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Topics in Chronicling America - Jim Thorpe - Great Native American Athlete

Considered the best all-around athlete of modern times, Native American James "Jim" Thorpe won gold medals in both the pentathlon and the decathlon in the 1912 Stockholm Summer Olympics. Scandal struck in late January 1913 when he was stripped of his titles by the Amateur Athletic Union after admitting he had played professional baseball prior to the Games. Within days of the judgement, however, Thorpe had signed on with the New York Giants and went on to play years of professional baseball, football, and basketball. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.
Picture of Jim Thorpe

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Important Dates:

  • July 1912. Thorpe wins gold metal in the pentathlon and the decathlon at the Stockholm Olympics.
  • January 27, 1913. Thorpe surrenders his trophies amidst scandal.
  • January 31, 1913. Thorpe is courted by at least five baseball clubs, but decides to sign a contract with the New York Giants, with whom he plays for three seasons.
  • 1913-1922. Despite the loss of his Olympic honors, sports writers continue to support Thorpe, reporting on his time with the Giants, his professional football appearances and his exploits on the world tour baseball circuit.
  • June 1922. Thorpe is released from a Portland club in the Pacific Coast baseball league, ending his professional baseball career.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] James Thorpe, Stockholm Olympics.
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results. For best results, limit your search to articles published between the years 1912-1923.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  February 12, 2013
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