Friday, April 11, 2008

On April 11

On this day in ...
... 1713 (295 years ago today), a series of pacts known collectively as the Peace of Utrecht were signed in that Dutch city. Signatories to these documents that signaled the end of Queen Anne's War in North America -- named in recognition of the English monarch at right -- included England, France, the Netherlands, and Spain. Together the treaties "put an end to French expansion and signaled the rise of the British Empire."
... 1911, Stanisława Walasiewicz was born in Poland. When she was 2 she and her family immigrated to the United States, where she became a runner. Competing for Poland in the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, her time of 11.9 seconds broke the world record for 100 meters; in the same race at the 1936 Games in Berlin, she lost to Helen Stephens. (See a copyright-protected photo of the 2 of them shaking hands after that race here.) Walasiewicz became a U.S. citizen and married a boxer in 1947, and, as Stella Walsh Olsen (left), won her last U.S. championship 4 years later. She and Stephens both entered the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1975. Killed in an armed robbery in 1980 in Cleveland, upon autopsy Walsh Olsen was discovered to possess male as well as female genitals, a condition that before 1992 would have, if known, disqualified an athlete from official competition. (photo credit)

No comments: