November 25 Birthday: THE STREAK: HOW JOE DIMAGGIO BECAME AMERICA’S HERO

Joe DiMaggio
b. November 25, 1914
d. March 8, 1999

THE STREAK: HOW JOE DIMAGGIO BECAME AMERICA’S HERO
by Barb Rosenstock
illustrated by Terry Widener

“It all started quietly like a conversation with Joe DiMaggio himself.” In 1941, the war in Europe is on every American’s mind, that is, until Joe DiMaggio’s record smashing hitting streak begins, and goes on and on.

Learn more about Joe DiMaggio on the official site here.

November 9 Birthday: QUEEN OF THE TRACK: ALICE COACHMAN, OLYMPIC HIGH-JUMP CHAMPION

Alice Coachman
b. 11/9/1922
d.  7/14/2014

QUEEN OF THE TRACK: ALICE COACHMAN, OLYMPIC HIGH-JUMP CHAMPION by Heather Lang
illustrated by Floyd Cooper 
(Boyds Mills Press, 2012)

At a time when girls were expected to act like little ladies and segregation was alive in the South, Alice Coachman rejected social norms and pursuied her passion for running and jumping. She ran barefoot on dirt roads, tied together sticks and rags to make her own high jumps, and worked her way to the top. In 1948, she became the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

October 30 Birthday: STRONG ATLAS: THE STORY OF CHARLES ATLAAS

Charles Atlas, athlete
Oct. 30, 1892-Dec. 23, 1972


Strong Man: The Story of Charles Atlas by Meghan McCarthy (Knopf, 2007)

Angelo Siciliano was a one-man revolution for fitness. Tired of being a weak and skinny kid, Angelo embarked on a quest for physical health. A trip to a local museum where he saw a statue of Hercules, and a visit to his favorite thinking place, the zoo, where he watched a lion stretch his muscles fueled Siciliano’s inspiration. He took a new name to go with his new muscles—Charles Atlas—and was ultimately named “The World’s Most Perfectly Developed Man.” Atlas inspired millions to exercise, eat right and live right.

Print out a copy of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans [PDF Version – 7.8 MB) to learn more about keeping healthy.

October 24 Birthday: LOUIS SOCKALEXIS: NATIVE AMERICAN BASEBALL PIONEER

Louis Sockalexis, athlete

Oct. 24, 1871-Dec. 24, 1913

Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer by Bill Wise, illustrated by Bill Farnsworth (Lee and Low, 2007)

Sockalexis, the first Native American major league baseball player, won the hearts of fans with his incredible skill, but the prejudice he faced on the field and off was intense. A note in the Afterword mentions that almost fifty years after Sockalexis’ rookie year, African American Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the major leagues.

Visit the Official Site of the Cleveland Indians, Sockalexis’ team, then known as the Cleveland Spiders.