HGIA: Milwaukee Turners

Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Turners.

The Milwaukee Turners, who provided this image from the 1960s, received their charter from the Wisconsin State Legislature in 1855. In 1875, their first salaried gymnastics instructor, George Brosius, became the city’s (and America’s) first Superintendent of Physical Education. Five years later, a group of Milwaukee Turners, with Brosius as their coach, traveled to Frankfurt to participate in the annual Turnfest there, becoming America’s first gymnastics team to compete (and win!) internationally. The Turners have long played a central part in the vibrant political and civic culture of Milwaukee, the city once known as the “German Athens of America.”

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