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on Friday, 22 October 2010
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Friday Photo History: Eddie Tolan's 1926 Cass Tech Track Team

Title: Eddie Tolan's 1926 Cass Tech Track Team
Year: 1926
Collection: Eddie Tolan Collection

This may just appear to be a photo of the 1926 Cass Tech Track Team, but it is actually much more than that. This is a photo from the Eddie Tolan Collection. Eddie 'The Midnight Express' Tolan is a member of the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame who was inducted in 1982. In the photo he is in the first row, second from the left. Eddie moved to Detroit when he was fifteen years old. His track and field triumphs at Cass Tech would take him to the University of Michigan, where he earned a scholarship and his undergraduate degree. From 1929-1932 Tolan held the world record in the 100-yard dash. He went on to win the 1931 national collegiate 220-yard title as well as four National AAU sprint titles. At the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, Tolan won gold medals in the 100 and 200-yard dashes. Over his sprinting career Tolan would win 300 races and only lose 7. In 1956, Tolan became a teacher in physical and health education at Irving Elementary School on Detroit's west side. Eddie Tolan passed away in 1967 of kidney failure.  Several of his items were donated to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, including medals and a pair of his track shoes, which are on display in the Black Bottom barbershop portion of the And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture exhibit.

Information from the USA Track and Field HOF and Jet Magazine.  Photograph courtesy of the Collections and Exhibitions department of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (  Research, caption and scanning by Derek Thomas Sojda.  For more information, please contact the Louise Lovett Wright Library and Robert L. Hurst Research Center at (313) 494-5840 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  For this and other informative posts, please visit

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