Some historians believe that the Battle of Marathon between the Greeks and the Persians happened on September 10th in 490 B.C. According to legend, a messenger ran non-stop more than 20 miles from the battlefield to Athens to deliver news of a Greek victory. That legend inspired the first “marathon” foot race during the Athens Olympics of 1896.
The U.S. lost an Olympic men’s basketball game for the first time on this date in 1972, when the Soviet team took the gold medal game, 51-50. Members of the American team felt that the championship was stolen from them when the Soviets were given three chances to score the winning basket. The Americans refused to accept the silver medal.
A belt with a gold buckle, called the Hickok Belt, was created to honor the top professional athlete of the year in the U.S. Two years in a row, in 1960 and 1961, the winner of the Hickok Belt was an athlete born on September 10th…golfer Arnold Palmer (born in 1929), followed by baseball home-run record-setter Roger Maris (1934).