Wheaties, the breakfast of Champians!
Campaign Wants Thorpe on Wheaties
May 15, 2000
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:
Wheaties, the breakfast of Champians!
10th National Miss Indian USA
Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma
63181 E.60 Rd., Quapaw, OK 74363
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
For further information, contac Anna McKbben, 63181 East 60 Road, Quapaw, Oklahoma 74363, (918) 542-1853
February 21, 2000
63181 E. 60 Rd., Quapaw, OK 74363
General Mills, Inc., P.O. Box 1113
Re: Wheaties Cereal BoxTo 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.
Anna M cKibben