Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
Having trouble viewing this email? View the web version.
December 20th
The Origins of Basketball
James Naismith, an instructor at the YMCA’s School for Christian Workers in Springfield, Massachusetts, received a tough assignment in December 1891. The head of the school’s physical education department asked him to come up with a new game that young men could play indoors during the cold winter months. Naismith had two weeks to think of something.

He tinkered with different ideas for several days, and then he remembered a game from his childhood called “duck on a rock,” in which players tried to knock a small rock off a big rock by throwing stones at it. The memory of stones arching through the air at a target gave him just the inspiration he needed. He had the school custodian nail two peach baskets to the railing of a ten-foot-high balcony that ran around the school gymnasium. Since his class had eighteen students, he divided them into two teams of nine and explained that players scored by throwing a soccer ball into a basket.

“The first words were not very encouraging when one of the class made the remark, ‘Humph, a new game,’” Naismith later said. “I asked the boys to try it once as a favor to me. They started, and after the ball was first thrown up there was no need of further coaxing.”

The game was an instant hit. But it needed a name. One student suggested Naismithball, which the sport’s inventor rejected. Then someone came up with “basketball” – since, after all, players threw the ball into peach baskets. In the early days the baskets had no holes in the bottoms, so someone had to climb up and get the ball out whenever anyone scored.

Basketball is now America’s most popular indoor sport. James Naismith, who was born in Ontario, Canada, became a proud U.S. citizen in 1925.

American History Parade
1606
The Jamestown settlers set sail from England for Virginia.

1790
The first successful American cotton mill begins operating at Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

1803
The Louisiana Purchase is formally completed in New Orleans.

1860
South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the Union.

1891
In late December, James Naismith works out the basics of basketball.

1951
An experimental reactor near Arco, Idaho, produces the first electricity ever generated by atomic power.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
SUBSCRIPTION INFO

This newsletter is never sent unsolicited. It is only sent to people who signed on the Salem National network OR a friend might have forwarded it to you. We respect and value your time and privacy.

Update your Email Preferences or UNSUBSCRIBE from the American Patriot's Daily Almanac.

OR Send postal mail to:
American Patriot's Daily Almanac Unsubscribe
6400 N. Belt Line Rd., Suite 200, Irving, TX 75063

Were you forwarded this edition of the America Patriot's Daily Almanac?
You can get your own free subscription by clicking here

Copyright © 2022 Salem National, Salem Media Group and its Content Providers.
All rights reserved.
[-OPEN_PIXEL_HERE-]