On this day in Duluth in 1922, Duluth’s Walter Hoover returned to his home town as an international sporting hero—on film, anyway. The Garrick Theatre showed moving pictures of Hoover as he became the world champion rower by taking the Diamond Challenge Sculls at the annual Henley Royal Regatta on the River Thames at Henley-on-Thames, England. The film was sent via airplane to Chicago and on to Duluth by special rail. The movie showed Hoover being greeted by New York City Mayor John Hylan and a reception in Gotham’s city hall. Hoover himself arrived in the Zenith City the following day, where a “monster” reception awaited him. Business and factories closed between 8 and 9 a.m. so that workers, backed by the American Legion band, could cheer Hoover when he arrived at 8:30 at the Omaha Station. Hoover was the second American to ever win the Diamond Challenge. The first, Edward Ten-Eyck, was the son of James Ten-Eyck, legendary coach of the Duluth Boat Club.
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