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Volume 17, 1926-1928

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A map showing the location of the farming and grazing lands of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad company in the fertile valley of the Arkansas River in Kansas A map showing the location of the farming and grazing lands of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad company in the fertile valley of the Arkansas River in Kansas

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People - Notable Kansans - Cunningham, Glenn, 1909-1988

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Der Leichtathlet magazine cover, August 7, 1936

Der Leichtathlet magazine cover, August 7, 1936
Creator: Wilhelm Limpert-Verlag
Date: August 07, 1936
Der Leichtathlet magazine cover featuring Jack Lovelock and Glenn Cunningham at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. The backside describes a javelin competition.


Elkhart High School relay team with Glenn Cunningham

Elkhart High School relay team with Glenn Cunningham
Creator: Turtle
Date: Between 1925 and 1930
This is a photograph showing members of the Elkhart High School relay team. The athlete on the far right is Glenn Cunningham.


Floyd and Glenn Cunningham burned in schoolhouse fire, Stevens County

Floyd and Glenn Cunningham burned in schoolhouse fire, Stevens County
Creator: Hugoton Hermes
Date: February 16, 1917
This is a newspaper article in the "Hugoton Hermes" describing the Stevens County, Kansas, schoolhouse fire that destroyed the school and severely burned brothers Floyd and Glenn Cunningham. Thirteen year old Floyd, 1903-1917, died from his injuries two weeks later. The physician treating seven year old Glenn, 1909-1988, told him that he would never walk again; but with rehabilitation and personal determination, he recovered to become one of the nation's greatest milers. Between 1932 and 1936, Glenn won Big Six indoor mile titles and participated in the 1932 and 1936 Olympics. In 1938, Cunningham became the world's fastest miler as he set a new indoor mile record at Dartmouth College. In 1978, he was named the outstanding track performer in the 100-year history of Madison Square Garden and, in 1979, he was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.


General regulations for the 10th Olympiad

General regulations for the 10th Olympiad
Date: 1932
A general regulations pamphlet for the 10th Olympiad held in Los Angeles in 1932.


Glenn and Ruth Cunningham letters to Robert and Elaine Keller

Glenn and Ruth Cunningham letters to Robert and Elaine Keller
Creator: Cunningham, Glenn, 1909-1988
Date: 1973-1975
Six letters and one newsletter from Glenn and Ruth Cunningham to Robert and Elaine Keller, Reeds Spring and Springfield, Missouri. Five of the letters and the newsletter are written from Plainview, Arkansas, and one letter from Augusta, Kansas. Cunningham had youth ranches for troubled teenagers in both of these locations. In the letters, Cunningham talks about the youth ranches and thanks the Kellers for monetary and clothing donations. The collection also includes an article, "The Glenn Cunningham Story: Never Say Die" by Jesse Owens, published in The Saturday Evening Post, April 1976. Cunningham was most famous for his skill as a miler. For three years, from 1932 thru 1934, he won the Big Six indoor titles, and he competed at the Olympics in 1932 and 1936. Then in 1938 Cunningham became the world's fastest miler when he set a new record at Dartmouth College. That same year he also received a doctorate degree from New York University.


Glenn Cunningham

Glenn Cunningham
Creator: D'Ambra, Duke
Date: Between 1930 and 1935
Glenn V. Cunningham, 1909-1988, one of the premiere milers in the 1930s, is shown running as a member of the University of Kansas track team. Born in Atlanta, Kansas, seven year old Cunningham and his thirteen year old brother, Floyd, received severe burns in a schoolhouse fire in 1917. Floyd died of his injuries two weeks later. Although Glenn's physician said he would never walk again, with rehabilitation and personal determination he recovered to become one of the nation's greatest milers. Between 1932 and 1934, Glenn won the Big Six indoor track titles and participated in the 1932 and 1936 Olympics. In 1938, Cunningham became the world's fastest miler as he set a new indoor record at Dartmouth College. In 1978, he was named the outstanding track performer in the 100-year history of Madison Square Garden, and, in 1979, he was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.


Glenn Cunningham and Archie San Romani, Lawrence, Kansas

Glenn Cunningham and Archie San Romani, Lawrence, Kansas
Creator: D'Ambra, Duke
Date: 1938
A portrait of famed Kansas milers Glenn Cunningham, 1909-1988, and Archie San Romani, 1912-1994, crossing the finish line at the Kansas Relays at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. San Romani beat Cunningham in this race. Throughout San Romani's track career, he beat Cunningham 11 times. Up until 1930, the time barrier for the mile was considered to be four minutes and ten seconds. During the period from 1930 to 1940, that barrier was broken 18 times, and 11 of those new records were set by Kansans Glenn Cunningham with eight and Archie San Romani with three.


