As the frenzy picks up for today’s celebration for the ticker tape parade being thrown in honor of the US Women’s Soccer Team win, it is in fact not a first for women.
Although the US Women’s Soccer Team is indeed a first for a women’s team, there was one woman who got her own parade that has the honor of being the first—someone who eventually made our borough her home and final resting place.
Gertrude Ederle was born in Manhattan in 1905 and in 1926—against all odds and recommendations—became the first woman to swim across the English Channel.
Not only did Ederle successfully complete the journey, but broke the previous men’s record by a minute shy of 2 hours—only 5 men before her had been able to finish the long and dangerous swim!
Shortly after her record breaking 14 hour and 33 minute swim, according to Brian G Andersson at Woodlawn Cemetery, Ederle moved to a home on Stadium Avenue in Country Club (Andersson is the one who reached out to us and provided much of the information for this story).
At some point in her life Gertrude Ederle moved to New Jersey where she passed away but not even death kept her from The Bronx she had made her home earlier in life and when she passed away in 2003 at the age of 98, she was laid to rest at the historic Woodlawn Cemetery—the final resting place of so many great Americans.
So today when you cheer the US Women’s Soccer Team during their ticker tape parade for their hard earned victory, think back to 1926 and let us not forget Gertrude for being a trailblazer in a world of men and for her being the FIRST woman ever to receive such an honor.
Thanks to Brian G Andersson at Woodlawn Cemetery for telling us this wonderful bit of history that is connected to our wonderful borough of The Bronx.