On This Day 14 September
By TheBoldAge. Published 2020-09-14
In 3760BCE the first day of creation; in 1741 Handel completed Messiah; in 1914 Lord Kitchener appeared with "Your country needs you"; in 1917 the Russian Empire became the Russian Republic. In 1901 the first professional bodybuilding contest was held in Royal Albert Hall
Eugen Sandow - the father of modern bodybuilding
On the 14th of September, 1901 the "Great Competition" was held at the Royal Albert Hall. It was the first bodybuilding contest and the precursor to events like Mr Universe and Mr Olympia.
Eugen was born on the 2nd of April 1867 in Konigbserg (Prussia) which would then become Kaliningrad. He became interested in bodybuilding following a trip to Italy when he was only 10 years old and left Prussia to avoid military service, becoming a circus athlete.
In his 30s he wanted to provide "encouragement to those who are anxious to perfect their physiques". While there had been bodybuilding contest before there had never been a contents as big as the one he wanted to host. He travelled the UK and attended regional competitions where the winners would be allowed to compete in the Great Competition.
60 men were on stage and were judged by Sir Charles Lawes and Dr Arthur Conan Doyle (of Sherlock Holmes fame!); the photo below shows Lawes, Doyle and Sandow judging the contestants.
Other events on this day
- 3760BCE: 1st day of creation according to Jewish tradition
- 1741: Handel completed his oratorio "Messiah"
- 1901: first professional bodybuilding show was held at the Royal Albert Hall
- 1914: Lord Kitchener appeared on the front cover of London Opinion with the phrase "Your country needs you"
- 1917: The Russian Empire was formally replaced by the Russian Republic