Glenn Cunningham and Bill Hargiss

Glenn Cunningham and Bill Hargiss
Creator: D'Ambra, Duke
Date: Between 1930 and 1933
This is a photograph showing Glenn Cunningham and University of Kansas track coach Bill Hargiss. Cunningham who grew up in Elkhart, Kansas, had several nicknames the Kansas Flyer, Elkhart Express and Iron Horse of Kansas. He earned the nicknames when he set world records for the mile. While attending school, his legs were very badly burned in a schoolhouse explosion which was caused when someone accidentally put gasoline instead of kerosene in a heating stove. Cunningham was eight and his brother Floyd was thirteen. Floyd died in the fire. When the doctors recommended amputating Glenn's legs, his parents would not allow the surgery. The doctors predicted he might never walk normally again; however, coupled with hours of a new type of therapy he gradually regained the ability to walk and to run. He attended the University of Kansas and ran on the track team. He competed in both the 1932 Summer Olympics as well as the 1936 Summer Olympics. While on the ship traveling from the U.S. to Germany, he was voted "Most Popular Athlete" by his fellow Olympians. Cunningham won the Sullivan medal in 1933 for his various running achievements in middle distance. In the 1932 Olympics he took 4th place in the 1500 meters, and in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, he took silver in the 1500 meters. Cunningham won the Sullivan medal in 1933 for his various running achievements in middle distance. In 1934, he set the world record for the mile run at 4:06.8, which stood for three years. In 1936, he set the world record in the 800 meter run. In 1938, he set a world record in the indoor mile run of 4:04.4. He retired from competition in 1940.


Glenn Cunningham article in The Elkhart Tri-State News

Glenn Cunningham article in The Elkhart Tri-State News
Creator: Elkhart Tri-State News
Date: May 31, 1930
This is an extra edition published by The Elkhart Tri-State News. It contains a photo and article about Glenn Cunningham breaking the world's record for the mile with a time of 4 minutes and 24 seconds. The track meet was held at Stagg Field, Chicago, Illinois.


Glenn Cunningham at a track meet possibly in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Glenn Cunningham at a track meet possibly in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Creator: Murphy, Peter F., Jr.
Date: Between 1930 and 1935
This is a photograph showing Glenn Cunningham at a track meet possibly in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The scars on his legs, caused by a rural school fire, are visible in the photograph.


Glenn Cunningham, Jack Lovelock, and Bill Bonthron racing at Princeton University

Glenn Cunningham, Jack Lovelock, and Bill Bonthron racing at Princeton University
Date: 1935
A photograph showing a race between Glenn Cunningham, Kansas University, in the lead, Jack Lovelock, New Zealand, in second place, and Bill Bonthron, Princeton University, third place. The race was the 1500 meter run at Princeton, 1935.


Glenn Cunningham receiving an ancient warrior's helmet

Glenn Cunningham receiving an ancient warrior's helmet
Creator: Acme News Pictures, Inc
Date: October 07, 1934
This is a photograph showing Glenn Cunningham, captain of the American track team, receiving a helmet from Educational Minister Genji Matsuda after the American team defeated the Japanese athletes. The two teams competed in the International Track and Field meet at the Meiji Shrine Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Prince Yasuhito Chichibu, the eldest brother of Emperor Hirohito, is on the right.


Glenn Cunningham shaking Jack Lovelock's hand at the 1936 Olympic Games

Glenn Cunningham shaking Jack Lovelock's hand at the 1936 Olympic Games
Date: August 1936
This is a photograph of Glenn Cunningham shaking Jack Lovelock's hand at the 1936 Olympic Games. Lovelock, from New Zealand, won the gold medal in the mile beating Cunningham.


Glenn Cunningham's Olympic Trophy

Glenn Cunningham's Olympic Trophy
Creator: Dieges and Clust (firm)
Date: 1936
Trophy for Most Popular Man presented to Glenn Cunningham by his fellow American Olympians at the 1936 Games in Berlin. Silver-plated cup mounted to a black plastic pedestal. Glenn Cunningham was one of the world's top middle distance runners in the 1930s. He was known as the "Kansas Ironman," as well as the "Elkhart Express" and the "Kansas Flyer." He was born in Atlanta, Kansas,and grew up in Elkhart, Kansas. In 1917, at age seven, he suffered severe burns to his legs in a schoolhouse fire and doctors told him that he would never walk again. Despite this prognosis, Cunningham became one of the premiere runners of the 1930s. He first came to national attention as a senior at Elkhart High School, where he won many state and national titles, including setting the world prep record for the mile at the National Interscholastic Meet. He then attended the University of Kansas, where he won six conference mile runs, two NCAA titles, and eight AAU national titles. He competed in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles and placed fourth in the 1500M. In the 1936 Olympics he finished second to Jack Lovelock of New Zealand. In 1936 he also broke the world record for 800M. He broke the world record for the mile in 1934 and again in 1938. He also broke the indoor record for the 1500M and the mile seven times. Cunningham retired from racing in 1940.


Glenn Cunningham to Leslie M. Heath

Glenn Cunningham to Leslie M. Heath
Creator: Cunningham, Glenn, 1909-1988
Date: August 9, 1936
Letter written by Glenn Cunningham, 1909-1988, on Olympic Village stationery during the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, to Leslie M. Heath, Emporia, Kansas. Cunningham, a well known Kansas runner who specialized in the mile, wrote about his defeat in the 1500 meter race. Mr. Heath, a postmaster and stamp collector, had asked Cunningham, whom he knew through sporting events, to send him some German stamps. The envelope indicated that Cunningham was living in Peabody, Kansas at this time and contains a postmark from the Olympic Village. The "over" directive at the bottom of the letter was added in pencil probably at a later date. The signatures on the back of the letter have not been authenticated.


