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World War II Author Talk: “The Steagles” with Matthew Algeo

May 2, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT


Tracing the history of the National Football League during World War II, Matthew will delve into the severe player shortage during the war which led to the merging of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles in 1943, creating the “Steagles.” The team’s center was deaf in one ear, its wide receiver was blind in one eye (and partially blind in the other), and its halfback had bleeding ulcers. One player was so old he’d never before played football with a helmet. Yet somehow, this group of players—deemed unfit for military service due to age or physical ailment—posted a winning record in the league, to the surprise of players and fans alike. Digging into the history of the war paralleled by the unlikely story of the Steagles franchise, both sports fans and history buffs will enjoy this talk about the cultural significance of this motley crew of ball players during a trying time in United States history.

About the author:

Matthew Algeo is an award-winning journalist and author. He has reported from four continents, and his stories have appeared on some of the most popular public radio programs in the United States.

He is the author of five books, including Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip, which was named one of the best books of 2009 by the Washington Post.
In addition to reporting and writing, Algeo has held jobs as a convenience store clerk, a gas station attendant, a Halloween costume salesman, and a proofreader. He also worked in a traveling circus (as a hot dog vendor; no acrobatics involved).
Algeo holds a degree in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania.
His wife, Allyson, is a United States Foreign Service officer who has served in Mali, Mongolia, and Mozambique. They currently live in Arlington, Virginia, with their daughter, Zaya.


Admission donations benefit West Overton Village and Museums. Books will be available for sale following the presentation.


May 2, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


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