Sports & Leisure - Overview
The nation's passion for sports is obvious every day—at NASCAR races, kiddie soccer matches, and countless other contests. From a handball used by Abraham Lincoln to Chris Evert's tennis racket to a baseball signed by Jackie Robinson, the roughly 6.000 objects in the Museum's sports collections bear witness to the vital place of sports in the nation's history. Paper sports objects in the collections, such as souvenir programs and baseball cards, number in the hundreds of thousands.
Leisure collections encompass a different range of objects, including camping vehicles and gear, video games, playing cards, sportswear, exercise equipment, and Currier and Ives prints of fishing, hunting, and horseracing. Some 4,000 toys dating from the colonial period to the present are a special strength of the collections.
"Sports & Leisure - Overview" showing 1 items.
- Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis (1914–1981) lost his first bout with Nazi Germany's champion Max Schmeling in 1936, but the return match was a triumph for America. This towel was thrown in by Schmeling's handlers at Yankee Stadium, New York City, June 22, 1938, where Louis pummeled his opponent in the first round. Enforcing a boxing rule that seconds cannot stop a fight, referee Arthur Donovan then threw it out. The towel was thrown in again during the first round, giving Louis the victory in two minutes and four seconds. The story of the fight was later embroidered on the towel.
- Currently not on view
- Date made
- date of the fight
- Schmeling, Max
- Louis, Joe
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center