Glenn Cunningham winning the Columbian Mile at Madison Square Garden

Glenn Cunningham winning the Columbian Mile at Madison Square Garden
Date: March 14, 1936
This is a photograph showing Glenn Cunningham winning the Columbian Mile in the K. of C. games at Madison Square Garden. Cunningham won by three yards over Gene Venzke, second, (center) and Joe Mangan, third. Glenn's time was 4:46.8.


Glenn Cunningham with several trophies and medals

Glenn Cunningham with several trophies and medals
Creator: Hixon Studio
Date: Between 1933 and 1934
This is a photograph showing Glenn Cunningham with some of his trophies and medals.


Hall of Enshrinement program, Charleston, West Virginia

Hall of Enshrinement program, Charleston, West Virginia
Creator: National Track and Field Hall of Fame
Date: August 30, 1974
A program for a National Track and Field Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony held August 30, 1974 in Charleston, West Virginia. Among the enshrinees are Glenn Cunningham and Jesse Owens.


Kansas Relays certificate for Glenn Cunningham

Kansas Relays certificate for Glenn Cunningham
Date: 1936
A certificate acknowledging Glenn Cunningham has won 1st place in the 1500 meter run in a preliminary competition. This competition was created by the American Olympic Committee to prepare a team from the U.S. for the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin.


Letter sweater

Letter sweater
Date: between 1930 and 1933
University of Kansas letter sweater. Man's wool, v-neck, long-sleeved, pullover sweater with a large blue "K" sewn to chest. Glenn Cunningham wore this sweater while attending the University of Kansas from 1930 to 1933. The sweater is most likely a letter sweater worn by athletes. Cunningham was one of the world's top middle distance runners in the 1930s. He was known as the "Kansas Ironman," as well as the "Elkhart Express" and the "Kansas Flyer." He was born in Atlanta, Kansas,and grew up in Elkhart, Kansas. In 1917, at age seven, he suffered severe burns to his legs in a schoolhouse fire and doctors told him that he would never walk again. Despite this prognosis, Cunningham became one of the premiere runners of the 1930s. He first came to national attention as a senior at Elkhart High School, where he won many state and national titles, including setting the world prep record for the mile at the National Interscholastic Meet. He then attended the University of Kansas, where he won six conference mile runs, two NCAA titles, and eight AAU national titles. He competed in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles and placed fourth in the 1500M. In the 1936 Olympics he finished second to Jack Lovelock of New Zealand. In 1936 he also broke the world record for 800M. He broke the world record for the mile in 1934 and again in 1938. He also broke the indoor record for the 1500M and the mile seven times. Cunningham retired from racing in 1940.


Notice of Floyd Cunningham's death, Stevens County, Kansas

Notice of Floyd Cunningham's death, Stevens County, Kansas
Creator: Hugoton Hermes
Date: February 23, 1917
This newspaper article from the "Hugoton Hermes" reports the death of Floyd Cunningham, 1903-1917, older brother of miler Glenn Cunningham, 1909-1988. The brothers were severely burned in a fire at the Sunflower schoolhouse located in southwest Stevens County. Thirteen year old Floyd Cunningham died of his injuries two weeks later. The physician treating seven year old Glenn told him that he would never walk again. With rehabilitation and personal determination, however, he recovered to become one of the nation's premiere runners. Between 1932 and 1936, Glenn won Big Six indoor mile titles and participated in the 1932 and 1936 Olympics. In 1938, Cunningham became the world's fastest miler as he set a new indoor record at Dartmouth College. In 1978, he was named the outstanding track performer in the 100-year history of Madison Square Garden and, in 1979, he was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.


Olympic passport for Glenn Cunningham

Olympic passport for Glenn Cunningham
Date: 1936
This is Kansan Glenn Cunningham's Olympic passport for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. On the boat traveling to Germany, the U.S. Olympic Team voted him "Most Popular Athlete." The passport displays stamps from the American Olympic Committee; the German Consulate in New York; the British Passport Control in Berlin; Le Havre, Netherlands; Malmo, Sweden and others. Cunningham is listed as an "aktiver teilechmer" or active participant. At the Olympics, Cunningham competed in the 1500-meter track and field event. The legendary race was so competitive that the first five runners to cross the finish line shattered the world record. Cunningham's time, 3.48.4 minutes, was just sixth-tenths of a second slower than the winning time run by Jack Lovelock of New Zealand. Cunningham set three world records over the course of his career and retired from running in 1940 at the age of 31.


Proclamation of the Governor for Dr. Glenn Cunningham Homecoming Day

Proclamation of the Governor for Dr. Glenn Cunningham Homecoming Day
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1979-1987 : Carlin)
Date: November 7, 1984
A proclamation by Governor John Carlin, proclaiming November 7, 1984 as Dr. Glenn Cunningham Homecoming Day.


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