Keepin’ Em Guessing
UPDATE: I looked up as much on the history of Polks as could easily be found online. In the mid fifties the Polks had just the single year range, example: 1955. Not 1955-1956. And the copyright (print date) was for that year. Example, Polk City Directory 1955, copyright 1955. The data was collected as a result of canvassing.
The Polk Co. did have computers installed (1958-1959) and by 1961 they were used for data compilation of automobile VIN numbers, and for direct mail campaigns. I could not find any indication that the canvassed City Directory info was processed in any way with any computer system in use by Polk Co. at that time.
When you look through the Polks I have recently posted, you notice that married women are listed as Mrs.. It was unthinkable to do otherwise back in the early sixties. Especially for a young girl who is JUST married and pregnant.
The Honolulu HI, Polk directory listing for obama’s mother, printed for the time range 1961-1962, shows obama, Ann, S (WND image)
Here is a crop of my own copy of the Ann obama Polk listing :
The Seattle Washington Polk directory listing for obama’s mother, printed for the same time range, 1961-1962, shows obama, Anna, Mrs.
Well, aside from the spelling in the Seattle Washington Polk for (Stanley) Ann being “Anna”, we also should note that she did not self identify as a “Mrs.” in the Hawaii Polk.
Quite unusual as she had a shotgun wedding at three months pregnant, presumably to legitimize her condition. That was the way it was done back then.
So, here we have a girl who is a teenager, who is pregnant with a virtual stranger. Who is pregnant by a man of a different race – a huge social issue, even for the most forward thinking back then.
She gets a fast wedding, goes so far as to list herself in the Polk under her married last name, but not as a Mrs.
Goes so far to list herself with her bright and shiny new name, legitimizing her baby-on-the-way, but stubbornly refuses to list herself and her brand new husband at the same address. Even if it was only done for the sake of appearances – you know, just like getting married.
Goes away almost immediately after being released from the hospital (a week on average back then). Travels all the way to Washington with a new little baby, then she does list herself as a Mrs..
The other little question that I have with the Polks is that the 1961-1962 Polks have been published exactly when? According to the WND article on it, they were “likely” published in September 1962. Well, I guess it somehow makes sense to publish a directory that contains info that is already over a year old. That would mean the Polk in Hawaii wasn’t even published until a year after Ann(a) S. moved away.