“The Most Significant Events In National & World Sports History”: Your Thoughts?
An old friend from Monmouth College wrote to ask my opinion of “the most significant events in national & world sports history?” I’m no expert in expert on this subject, and have never taught a class dedicated to sports history. But I do occasionally teach on sports in my U.S. survey. So I gave her my off-the-cuff thoughts.
Caveats: (1) What follows is in chronological order; (2) The list has an American emphasis; (3) The list has a 20th century emphasis; and (4) Some “events” are really date associations with specific teams/people.
1896 — Revival of modern Olympics (held in Athens)
1920s — Yankees teams, world series winners
1920s — Red Grange and the galloping ghosts, popularity of college football (as well as Grange signing with Bears around 1925 and popularizing NFL football)
1930s — Joe Louis-Max Schmeling fights
1936 — Olympics, Berlin (Jesse Owens against Nazi ideology)
1946 — NBA founded
1947 (April) — Jackie Robinson breaks MLB’s color barrier
1968 — Olympics, Mexico (think black power)
1973 — B.J. King/Bobby Riggs match
1975 — Seitz decision (nullifying MLB reserve clause, and free agency instituted—all started in 1969 by Curt Flood refusing to report for trade and sitting out 1970 season)
1979 — NCAA championship game w/Larry Bird and Magic Johnson
1980 — Winter Olympics, U.S. beats Russia in hockey
1980s — SF NFL teams, super bowl winners and west coast offense
What did I miss? A lot, I’m sure. Feel free to chime in. – TL