Today in History: Olympic Games in Mexico open in 1968

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Today in History: Olympic Games in Mexico open in 1968

On this day in 1968, 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

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Today in History: First Olympic Games in Asia in 1964

On this day in 1964, 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!

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Today is National Golf (Lover’s) Day!

Some avid golfers might suggest any and every day is Golfer’s Day. But on this day, it’s official. Golfer’s Day is an opportunity to be thankful that someone invented this addicting, yet relaxing hobby. There is, of course, only one proper way to enjoy this day. And, that’s out on the golf course.

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: Burkhard Mangold born in 1873

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Today in History: Burkhard Mangold born in 1873

On this day in 1873, the Swiss artist was born in Basel, Switzerland. Mangold worked as a designer, glass painter, and poster artist. He initially studied and worked as a painter in Basel (1890-1893) before traveling to Paris (1894) and moving to Munich (1894-1900) where his work became influenced by the contemporary German art nouveau poster style. After returning to Basel (1900), Mangold won a poster competition for a Swiss singing festival in 1905. Most of the artist’s poster works stem from the period between 1900 and 1917. Burkhard Mangold is considered to be a leading contributor to the development of graphic arts and the Swiss poster around the turn of the century. He died in Basel in 1950.

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Today in History: Mark Spitz wins 7th Gold in 1972

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Today in History: Mark Spitz wins 7th Gold in 1972

On this day in 1972, U.S. swimmer legend Mark Spitz won his 7th gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He earned the gold when Spitz and his team set a new world record in the 400-meter medley relay. Spitz also set new world records in the six other events in which he won the gold. At the time, no other athlete had won so many gold medals at a single Olympiad, a record that would stand until Michael Phelps took home 8 gold medals at the 2012 Beijing Games.

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Today in History: Ferdinand Porsche was born in in 1875

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Today in History: Ferdinand Porsche was born in in 1875

On this day in 1875, the Austrian-German automotive engineer and founder of the Porsche car company was born in Maffersdorf in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Porsche originally introduced the concept for the German Volkswagen with the intent to create a small, easy to build and affordable family car. The first Porsche model sold was the “365,” introduced in 1948.

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History: Michael Phelps wins 8th Olympic Gold

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History: Michael Phelps wins 8th Olympic Gold
On this day in 2008, the American champion swimmer Michael Phelps won his 8th Gold Medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay race at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. With this medal, he broke the record for the most gold medals won by a person in a single Olympic games, a record previously held by American swimmer Mark Spitz.

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Today in History: First World Cup in 1930

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Today in History: First World Cup in 1930
On this day in 1930, the first-ever World Cup football matches were played simultaneously in host city Montevideo, Uruguay. France defeated Mexico 4-1 while the United States defeated Belgium 3-0. 13 teams participated “by invitation” in this first World Cup. For the Europeans, the trip to Uruguay was especially costly. In the end, only 4 European teams were persuaded to make the trip. They joined 7 South and 2 North American teams. Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2 in the final and became the first nation to win the World Cup. Total attendance was 590,000. The World Cup has since become the world’s most watched sporting event.

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Today in History: First Wimbledon Tennis Tournament

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Today in History: First Wimbledon Tennis Tournament
On this day in 1877, the world’s first official lawn tennis tournament was held at the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon, a district of London. Twenty-two players participated in the Gentlemen’s Singles competition, the only event at the first Wimbledon. In front of a crowd of some 200 people, Spencer Gore became the first champion by defeating William Marshall in three straight sets that lasted only 48 minutes. Gore took home a silver cup (worth 25 guineas) and 12 guineas in prize money.

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Today in History: First UEFA European Nations Cup (now UEFA Euro) hosted in 1960

Today in History: First UEFA European Nations Cup (now UEFA Euro) hosted in 1960

The first European soccer championship opened in France in 1960. The event is held every four years in the even-numbered year between the World Cup tournaments. In 1960, 4 teams competed in the finals out of 17 that had initially entered the competition. The Soviet Union won the first competition beating Yugoslavia 2-1 in a tense game in Paris. Over the years, the event has become the second most-watched soccer tournament in the world (after the World Cup).

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