The press described it as “the greatest feat of endurance of all time.” Henry F. Sullivan had become the first American, and only the third person ever, to swim across the English Channel. His feat established the world’s endurance record and the world’s breast stroke record, and earned him a stunning silver trophy.
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This monumental George V sterling silver trophy made by Elkington & Co. is an intriguing relic of the golden age of achievement, adventure, and historic firsts. Known as “The Alexander Channel Cup,” it is a stunning piece of silversmithing that measures over three feet in height — only 2 feet shorter than me. The trophy was presented to Massachusetts native Henry F. Sullivan in 1923 as a prize for becoming the first American to swim the English Channel.
Printed news notices are called “broadsides” by collectors. In a way, a broadside can be considered an antique form of a tweet, a blog, or an email newsletter: it was intended to spread the word about something to the widest audience possible, in as expedient a manner possible. Broadsides were also intended to be printed quickly and efficiently, in order to keep news as fresh as possible.
My dad, a Korean War vet, uses the very father-like expression “freedom isn’t free.” It often gets boiled down to a sound bite, but it’s absolutely true. The freedoms we enjoy every day in this country all came with a price—turmoil, sweat, tears, and blood.