The Greatest Athlete In The World

That’s what everyone agreed. Jim Thorpe was at the 1912 Olympics, but legend had to make him even more—and draconian rules had to take it all away

Jim Thorpe at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden

Jim Thorpe throws the discus at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden, where he was awarded the gold medal in the decathlon.

Americans have always demanded that their heroes be more than human. George Washington had to have thrown the dollar across the Potomac, Davy Crockett had to have wrestled a grizzly, Babe Ruth had to have come through for a dying boy with a promised home run. We all know that these stories are Sunday truths, but somehow the men wouldn’t be the same without them.

The Case Of The Kensington Rune Stone

An eminent scholar argues that its inscription is only a hoax.

Did Norsemen, coming via Greenland and, perhaps, Hudson Bay, penetrate the Minnesota-Great Lakes area over a century before Columbus? A number of students and fervent Scandinavian-Americans, their belief fortified by scraps of Norse legend and literature and supported by such supposed relics as the Kensington rune stone, are sure of it. Most scholars, however, either doubt or reject the story, and their chief spokesman is Erik Wahlgren, professor of Scandinavian languages at the University of California at Los Angeles.