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The Jim Thorpe Area Hall of Fame needs your help. Wheaties, the breakfast of Champians!
 

[PHOTO]Jim Thorpe:
Athlete of the Century Campaign

(1888-1953)


James Francis Thorpe accomplished arguably what no other athlete in history has. The Sac and Fox Indian won gold medals in the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Olympic games in Sweden and played both professional football and professional baseball. His feats on the football field put him on the 1911 and 1912 All-American football teams. In 1920 he became the first president of the American Professional Football Association (later to become the NFL).

Jim Thorpe, the football star and Olympic legend whom Sweden's King Gustav V called "the greatest athlete in the world." was named, in 1950, by the Associated Press the greatest football player and greatest all-round athlete for the first 50 years of this century. Grace Thorpe believes that there will be a naming of the greatest athlete of the century.

When others fail to give her father his due, Grace Thorpe doesn't hesitate to take them on. In 1982, Grace won her five-year battle to get the International Olympic Committee to return the two gold medals - for the decathlon and pentathlon - that her father had won in Stockholm in 1912. The medals were stripped from him after it was discovered that he had played semiprofessional baseball as a student at Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

"The modern day Olympics started in 1896, and they had no hard and fast rules on mixing professional and amateur sports. They sort of made the rules on Dad," said Grace.

With four years to go until the year 2000, Grace Thorpe doesn't think she started the athlete-of-the-century drive too soon.

"Things take a long time." she said, "I don't want any mix-ups like the one where they've proposed having the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay-Run coming through Yale, which they had been calling Dad's birthplace. Dad's birthplace was near the town of Prague (Oklahoma)."

As she travels around the country to Indian ceremonies and environmental gatherings, she frequently sets up booths and asks people to sign two petitions - one declaring her father athlete of the century and another for a ban on nuclear activities. Grace, whose Indian name is No Ten O Quah (Wind Woman), is president of the National Environmental Coalition of Native Americans (NECONA) which fights efforts for the burial of nuclear wastes on Indian Lands.

This information was compiled from articles printed in People Weekly Magazine, 01/08/96 Vol.45, No.1 and Tulsa World Newspaper, 12/10/95.
[ATHLETE]

Print out the petition.

"Jim Thorpe, World's Greatest Athlete" by Gregory Richards. Foreward by Grace Thorpe who is spearheading a campaign declaring Jim Thorpe "America's Greatest All Around Athlete of the Century". Excellent for Jr. High ages up. Personally autographed and inscribed by Ms. Thorpe to the recipient. Hard cover. $23.00 (tax/mailing included) Proceeds go toward the "Jim Thorpe for Athlete of the Century" Campaign.
Send check or money order to: NECONA, 2213 W. 8th St., Prague, OK 74864, ph(405) 567-4297, Chickasaw Nation.
email: neconaok@earthlink.net

National Environmental Coalition Of Native Americans NECONA





Wheaties, the breakfast of Champians!

Campaign Wants Thorpe on Wheaties

May 15, 2000
Daily Oklahoman
By Jay Greten, Staff Writer

Towns have named schools and parks after Jim Thorpe. Statues of Oklahomaís storied Olympic athlete abound. Many have proclaimed him the athlete of the century. One honor, however, has eluded Thorpe. In the nearly 70 years that General Mills has been putting athletes on cereal boxes, Thorpeís picture never has been on a box of Wheaties.

Thatís a miscarriage of history that one Oklahoman intends to rectify. Anna McKibben, who lives in Quapaw, got the idea shortly after she was crowned National Miss Indian USA in November 1998. But she hesitated for fear that people think Thorpe was out of fashion.

After this yearís Super Bowl when a viewer poll on ABC-TV named Thorpe the athlete of the century. McKibben decided to start a campaign. "I thought it was exciting that an Indian had been nominated athlete of the century." Said McKibben, who will write her masterís thesis about Thorpe.

McKibben has joined forces with Thorpeís daughter Grace, who thinks the idea grand.

