Today in History: First Ironman in Hawaii in 1978

Today in History: First Ironman in Hawaii in 1978

41 years ago today, the first “Ironman Triathlon” was held in Kailua-Konain, The world championship has been held annually since 1978 (with an additional race in 1982) and is preceded by a series of qualifying Ironman events. The race consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. It is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world. Most Ironman events have a limited time of 17 hours to complete the race. The race typically starts at 7:00 a.m.; the mandatory swim cut off for the 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim is 9:20 a.m. (2 hours 20 minutes), the mandatory bike cut off time is 5:30 p.m. (8 hours 10 minutes), and the mandatory marathon cut off is midnight (6 hours 30 minutes). Any participant who manages to complete the triathlon in these timings is designated an Ironman. Source: wikipedia.org

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Today in History: Davis Cup established in 1900

Today in History: Davis Cup established in 1900

119 years ago today, the silver trophy known today as the Davis Cup is first put up for competition when American collegian Dwight Filley Davis challenges British tennis players to come across the Atlantic and compete against his Harvard team.

Davis, born in St. Louis, Missouri, won the intercollegiate tennis singles championship in 1899. In the summer of that year, he and his Harvard teammates traveled to the West Coast to play against some of California’s best players. Impressed by the enthusiasm with which spectators greeted the national competition, Davis decided to propose an international tennis event. He won the support of the U.S. National Lawn Tennis Association and personally spent $750 on the construction of an elegant silver trophy bowl, 13 inches high and 18 inches in diameter. In February 1900, Davis put the International Lawn Tennis Challenge Trophy up for competition.

Great Britain, regarded as the world’s leading tennis power, answered Davis’ challenge, and on August 8, 1900, three top British players came to the Longwood Cricket Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, to compete against Davis and his all-Harvard team.

Davis had devised a three-day format for the event that still exists today: two singles matches on the first and third days, and a doubles match on the second day. He was captain of the U.S. team and on August 8 received serve on the very first Davis Cup point, which he hit out. He ended up triumphing in the singles match, however, and the next day with Holcombe Ward defeated the British doubles team. Rain forced the cancellation of two of the singles matches, and the first Davis Cup ended with a 3-0 Harvard sweep.

Davis was famous for his powerful left-handed serve and concentrated on a risky net play strategy that won him brilliant victories and unexpected defeats. With Ward, he won the U.S. doubles title in 1900 and 1901, and he was ranked fourth nationally in 1902. That year, the British returned for a Davis Cup rematch in New York, and the star American doubles team succumbed to the ascendant Doherty brothers–Laurie and Reggie. The United States pulled ahead in singles, however, and kept the International Lawn Tennis Challenge Trophy with a 3-2 overall victory.

The next year, the Doherty brothers helped take the trophy back to England for the first time. In 1904, Belgium and France entered the Davis Cup competition, and soon after, Australia and New Zealand, whose players played collectively as Australasia. The trophy did not return to the U.S. until 1913 and then stayed only for a year before departing for Australasia.

After receiving a law degree, Dwight Davis returned to St. Louis and became involved in local politics. Beginning in 1911, he served as public parks commissioner and built the first municipal tennis courts in the United States. He fought in World War I and earned the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery. In 1920, he made an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate but the next year traveled to Washington nonetheless as director of the War Finance Corporation. Beginning in 1923, he served as assistant secretary of war under President Calvin Coolidge and in 1925 was made secretary of war proper. In 1929, President Herbert Hoover appointed him governor-general of the Philippines, and he served in this post–which essentially made him the ruler of the Philippines–for the next four years.

Throughout his distinguished career as a statesman, Davis remained involved in tennis as both an avid recreational player and an administrator. In 1923, he served as president of the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association. When the International Lawn Tennis Challenge Trophy ran out of room for names, he donated a large silver tray to go with the bowl.

Today, the Davis Cup, as the International Lawn Tennis Challenge Trophy is commonly known, is the premier trophy of international team tennis. Each year, dozens of nations compete for the right to advance to the finals. Shortly before his death in 1945, David said of the growing prestige of the Davis Cup, “If I had known of its coming significance, it would have been cast in gold.”
Source: http://www.history.com.

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Today in History: National League of Baseball founded in 1876

Today in History: National League of Baseball founded in 1876

143 years ago today, the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, commonly known as the National League (NL), was formed. The American League (AL) was established in 1901 and in 1903, the first World Series was held. The first official game of baseball in the United States took place in June 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey. In 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings became America’s first professional baseball club. Two years later, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players was established as the sport’s first “major league.” In 1876, Chicago businessman William Hulbert formed the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs to replace the National Association. The National League had eight original members: the Boston Red Stockings, Chicago White Stockings, Cincinnati Red Stockings, Hartford Dark Blues, Louisville Grays, Mutual of New York, Philadelphia Athletics and the St. Louis Brown Stockings. Source: history.com.

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Today in History: Muhammed Ali born in 1942

Today in History: Muhammed Ali born in 1942

Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. Nicknamed “The Greatest”, he is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest boxers of all time. Ali passed away on June 3, 2016.

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Today is National Milk Day

Today is National Milk Day

The first day milk arrived by delivery in bottles was on January 11, 1878. National Milk Day commemorates this day and the delivery of this important staple beverage in America. Some trivia? The United States and Australia are the world’s largest exporters of milk and milk products. Throughout the world, there are more than 6 billion consumers of milk and milk products. Aside from cattle, many kinds of livestock provide milk used by humans for dairy products. These animals include buffalo, goat, sheep, camel, donkey, horse, reindeer and yak. Source: nationaldaycalendar.com.

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Today in History: Max Bill born in 1908

Today in History: Max Bill born in 1908

110 years ago today, Swiss architect, artist, painter and graphic designer Max Bill was born.

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Today in History: Basketball was invented in 1891

Today in History: Basketball was invented in 1891

127 years ago today, the game of basketball was created by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts. Naismith wrote the sport’s original 13 rules to create a game that could be played in YMCA gyms during the cold winter months. Initially, teams were made up of nine players attempting to toss a soccer ball into peach baskets secured to the balconies at the ends of a gymnasium. When a basket was made, the game was paused while a man with a ladder had to retrieve the ball. Following the first public matches in 1892, popularity of the new game spread quickly. The first intercollegiate match was played in 1895 and the first professional league was founded in 1898.  Nets did not replace the sport’s original peach baskets until 1905.

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