Honorary Unsubscribe

Randy Cassingham’s Honorary Unsubscribe Recognizes the Unknown, the Forgotten and the Often Obscure People who Had an Impact on Our Lives.
These are the people you will wish you had known.

Supertramper

George Nissen

As a teenager — and a gymnast — Nissen was watching a circus performance and watched as trapeze artists dropped into safety nets, where they would often bounce back high into the air. That gave him an idea, and he and his coach went to work, and in 1934, while a student at the University of Iowa, the result was a bouncing training surface for gymnasts. In the late 1930s, after getting his degree, Nissen traveled to fairs and carnivals to demonstrate his “rebound tumbling” device, which at the time didn’t have a name. But in Mexico he heard the Spanish word for “springboard” — trampolin — and anglicized it and trademarked it, and the Trampoline was born. He promoted it throughout his life, with his favorite publicity photo being him jumping on a tramp with a “rented” kangaroo (see photo below). George Nissen Trampoline publicity shotIn 2000, trampoline gymnastics debuted as a medal sport at the Summer Olympics in Sydney. “It is something I dreamt, like people winning a million dollars,” he told reporters from the audience — he was 86 years old. Nissen died April 7 from pneumonia. He was 96.

From This is True for 11 April 2010


Honorary Unsubscribe Books

HU BooksThe Early Writeups from This is True's popular Honorary Unsubscribe feature are now available for your Kindle (or Kindle software for your smartphone, tablet, or computer) as low-cost ebooks.

See details on Volume 1 (covering 1998 through 2000), Volume 2 (2001 through 2003), Volume 3 (2004 through 2006), and Volume 4 (2007 through 2009).

The honorees truly are the people you wish you had known.

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