Today in History: First International Soccer Match in 1872

Today in History: First International Soccer Match in 1872

146 years ago today, the world’s first official international soccer match took place. The match between England and Scotland was held at West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick, Scotland. The game ended with a 0-0 draw.

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Today in History: FC Barcelona formed in 1899

Today in History: FC Barcelona formed in 1899

119 years ago today, the popular football (soccer) club FC Barcelona was founded by footballer Hans Gamper. Informally known as Barça, the club is thought to be one of the top 5 richest football clubs in the world. The club has won 4 European Cups and is a 5-time Champions League winner.

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Today in History: Soccer legend Pelé turns 78

Today in History: Soccer legend Pelé turns 78

Happy Birthday to Brazilian soccer legend, Pelé, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on October 23, 1940. Considered by many to be the greatest soccer player of all time, Pelé became a star at the age of 17 with his performance in the 1958 World Cup. Pelé played professional soccer in Brazil for two decades and was a member of three Brazilian World Cup teams. He was been named FIFA co-Player of the Century in 1999 and continues to serve as a global ambassador for soccer and other humanitarian causes.

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Today in History: Olympic Games in Mexico open in 1968

Today in History: Olympic Games in Mexico open in 1968

50 years ago today, the first Olympic Games in Latin America were opened In Mexico City. The Games were overshadowed by political events such as the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and civil unrest in the host country. More than 5,000 athletes from over 100 nations participated. It marked the first time that West- and East Germany would send separate teams to the Olympics (the team from the GDR was forced to depart early as the IOC forbade it from competing under the name DDR). During the medal ceremony for the 200-meter dash, American medal winners Tommie Smith and John Carlos demonstrated their sympathy for the “Black Panther” movement by raising a black-gloved fist during the American national anthem. American Bob Beamon created a sensation with his world record long jump of 8.90 meters (29 ft. 2 1/2 in.), beating the existing record by 55 cm (21 3/4 in.).

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Today in History: First Olympic Games in Asia in 1964

Today in History: First Olympic Games in Asia in 1964

54 Years ago today, the 18th modern Olympic Games opened in Tokyo. It was the first time that the Games were hosted by an Asian country. Tokyo was originally scheduled to hold the Games in 1940 but after Japan’s invasion on China, the honor was passed on to Helsinki and the event was ultimately canceled because of World War II. The 1964 Games were the first to be telecast live internationally. The “Summer Games” were scheduled for mid-October to avoid both the typhoon season (September) as well as Tokyo’s mid-summer heat and humidity. 93 nations participated, 16 of which made their first Olympic appearance.

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Today is National Golf (Lover’s) Day!

Today is National Golf (Lover’s) Day!

The modern game of golf originated in 15th century Scotland. Its earliest origins, however, are unclear. The world’s oldest golf tournament is The Open Championship which was first played in October of 1860 in Ayrshire, Scotland. Golf came to the United States in the second half of the 18th century. Today, there are over 10,000 American golf clubs.

On this day in 1895, the first US Open for Golf took place. The now annual event was played at the Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island, for the first time. 11 people played the 36-hole competition in a single day. Horace Rawlins, a 21-year old Englishman won the tournament and took home a trophy and $150 cash.

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Today in History: Max Schmeling born in 1905

113 years ago today, German boxing legend Maximillian Schmeling was born. As the European heavyweight boxing champion, Schmeling came to the USA in 1928 and quickly became a sensation when he won the world title after defeating Johnny Risko and Jack Sharkey in 1930. In 1936, Schmeling scored a major upset by defeating the invincible Joe Louis. Louis won the rematch in 1938. Both fights became worldwide cultural events in light of the fighters’ national associations. Schmeling and Louis became good friends after the war until Louis passed away in 1981. Schmeling died at age 99 in 2005. Long after World War II, it was revealed that Schmeling had risked his own life in November of 1938 during the Reichskristallnacht when he saved the lives of two young Jewish brothers. It is said that Schmeling never talked about his heroic act.

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