Saturday, August 04, 2012

Civil Rights and Swimming

The start of the modern Civil Rights Movement can be traced to the demand by Black veterans for equal access to beaches and swimming pools after World War II. A photo of a motel manager pouring muriatic acid on the heads of swimmers made front page news across the country and is widely credited with influencing the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 the very next day. With few exceptions, virtually every attempt to integrate swimming pools and beaches resulted in violence, even after the Supreme Court overruled segregation. Most municipal pools chose to close rather than to integrate. Today most public swimming pools are as segregated as they were in 1964, including Minneapolis.


The link between academic success and exercise, specifically cardio-vascular exercise, is clearly demonstrated. The more physically fit a child is, the better they perform academically. Swimming has the added benefits of teaching strategies to overcome fear and build self-confidence. Swimmers have the highest GPAs and graduation rates.

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