Link to Legacies Home Page Link to National Museum of American History About Legacies Tour the Exhibit Most Intriguing Objects Most Popular Objects Take the Collector Quiz A Treasure House A Shrine to the Famous A Palace of Progress A Mirror of America From Artifacts to America Exhibit Search Buy the Book Smithsonian Press--Legacies--2Shrine to the Famous--Silver trophy awarded to Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, in 1926

Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
You are here: Shrine to the Famous > Frontier Heroes

Silver trophy awarded to Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, in 1926Silver trophy awarded to Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, in 1926

Ederle's swim on August 6, 1926, broke the men's world record by nearly two hours and won her international fame. On her return to the United States, New York City celebrated its hometown hero with a ticker-tape parade, and William Randolph Hearst presented her with this elaborate trophy honoring her as "Most Popular Athlete." But the prize came at a cost: exposure to the channel waters damaged Ederle's hearing, leaving her permanently deaf. In 1991 Ederle's niece donated this trophy, along with the goggles Ederle wore during her famous swim, to the Smithsonian.

See also: Popular Culture Memorabilia, Sports Memorabilia, Women's History

Return to the Legacies Home Page

Privacy  |  Terms of Use