Editorial: A final resting place for the legendary Jim Thorpe

The New York Times on the battle to rebury the remains of legendary athlete Jim Thorpe in Oklahoma:
A bittersweet restlessness has long been tied to the legend of Jim Thorpe, the Olympic champion and American Indian whose gold medal feats mesmerized the nation a century ago.

Thorpe won the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics, but he was soon stripped of his medals for violating stiff-necked rules of amateurism for having played minor league baseball for token remuneration. In a fit of conscience, Olympic officials restored the medals in 1982, but, by then, Thorpe was long dead and entombed via a bizarre arrangement in which two Pennsylvania mining towns Thorpe had never visited — Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk — officially changed their name to Jim Thorpe, Pa. The 1954 deal with Thorpe’s widow provided a red granite mausoleum for the great athlete’s remains and hope that his name and grave would stir a boom in tourism and local pride amid the hard times of recession.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Jim Thorpe’s Place in America (The New York Times 4/30)

Also Today:
Judge’s Ruling Could Lead to Moving Thorpe’s Body (AP 4/19)

Related Stories:
NPR: A truly heartbreaking story of Jim Thorpe and his burial (03/26)

Join the Conversation