By Chuck Kroll
The swimming and diving pools at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida were officially dedicated and the first class of ISHOF inductees were honored on Monday, December 27, 1965.
The Dedication included a parade led by ISHOF Queen Donna de Varona, a synchro solo by Pam Morris, an introduction of ‘Tarzan' aka Johnny Weissmuller, Doc Councilman leading a stroke exhibition with Don Schollander and Murray Rose, Duke Kahanamoku backed by Hawaiian singing and dancing and comedy swimming by Adolph Kiefer. Baseball great and avid angler, Ted Williams even went fishing for Buster Crabbe.
The Honorees from the first inductee class that are still living include; diver Pat McCormick, synchronized swimmer Pam Morris and Swimmers Adolph Kiefer, Murray Rose, Dawn Fraser and Don Schollander. Other Honorees, included Johnny Weissmuller, Jamison Handy, Buster Crabbe, Wilbert E. Longfellow, Duke Kahanamoku, Captain Matthew Webb, Beulah Gundling, Katherine Rawls, R. Max Ritter, Albert C. White, Gertrude Ederle, Kusoso Kitamura, Charlie Daniels, Matt Mann and Bob Kiphuth.
The next afternoon more than three dozen national champions from various countries competed in the Hall of Fame International Swimming/Dive Meet. Many of these national champions went on to set world records during their careers and a number of them have since been enshrined in the Hall including Ada Kok, Robert Windle, Christine Caron, Leslie Bush, Sharon Finneran, Carl Robie. Micki King, Sharon Stouder, Dick Roth, Claudia Kolb and the beloved Kevin Berry.
Two days later on the 30th, a College All-Star East-West Swimming and Diving Meet was held with distances including 55, 110, 220 and 440 yard races including both clown and diving events as exhibitions.
There have now been 42 Annual Honors Induction Ceremonies hosted by the International Swimming Hall of Fame. More than 600 Inductees from some 32 countries have been enshrined in this very special place. Swimmers, Divers, Synchro stars, Polo players, Coaches of all disciplines and many outstanding Contributors have gone before us, making our Aquatic Sports, Recreation and Water Safety programs the wet, wild and wonderful activities they are today.
The 2007 ISHOF Honoree Induction Ceremony will take place on May 12th. For more information about or how to become a contributing member of ISHOF or to learn more about Honorees above and many other great Aqualetes of the past, check out the new and improved website at: Customized Text