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Jim Thorpe, Incredible American athlete who was half original American, had no birth certificate.

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-12 02:36 AM
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Jim Thorpe, Incredible American athlete who was half original American, had no birth certificate.
James Francis "Jim" Thorpe (Sac and Fox (Sauk): Wa-Tho-Huk, translated to "Bright Path")<1> (May 28, 1888 March 28, 1953)<2> was an American athlete of mixed ancestry (Native American and Caucasian). Considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals for the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, played American football (collegiate and professional), and also played professional baseball and basketball. He lost his Olympic titles after it was found he was paid for playing two seasons of semi-professional baseball before competing in the Olympics, thus violating the amateurism rules. In 1983, 30 years after his death, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) restored his Olympic medals.

Of Native American and European American ancestry, Thorpe grew up in the Sac and Fox nation in Oklahoma. He played as part of several All-American Indian teams throughout his career, and "barnstormed" as a professional basketball player with a team composed entirely of American Indians.

He played professional sports until age 41, the end of his sports career coinciding with the start of the Great Depression. Thorpe struggled to earn a living after that, working several odd jobs. Thorpe suffered from alcoholism, and lived his last years in failing health and poverty.

In a poll of sports fans conducted by ABC Sports, Thorpe was voted the Greatest Athlete of the Twentieth Century out of 15 other athletes including Muhammad Ali, Babe Ruth, Jesse Owens, Jack Nicklaus and Michael Jordan.<3><4>

In the world of odd coincidences, I ran across a young woman tourist from Pennsylvania at Starbucks in Boston, wearing her high school jacket from Jim Thorpe High. We started talking about him and, when I got home, I googled him and read his wiki, where I learned he was born in Oklahoma and had no birth certificate!

I hope someone sees this and uses it, as Thorpe was "exceptional."

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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-12 08:41 AM
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1. Wow, this is cool.
I dimly remember reading about this guy (I'm not too knowledgeable a fan when it comes to sports) but I remember now... they wrote a big article about him for a newsmagazine some years ago.

You also had the famous black boxer from the same period (first black boxing champion) who was arrested under the Mann act for interracial marriage.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-12 11:22 AM
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2. Jack Johnson. He was arrested for allegedly taking his girlfriend across state
Edited on Wed Jul-25-12 11:34 AM by No Elephants
lines for immoral purposes, the allegation being that she was a prostitute, which was ridiculous.

They lived together for many years. I don't think he ever married her, though. And I don't think interracial marriage ever violated federal law, only state law. I think DOMA may well have been the first federal marriage law, another thing for which we can thank President Clinton.

I once lived next door to the Brookline home once owned by the Quigleys, who were the parents of Jane Alexander. She played the girlfriend in the movie "The Great White Hope." She also played Roosevelt's (FDR) mother.

I saw both on TV, but the latter may have been a made for TV movie. She went on to run the National Endowment for the Arts.

Both her parents were deceased when I lived next door to their home. In any event, I never met her. If the story I heard was correct, her mom died horribly.

That is my very small connection with anything Hollywood!
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-12 12:15 PM
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3. On a marginally related issue, IMO, "Native Americans" need a more accurate name.
Edited on Wed Jul-25-12 12:15 PM by No Elephants
They are descendants of immigrants who came to North America about 50,000 years ago and that was well before this land mass was known as "the Americas," which is a European name, anyway. And Amerigo was probably preceded here by Vikings, anyway, though I dare not malign either Amerigo or Cristoforo.

Anyhoo....ancestors of so-called Native Americans are not native to this land mass, but immigrants, like our ancestors, but who arrived here much earlier than did our immigrant ancestors.

I like "original Americans," given their ancestors arrived first, but I wish there were a word other than "American" that would be more apt (and less European sailor).
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