Closing Out the 2016 (& 1904) Olympics

Well, the Rio games are finally over. And I can say that it went well. Meaning, my absurd Olympic appetite was fully sated in the last two weeks.  I watched hours upon hours of every badminton match, fencing duel, and steeplechase that I could. During my sixteen-day obsession, I took the opportunity to post daily Olympic history tidbits over on…

George Eyser’s Big Day at the 1904 Olympics

Here’s what I typed into Google a few days ago: “What is that clicky thing on an Olympic bow?” While enthralled with NBC’s archery coverage of the Rio Olympics over the past week, I kept noticing this little piece of metal (or maybe it’s plastic) on an archer’s bow flip down and “click” (it makes an audible “click”) just before an arrow was…

Adding a Bit of Color to St. Louis History

In recent months, I’ve noticed a trend in the world of digital photography that I think is pretty neat. In various blogs, social media feeds, and Internet articles, folks have been posting colorized versions of historic black and white photographs. Try googling something like “Civil War in color”, and you’ll find scores of Rebs in…

Rough Day at the 1904 Olympic Marathon

On August 30, 1904, thirty-two athletes from four nations lined up for a forty kilometer race at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis. It was the marathon race at the III Olympiad, and what happened over the next twenty-five miles or so is one of the best stories in the history of the sport. I’ve…

Olympic Lake, Olympic Drink

This is the corner of Skinker Boulevard and Wydown Boulevard on the western edge of Forest Park in St. Louis. At the World’s Fair in 1904, a large man-made lake existed on this exact location. It was called the “U.S. Life Saving Exhibition Lake”. The Coast Guard used it to stage life saving techniques during…

Pierre de Coubertin is a Jerk

St. Louis is one of the few American cities that can claim it hosted the Olympics. At the games of the III Olympiad in 1904, 651 athletes from eleven nations competed in fifteen sports. It’s a highlight of St. Louis history, but to some historians, it’s considered a low point in Olympic history. Since moving…

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