Sports: Breaking Records, Breaking Barriers, a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution, looks at athletes whose achievements shaped—and were shaped by—moments of social and historical change in the U.S. such as racial and ethnic integration, the role of women, the emergence of sports celebrities and superstars, nationalism, perceptions about physical limitations, and technological breakthroughs.
Sports is divided into six sections: Firsts; Olympians; Game Makers; Barrier Removers; More Than Sports Champions; and Superstars. Each section profiles specific athletes, with their photographs, medals, jerseys, and gear. Spotlighting the Smithsonian's sports collection, the exhibition opens with Abraham Lincoln’s handball and closes with Michael Jordan’s basketball jersey.
An interactive Web site includes a virtual tour of the exhibition, resource lists, a historical timeline, and sports trivia. Visit the virtual exhibition at http://www.americanhistory.si.edu/sports/
Left Image: Muhammad Ali, "The Greatest," gained fame for his boxing skills as well as the controversy he generated outside the ring. In 1976 the Smithsonian acquired Ali's boxing gloves and robe for an exhibition on American culture, A Nation of Nations. At the donation ceremony, before a crowd of reporters and cheering spectators, Ali predicted that his Everlast gloves would become "the most famous thing in this building."
Oakland Museum of California Web Site