a newspaper described the accomplishments of Ernest Kivisto, "a coach of Finnish extraction."

In addition to improving ethnic relations in Miami, the championship provided opportunities for the players, many of whom were offered athletic scholarships that allowed them to attend college. After graduation, the former Vandals went on to professional careers, thus escaping a working-class environment and achieving the upward mobility their parents had sought. Although Kivisto left Miami to accept a position at East Moline High School in Moline, Illinois, he remembered the Vandals as "the 'dream team,' the team every coach hopes and plans for, but never quite gets."


Scope and Content Note

This collection houses twenty photographs depicting students at Miami High School during the 1950-51 school year. Most of the images show the basketball team, widely known as the "Mighty Miami Vandals," which won the Class B State Basketball Championship. Also included are photographs of children descending from the families of early Miami settlers. All of these images are copied from Miami High School's yearbook, the Concentrator.


Arrangement

This collection consists of a single folder.

Restrictions

Access Restrictions

To view this collection, make an appointment at least five business days prior to your visit by contacting Ask an Archivist or calling (480) 965-4932. Appointments in the Distinctive Collections Wurzburger Reading Room at Hayden Library (rm. 138) on the Tempe campus are available on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Note: All library reading rooms are currently closed as part of the ASU Library's COVID-19 response. Ask an Archivist is available Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., for reference assistance regarding collection materials.

Copyright

Arizona State University does not own copyright to this collection. Distinctive Collections recognizes that it is incumbent upon the researcher to procure permission to publish information from this collection from the owner of the copyright.


Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Kivisto, Ernest (Ernest Toivo), 1921-2003

Corporate Name(s)
Miami High School (Miami, Ariz.)

Subject(s)
Basketball
Mexican American high school boys -- Arizona -- Miami
School sports -- Arizona -- Miami


Administrative Information

Credit Line

Miami High School Photographs, CP SPC 340. Arizona State University Library: Greater Arizona Collection.

Provenance

These photographs were separated from CP SPC 56, to which they had been erroneously appended, in 2017 (Accession #2017-05082).


Container List

1Miami High School Basketball Players in Uniforms and on the Court, 1950
The Miami High School Vandals successfully defended their Eastern Conference Championship Title.
Personal Name(s)
Kivisto, Ernest (Ernest Toivo), 1921-2003
Jacott, Hector Mario, 1932-2000
Romero, Jesus F. (Jesus Fernandez), 1931-2011
Arduengo, Serafin, 1931-2007
Delgadillo, Manuel (Jose Manuel), 1931-
Huerta, Elias Delgadillo, 1932-

2Leigh Larson, Basketball Standout for the Vandals, 1950
Leigh Larson, son of IUMMSW Labor Organizer Orville Larson, played on the 1951 State basketball championship team
Personal Name(s)
Larson, Leigh (Edward Leigh), 1934-1991
Larson, Orville (Orville Delbert), 1905-1985

3The Miami Vandals in Action on the Court Against Clifton, 1950
Lazovich wore number 99.
Personal Name(s)
Lazovich, Eli (Eli Sam), 1933-2003

4Rudy Moreno Scores for the Vandals, 1950
Moreno played on the 1951 Miami High School state championship team.
Personal Name(s)
Moreno, Rudy (Rudolph), 1933-2012

5In the Huddle With Coach Ernest Kivisto, 1950
Personal Name(s)
Kivisto, Ernest (Ernest Toivo), 1921-2003

6The Vandals Fight for the Basketball in Court Competition, 1950
Personal Name(s)
Lazovich, Eli (Eli Sam), 1933-2003

7Action Shots of the Vandals in Court Competition, 1950
8Coach Ernest Kivisto at Pep Rally With the Miami High School Basketball Team and Members of the Letterman's Club, 1950
Personal Name(s)
Kivisto, Ernest (Ernest Toivo), 1921-2003

