STATE OF OKLAHOMA
- EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT -
Whereas, James Francis Thorpe, known as "Jim Thorpe" Wathahuck-Brightpath, Thunder Clan. Sac and Fox Tribe, born May 22, 1887 on the Sac and Fox Indian Reservation, south of Prague, Oklahoma, and died March 28, 1953 in Lomita, California; and
Whereas, Jim Thorpe represented the Sac and Fox Nation and the United States at the 1912 Olympic Games held in Stockholm, Sweden, but did not actually become a citizen of the United States until 1917; and
Whereas, King Gustav V of Sweden presenting Jim Thorpe with two gold medals after winning the pentathlon and the decathlon in the grueling track and field events said, "You, Sir, are the greatest athlete in the world"; and
Whereas, Jim Thorpe was named the "Greatest American Football Player in History," in a 1977 national poll conducted by Sport Magazine; and
Whereas, Jim Thorpe was enshrined in the National Indian Hall of Fame, the Helms Professional Football Hall of Fame, the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania and the Oklahoma Halls of Fame; and
Whereas, Jim Thorpe as the only Oklahoma and American athlete, to date, to excel as an amateur and as a professional in three major sports: track and field, football, and baseball;
Now Therefore, I, Frank Keating, Governor of the State of Oklahoma, do hereby proclaim January 30, 1998 as JIM THORPE DAY in the State of Oklahoma.
In acknowledgement of Jim Thorpe's contribution to sports in the second decade of this century, The United States Postal Service will honor the Soc and Fox /Potawatomi Indian athlete with a commemorative stamp, at 10am, January 30, at the Oklahoma State Capitol's Rotunda as part of the postal services' "Celebrate the Century Program."
The Jim Thorpe stamp went on sale nationwide February 3,1998.