Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Mizell-Nelson, Michael

Second Advisor

Atkinson, Connie

Third Advisor

Goss, Andrew


The New Orleans Athletic Club, founded in 1872, is one of the oldest athletic clubs in the United States that still operates today. After the boom of the 1920s and increased revenues, the club was forced to confront the Great Depression and shift its emphasis on the "strenuous life" to the "social life" to survive. The club had capitalized on the popularity of boxing during the 1920s and just finished constructing a lavish new club house when the stock market crashed in 1929. With members losing their jobs, the popularity of boxing waning, and the club in dire financial straits, the club looked for alternative strategies to survive. Its "social life" strategy relied on the club's various political ties to cut expenses and increased incentives for membership, which led to a larger, albeit, limited presence of women at the club.


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