9Letterman's Club with their coaches, Kivisto, Cole, Daly, and Wilhite. Miami High School, 1950
Personal Name(s)
Kivisto, Ernest (Ernest Toivo), 1921-2003
Cole, Ben (Benjamin Stewart), 1908-2002
Daly, George
Wilhite, H. H. (Hansel Harry), 1901-1974

10Anna Lee Price. Junior Class. Miami High School, 1950
The Price family were among the early residents of Miami, Arizona.
Personal Name(s)
Price, Anna Lee, 1935-

11Alice Moore. Junior Class. Miami High School, 1950
The Moore family were among the early residents of Miami, Arizona. Daisy Moore, Alice's mother, taught at the segregated Dunbar School in Globe.
Personal Name(s)
Westbrooks, Alice (Alice Moore), 1934-
Moore, Daisy (Daisy L. Nelson), 1909-1985

12Freshmen Class, Miami High School, 1950
Among the students is Shirley Gardner. The Gardner family were among the early residents of Miami, Arizona.
Personal Name(s)
Lewis, Shirley (Shirley Ann Gardner), 1935-1997

13Girls' Athletic Association. Miami High School, 1950
Among the students is Miss Meadows. The Meadows family were among the earliest residents of Miami, Arizona.
14Freshman Class. Miami High School, 1950
Among the students is Miss Meadows. The Meadows family were among the earliest residents of Miami, Arizona.
15Ernest Kivisto, Basketball Coach, 1950
At Miami High School, Kivisto taught English and sponsored the Letterman's Club in addition to coaching basketball.
Personal Name(s)
Kivisto, Ernest (Ernest Toivo), 1921-2003

16Miami High School Basketball Team. Eastern Conference Champions, 1950
This team won the Eastern Conference title three years in a row. In 26 games they scored 1,948 points for a 57.6 average compared to their opponents' 1,107 points for a 42.5 average.
Personal Name(s)
Kivisto, Ernest (Ernest Toivo), 1921-2003
Jacott, Hector Mario, 1932-2000
Larson, Leigh (Edward Leigh), 1934-1991
Lazovich, Eli (Eli Sam), 1933-2003
Moreno, Rudy (Rudolph), 1933-2012
Acevedo, Lupe Apodaca, 1932-1993
Trujillo, Fito (Adolpho), 1932-
Gutierrez, Joe

17Coach Ernest Kivisto with Lupe Acevedo and Alfredo Lobato. Miami High School, 1950
Coach Ernest Kivisto being congratulated by Lupe Acevedo and Alfred Lobato for winning the Eastern Conference Basketball Title.
Personal Name(s)
Lobato, Alfred L., 1932-
Acevedo, Lupe Apodaca, 1932-1993
Kivisto, Ernest (Ernest Toivo), 1921-2003

18Coach Ernest Kivisto with Lupe Acevedo and Eli Lazovich Packing his Car for a Basketball Road Trip, 1950
Personal Name(s)
Acevedo, Lupe Apodaca, 1932-1993
Kivisto, Ernest (Ernest Toivo), 1921-2003
Lazovich, Eli (Eli Sam), 1933-2003

19Miami High School Basketball Team Dressed in Suits, with Coaches Ernest Kivisto and Ben Cole, 1950
Coach Kivisto insisted that the team wear sport coats or suits whenever they travelled to games away from home.
Personal Name(s)
Kivisto, Ernest (Ernest Toivo), 1921-2003
Cole, Ben (Benjamin Stewart), 1908-2002

20Miami High School Basketball Players in Uniforms and on the Court, 1950
It was said that Miami's basketball team were the first in their division to wear white high top tennis shoes in competition.
Personal Name(s)
Acevedo, Lupe Apodaca, 1932-1993
Trujillo, Fito (Adolpho), 1932-
Lazovich, Eli (Eli Sam), 1933-2003
Moreno, Rudy (Rudolph), 1933-2012
Gutierrez, Joe
Lobato, Alfred L., 1932-