Lesson 3: What is the ISHOF?

The International Swimming Hall of Fame and Museum (ISHOF) is a history museum and hall of fame located on Fort Lauderdale beach.  

It first opened its doors in the mid 1960's, but Fort Lauderdale's swimming heritage really dates back to the monumental Casino Pool which opened in 1928 and was the first Olympic size pool in the state of Florida.  

A look back in time...

Do you know who the President of the United States was in 1928?

One major carton character also made his debut in 1928.  Do you know who?  (hint:  he lives in Orlando) 

What about in 1964 when the International Swimming Hall of Fame & Museum was built? How much do you think a loaf of bread cost? In 1964, you only needed five quarters, or $1.25, to get a ticket to the movies.  

The ISHOF is part of the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex which includes two 50-meter pools and one 25-yard dive well.

FACT:  Ten world records have been set in this same facility from nine different swimmers, including ones from swimming legends Mary T. Meagher, Natalie Coughlin and Michael Phelps. 

In 19Tarzan68, the  ISHOF became the first international hall of fame of any sport. The center’s first director was Johnny Weissmuller, who also played Edgar Rice Burroughs, in the movie Tarzan, in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Johnny Weissmuller was one of the world's fastest swimmers in the 1920s. He won a total of five Olympic gold medals for swimming and one bronze medal for water polo.  

Have you ever seen the movie Tarzan? 

Click here for a fun reminder of this classic movie.

Today, ISHOF's vision is to be the global focal point for recording and sharing the history of aquatics, promoting swimming as an essential life-skill, and developing educational programs and events related to water sports.  

The museum teaches visitors about the history and the evolution of the sport of today’s swimming. The hall of fame is dedicated to promoting the benefits to swimming as a life skill and a sport. Guests can find ancient art, paintings, photographs, and general information at the museum. The collection highlights events important to the evolution and changes in the sport. There are also artifacts and memorabilia from famous swimmers that have excelled and pushed the boundaries of the sport.

There is even information on American presidents who were swimmers, including former President Ronald Reagan who was the captain of his college swim team and is credited with saving 77 lives when he was a lifeguard. President John F. Kennedy was also a swimmer and was a team member on the first Harvard swim team to beat Yale.

Today, anyone can participate in educational programs on water safety here. The center promotes good health and fitness by offering education, training and guidance.

Career Corner!

ISHOFAthletic Trainer

A certified and licensed health care professional who practices in the field of sports medicine.

Part of their daily routine is to keep the athlete healthy and help them rehabilitate from past injuries. As an athletic trainer, you will have the opportunity to travel with the team and be on action when players injure themselves during games.  

Swimming Coach

Certified instructors that teaches kids and adults to improve their swimming skills. They can be employed by schools, swimming clubs like the International Swimming Hall of Fame, community centers and summer camps. If you’re a young student looking to find a career in swimming, you may want to find out the required age to become a swimming counselor at summer camps.

Quiz Time!

Click here to take the quiz.

Have you seen the renderings of the updates coming to the ISHOF? You can follow along and see some of the construction here.