Meet April Atkins, Once The World's Strongest 7th-Grader

You might think that a huge amount of information about a 12-year-old girl once celebrated as the "world's strongest seventh-grader" would surely exist online. That's the sort of thing ARPANET was built for, wasn't it? That, and allowing mainframe computers all over the world to talk to one another. But really, those DoD … » 4/10/14 11:55am 4/10/14 11:55am

Where Are The Tight Satin Men's Basketball Shorts Of Yesteryear, Damn…

So much has changed since the Long Island University Blackbirds were a force to be reckoned with in men's college hoops. But surely the gear — specifically, the oh-so-short shorts, the BDSM-ready knee pads, the grimy sneakers and such — worn by the lads is way up there among the many features of the sport that have… » 3/21/14 3:20pm 3/21/14 3:20pm

For Some Stupid Reason, Everyone Was Shocked When Clay Beat Liston

Fifty years ago tomorrow, in Miami Beach, 22-year-old Cassius Clay beat the hell out of Sonny Liston and took the world heavyweight crown from the Big Bear. According to the great New York Times sportswriter Robert Lipsyte, "only three of 46 sportswriters covering the fight had picked Clay to win." And who can blame… » 2/24/14 4:15pm 2/24/14 4:15pm

Tony Kubek Once Brought A Camera To Spring Training, Then Mantle Farted

In the 1960s, the likelihood of taking at least one photograph of Mickey Mantle ripping — or pretending to rip — a fart during spring training was, evidently, quite high. Perhaps LIFE magazine's editors weren't aware of this, because in February 1961 they handed 25-year-old shortstop Tony Kubek a professional-grade… » 2/18/14 3:01am 2/18/14 3:01am

Resolved: The Olympics Really Are About Peace, Love And Understanding

I watch the Olympics, winter and summer, with my bullshit detector turned off. That's to say, I embrace the IOC's evident wish that we, the viewers, see each Olympiad the way they, the organizers, hope we will — as a spirited, amicable competition where the medal-count is far less important than the fellowship that… » 2/05/14 9:15am 2/05/14 9:15am

Unpublished Super Bowl I Photos Suggest Smoking Bad, Winning Good

Here's the Chiefs' Len Dawson sucking hard on a cancer stick at halftime of the 1967 AFL-NFL World Championship Game, a.k.a, Super Bowl I. It's a compelling picture, if only because it depicts a Hall of Fame quarterback looking sort of badass for reasons that have nothing to do with his on-field skills. » 1/29/14 9:00am 1/29/14 9:00am

This Old Chinese Figure Skater Has Smooth Moves, Awesome Facial Hair

In February 1946 readers of a popular weekly magazine were introduced to exactly the sort of scene Henry Luce likely had in mind when, a decade earlier, he and poet Archibald MacLeish crafted their famous prospectus for a publication initially called "The Show-Book of the World." The still-stirring opening lines of their … » 1/07/14 1:30pm 1/07/14 1:30pm

75 Years Ago NFL Players Looked Like This

"Pro football is almost a different game from college football," LIFE magazine helpfully informed its readers in October 1938. In those years, the biggest pro sports in America were baseball, boxing and horse racing; professional football barely registered on most fans' radar. But pro ball was making strides, and LIFE… » 12/17/13 10:00am 12/17/13 10:00am

The Badassest Rookie Linebacker The NFL Has Ever Seen

I was never a Bears fan, although I do admire the uniform — orange, black and white together just feels football-y, somehow — and I bawled like a crazy person while reading I Am Third and again while watching Brian's Song. (Damn you, James Caan. Damn you to tearjerking hell.) But recently I came across an old LIFE… » 12/04/13 8:55am 12/04/13 8:55am

The Kennedys And Their Goddamn Football, Fer Chrissake

Everyone's talking about JFK these days, and why not? He and his messed-up brothers from that twisted, doomed family certainly had style, even if the lads were — by and large — narcissists congenitally addicted to strange. Style. It's a slippery thing. Here, for example, is a picture of Jack tossing a football to his… » 11/15/13 2:06pm 11/15/13 2:06pm

This Guy Yells At Girls All Day, But It's Cool

In September 1965, LIFE magazine profiled a man named Bill Horan, a World War II vet who spent his days yelling at young women. That's not all he did, though. He also instilled the sort of character traits one might expect from a former paratrooper — tenacity, discipline, resilience — through cheerleading clinics he… » 11/13/13 9:13am 11/13/13 9:13am