August 6th

August 6th

On this day in 1926 Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel.

The Channel is 35km wide and the bets people had against her were 7:1, but the 19 year old New Yorker made it from France to England – and she did so in 2 hours less than the previous record, making her’s the shortest time in the 51 year history of swimming the Channel – her record remained for 35 years.

To keep herself warm she lathered her body in olive oil, vaseline and lard, and funnily enough, English customs officials stopped her when she arrived on English soil to check she wasn’t smuggling goods into the country!


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