Today’s mystery is the Official Program of the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. Why did someone have this? And, more importantly, why did they keep it? Sure I know that both of my grandparents, as well as my parents, were packrats but what was the significance of this?
The cover is beautiful and I chuckled to see that you could buy it for only 10 cents. Looks like I have the program for the opening day, July 30, 1932. So much history is inside the cover!
Here’s the President and Vice President of the United States in 1932.
And the Founder and Life Honorary President of the Olympic Games, Baron Pierre De Coubertin.
In 1932, the President of the International Olympic Committee was Count De Baillet-Latour.
Hoping that maybe, just maybe, I’d come across a name that I recognized, I scoured the names of those on the International Olympic and Honorary Committees. No such luck.
The Riviera Country Club was located near Santa Monica and was “ideally situated for most of the colorful equestrian events of the Games”.
The closing events were held in the Olympic Stadium.
Today it is known as the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Photo by Ron Reiring
It is interesting to see the planned Opening Ceremony Events. But what is even more mind boggling is that it was only about 90 minutes from beginning to end – these days it’s more like 4-5 hours with a production meant for television.
And there were just 39 participating nations in 1932 – the 2016 Olympics in Brazil expects 207 countries to join in the fun!
Weightlifting, boxing, and wrestling events were held in the Olympic Auditorium.
And the Fine Arts Museum was filled with rare exhibits of ancient and modern culture.
I’ve always been amazed at the Olympic Athletes’ Village – I can’t imagine how large that would have had to be in 1932 and it’s impossible to wrap my head around how large it will be in Brazil this summer.
Close by the Stadium was the swimming venue.
Swimming is one of my favorite summer events – it would be fun to find the winning times for each event and compare them to this years’ winning times.
There is nothing like reading about the ticket prices 84 years ago. You could see events for just $1.00!
The first night of the Olympics brought Weightlifting.
While the United States had two participants in the Lightweight class, the medals went to Rene Duverger (gold), Hans Haas (silver), and Gastone Pierini (bronze). The light-heavyweight class proved to be a bit more productive for the United States with the medals going to Louis Hostin (gold), Svend Olsen (silver), and Hendry Ludwig Duey (bronze). Oh wait – there were only four participants so no question the United States would take at least one medal.
The next day Track & Field began. My grandfather was always a track & field fan and shared that love with my dad. I like to think Grandpa Sig was there so he could partake in those events. Who knows – maybe one day I’ll run across that program. Until then, I can only imagine.