This Week in Universal News: The 64th Running of the Kentucky Derby, 1938

Did you enjoy a mint julep over the weekend in honor of the Kentucky Derby? This week, we look back to the sixty-fourth running of the Kentucky Derby, held on May 7th, 1938. The winner was long-shot Lawrin, the only Kansas-bred horse ever to win the race. Lawrin was buried beside his sire, Inisco, in his birthplace, now a city known as Prairie Village. Prairie Village honored the racehorse in on May 5th, 2007, with Lawrin’s Legacy Day.

From the release sheet:

Lawrin Winner In Derby Upset

Louisville, KY- After a night of mint juleps and carefree celebrations marking Kentucky’s welcome on the eve of America’s foremost turf classic, a colorful holiday crowd of 60,000 is driven into a frenzy as they see Herbert M. Woolf’s 9 to one shot boxed in at the start, fight his way through a superlative field, and with a splendid burst of power in the stretch, beat Dauber and Can’t Wait to score one of the most spectacular racing victories in years.

 From the production file:

The official program for the 1938 Kentucky Derby.

About the Universal Newsreel Collection at NARA:

The Universal Newsreel Collection is one of the most used motion picture collections at the National Archives and Records Administration. Universal Newsreels were shown in movie theaters twice a week, from 1929 until 1967, and covered a wide range of American life and history during that time period. Each release usually contained five to seven stories averaging two minutes in length.

In 1974, Universal deeded its edited newsreel and outtake collection to the United States through the National Archives (NARA), and did not place any copyright restrictions on its use (some stories may contain other underlying intellectual property or proprietary use rights).

While Universal disposed of many of the soundtracks, leaving the newsreels incomplete, supplementary material like scripts, shot lists, and event programs can be found in the production files, available for research at Archives II in College Park, Maryland.

Learn more about the Universal Newsreel Collection in this post and in this Prologue article. Watch other Universal Newsreels in our research room, in OPA, and on this playlist.