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December 05, 2018

Greetings Infomaniacs,

Gifts 4 HerThis year marks the 174th anniversary of the founding of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). The YMCA has had an eventful history that includes cigarette dogs and Nobel laureates (not to mention the disco anthem that is probably stuck in your head as we speak). Read on to find out some fun and certainly interesting facts about this association...


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QUOTE: "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."

HINT: (1869-1948), preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India.


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The YMCA was created in response to the Industrial Revolution. Appalled by his native England's squalid living conditions during this period, Sir George Williams (1821-1905) began organizing a series of Bible meetings which later expanded and ultimately gave birth to the organization.


In its infancy, many felt that the theologically-inclined YMCA had no business getting involved with physical education-an attitude that persisted until a few American locations began producing workout courses in the late 1800s.


The word "bodybuilding" was coined by a physical culturist working for the YMCA. Strength-training devotee Robert J. Roberts even allowed his employers to advertise their brand by running ads that included photos of his broad, muscular backside. "Bodybuilding" was a term he thought up in 1881.


Combat-ready "cigarette dogs" were sponsored by the YMCA during World War I. Previously, YMCA magazines had condemned tobacco's addictive evils. However, in a publicity stunt that would've made PETA shudder, the agency sponsored a group of specially-trained bulldogs to carry cartons of cigarettes to nervous soldiers across war-torn Europe.


While working as an instructor at Springfield, Massachusetts' YMCA International Training College, James Naismith (1861-1939) famously created the game of basketball as a way to invigorate his students during the harsh New England winter of 1891.


One of the Y's early proponents would up winning the very first Nobel Peace Prize. Henry Dunant (1828-1910) passionately fanned the YMCA's flames throughout Northern Africa and Europe, helped found the Red Cross, and-in 1910-won the original Nobel Peace Prize for his achievements.

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QUOTE: "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."

ANSWER: Mahatma Gandhi.