Milburn G. Apt


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Milburn G. Apt

Postby DoubleRBar » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:57 am

Happy birthday today (Wednesday) to an Olympic champion with three Olympic medals. Our birthday athlete has one silver medal and two gold medals from the same Olympic Games.

Born the same year as Ronald W. Reagan, this Olympic champion died 57 years ago this coming September.

Janis Joplin and our birthday champion were both born in the same city. This city is located on the western bank of Sabine Lake.

The sixth of seven children, our birthday person was born on the final Monday of June some 102 years ago.

United States Air Force Captain Milburn G. Apt became the first person to exceed mach 3 (about 2,000 miles per hour at about 30,000 feet) on the same day that our birthday athlete died.

Both Captain Apt and our birthday champion died on the last Thursday of September some 57 years ago (this coming September). Captain Apt lost control of his Bell X-2 and crashed while our birthday person died of cancer. Both people had flaming careers and died way too early.

This Olympic champion first won Olympic gold on a Sunday in July. Four days later, our birthday athlete won another Olympic gold medal, this time on a Thursday in August. Three days after this second Olympic gold medal, this person won Olympic silver on the first Sunday in August.

Our birthday champion was only 21 years old while winning these three Olympic medals.

Really not too difficult to figure who this is, however you should think about the hurdles when trying to discover our birthday person.

Who is it?
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Re: Milburn G. Apt

Postby rhymans » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:34 am

I think there's been some debate about whether this athlete was born on another date, as well as the spelling of the family name.
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Re: Milburn G. Apt

Postby DoubleRBar » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:17 am

This athlete's parents were from Norway, so there could be a different spelling of the last name. As far as the birthdate, most biographers use June 26, 1911, including Don Van Natta, Jr.

This champion graduated from high school in 1929 and never went to college. Our birthday athlete was married in 1938.
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Re: Milburn G. Apt

Postby catson52 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:33 pm

Should be so obvious, but it took me a couple of minutes to work it out.
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Re: Milburn G. Apt

Postby Per Andersen » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:05 pm

DoubleRBar wrote:This athlete's parents were from Norway, so there could be a different spelling of the last name. As far as the birthdate, most biographers use June 26, 1911, including Don Van Natta, Jr.

This champion graduated from high school in 1929 and never went to college. Our birthday athlete was married in 1938.

Didriksen was most likely the original Norwegian spelling.
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Re: Milburn G. Apt

Postby DoubleRBar » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:44 am

Mildred "Babe" Didrikson it is, Per Andersen. Born 102 years ago yesterday, she went on to win three Olympic medals in Los Angeles in 1932. It was almost three Olympic gold medals except for her silver medal in the high jump. Officials said she was jumping "head first" at 1.67 in the jump-off and that's how she lost the gold medal. Didrikson claimed she hadn't changed her jumping style all day.
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Re: Milburn G. Apt

Postby bambam » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:50 am

From something I wrote on the name/DOB problem a few years ago, quoting one of her biographies:

Quoting from the beginning of Chapter 3 of Whatta Gal, Williamson and Johnson write:

She was born Mildred Ella Didriksen in Port Arthur, Texas on June 26, 1911. The year of her birth was something Babe sweetly obscured, and the resulting confusion is on display at her gravesite in Beaumont. On her tombstone, carved in marble, the years of her life appear as 1911-1956. On an official Texas historical marker, stamped in steel, at the entrance to her burial plot, it says the year of her birth was 1914. That is the date she used in her autobiography, This Life I've Led. On her application for the Tenth Olympiad [sic] in 1932, Babe wrote in a penciled girlish scrawl that she was born in 1913. In the early 1950s, she claimed the year to be 1915, and once, when she applied for a visa, she declared it was 1919. There is no birth certificate on file at the Jefferson County courthouse. However, sister Lillie had a baptismal certificate that listed the date as 1911. Lillie declared, "I don't know what Babe said, but I went to a lot of trouble to get it right on the gravestone. I figured that's goin' to be there till the hereafter and I wasn't goin' to have it wrong."

Thus the fabled Whatta Gal was not nineteen as everyone thought, but twenty-one when she captured her medals in the 1932 Olympics. That she performed her feats as a legal adult instead of a bouncing teenager perhaps slightly diminishes the size of her legend, but it does not matter. Nor does it matter that she always spelled her last name with an "s-o-n" while her parents used "s-e-n." Babe explained the discrepancy by saying, "I wanted everyone to know I was a Norwegian, not a Swede." But the fact is that -sen is more common in Norwegian usage than Swedish.

Hendershott recounts a similar story in the first chapter of his book. He also notes that, in addition to the baptismal certificate, a family Bible verifies the year of birth as 1911.
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Re: Milburn G. Apt

Postby DoubleRBar » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:33 am

The mother of a good friend of mine from high school lied about her age for years. We found out just before she died that she was really 96 years old. Everyone, including her son (my friend) believed she was 76 years old and she looked closer to 76 than 96.

There are probably many athletes from that era (early 20th century) that either didn't know their correct birthdate or just lied about it.
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Re: Milburn G. Apt

Postby bambam » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:12 am

DoubleRBar wrote:The mother of a good friend of mine from high school lied about her age for years. We found out just before she died that she was really 96 years old. Everyone, including her son (my friend) believed she was 76 years old and she looked closer to 76 than 96.

There are probably many athletes from that era (early 20th century) that either didn't know their correct birthdate or just lied about it.


We find Olympic athlete's ages to be off a lot - from what is in the official records (birth index, SS index, passenger lists, passports) to what they use. Obituaries often have errors for age, copying what the athlete has used over the years.
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