"Iím pushing 80," Grace Thorpe said, "I donít want to get involved in something that wonít happen, I think itís workable. I think this will happen." Thorpe says she has mailed and faxed nearly 1,000 news releases to newspapers and tribal offices. This month, she will be in California to help dedicate a new Jim Thorpe school, and sheíll push for support there.

Greg Zimprich, the General Mills executive who handles the Wheaties account, doesnít offer encouragement. "We have done legends boxes in the past honoring past great champions and great athletes," he said in a telephone interview from company headquarters in Minnesota, "I donít think weíre planning on doing and short term. Jim Thorpe certainly would be an appropriate person to feature on the Wheaties box, but we donít have any plans to do that now."

McKibbenís contact with General Mills has been limited and has met with no success, she said. She sent an e-mail suggesting Thorpe go on a box, and received an e-mail saying thanks but thousands suggest favorite athletes, so no thanks. Then she wrote a real letter "to whom it may concern." The reply, said McKibben: "Hereís a dollar-off coupon Thank you for the suggestion."

 

Please send letter- Call of support to:

Greg Zimprich
General Mills, P.O.Box 1113
Minneapolis, MN 55440
Phone: 1-763-764-2311, 1-800-328-1144

 

Wheaties, the breakfast of Champians!


Anna McKibben
10th National Miss Indian USA
Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma
63181 E.60 Rd., Quapaw, OK 74363
(918) 542-1853

May 8, 2000

QUAPAW, OK -Anna Mckibben, the 10th National Miss Indian US a from the Quapaw tribe in Oklahoma, has initiated a campaign to place Sac and Fox Indian athlete Jim Thorpe's Image and sports achievements on the Wheaties cereal box.

According to Jim Thorpe's daughter and family historian Grace Thorpe, her father is the only American athlete is history to excel in three major sports both as an amateur and as a professional. In 1912, in Track and Field, he won the Decathlon and Pentathlon at the Olympics held in Stockholm, Swede. In football, he is founding father of professional football serving as the first president of what is now the National Football League. In baseball, Thorpe played with the New York Giants, Cincinnati Reds, and finished the 1919 Boston Braves season with a .327 bating average.

In a 1950 Associated Press poll, he was judged American's greatest All-Around Male Athlete and America's Greatest Football Player of the half-century. Fifty years later, his talent still unparalleled, Thorpe was proclaimed ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Century prior to the 2000 Super Bowl in Atlanta. The ABC poll was based on internet votes with Thorpe receiving a staggering majority of the votes.

"Jim Thorpe has not received the recognition he deserves for his unsurpassed contributions in the United States and throughout the world to amateur and professional sports. His image on the Wheaties box would help to rectify him being overlooked in the past."

Individuals, organizations, groups, tribes, school children, and others wishing to support this project are urged to write or all:

General Mills, Wheaties Department
P.O. ox 1113, Minneapolis, MN 55440
1-800-328-1144

For further information, contac Anna McKbben, 63181 East 60 Road, Quapaw, Oklahoma 74363, (918) 542-1853


Wheaties, the breakfast of Champians!



February 21, 2000
Arma Mckibben
63181 E. 60 Rd., Quapaw, OK 74363
1(918) 542-3430

General Mills, Inc., P.O. Box 1113
Minneapolis, MN 55440
1-800-328-1144

Re: Wheaties Cereal Box

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to you with a request that Jim Thorpe be on the cover of the Wheaties Cereal box. The American public needs to hear of what a great athlete he was. He was voted Athlete of the Century by the public. As an American Indian, I believe in the importance of positive role models not only for American Indian youth but for youth of all ages. Thee are very few American Indians in the public eye, especially in sports.

Jim Thorpe was one of the greatest athletes of all time. He deserves this recognition. In the past, Wheaties has never featured an American Indian on its cereal box. I believe this would be a very positive action for both Wheaties and American Indian people. Thank you for your consideration.

especially in sports.

          Sincerely,

Anna M cKibben
Miss Indian USA


      I support this issue an urge others to write or call General Mills.

      Grace Thorpe
      March 23, 2000


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