Boston Marathon and the Nationwide Marathon Craze: Topics in Chronicling America
In 1897, marathons rose in popularity starting with the Boston Marathon. This guide provides access to materials related to "Boston Marathon and the Nationwide Marathon Craze” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
Running through dust, rain, snow and mud, Thomas Longboat pulls ahead of his competitors, easily winning the Boston Marathon in April, 1907, and smashing the current record by more than five minutes despite the terrible weather conditions. In the next few years the marathon craze would move outside of Boston to sweep across the country with races run "in nearly every big city," turning the ancient Greek tradition into an American phenomenon. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
J.J. McDermott is the winner of the first Boston Marathon, held on Patriots’ Day.
Ronald J. McDonald is the winner of the second Boston Marathon.
Thomas Longboat is the first Native American to win the Boston Marathon.
Success of the Boston Marathon sparks a nationwide interest in marathon running..