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Think ‘n Drink: Wheels of Courage: The History of Wheelchair Basketball
July 6 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Listen to Wheels of Courage author David Davis tell the story of how disabled WWII veterans formed the first wheelchair basketball teams. These athletes helped jump-start a global movement about human adaptability. Their unlikely heroics on the court showed the world that it is ability, not disability, that matters most.
To access the live stream of this event, please register here: https://forms.gle/
Please join the Wisconsin Maritime Museum on July 6th at 6:30pm for our free Think & Drink series presentation “Wheels of Courage: The History of Wheelchair Basketball” with author David Davis. The featured drink of the night will be a Slam Dunk Cocktail.
David Davis’ book Wheels of Courage: How Paralyzed Veterans from World War II Invented Wheelchair Sports, Fought for Disability Rights, and Inspired a Nation tells the stirring story of the soldiers, sailors, and marines who were paralyzed on the battlefield during World War II—only to return to a world unused to dealing with their traumatic injuries. Doctors considered paraplegics to be “dead-enders” and “no-hopers,” with the life expectancy of about a year. Societal stigma was so ingrained that playing sports was considered out-of-bounds for so-called “crippled bodies.”
But servicemen, many of whom form the basis of Davis’s book, refused to waste away in their hospital beds. Thanks to medical advances and the dedication of innovative physicians and rehabilitation coaches, they asserted their right to a life without limitations. The paralyzed veterans formed the first wheelchair basketball teams, and soon were barnstorming the nation and filling arenas with cheering, incredulous fans. The wounded-warriors-turned-playmakers were joined by their British counterparts, led by the indomitable Dr. Ludwig Guttmann. Together, they triggered the birth of the Paralympic Games and opened the gymnasium doors to those with other disabilities, including survivors of the polio epidemic in the 1950s.
Alcohol and nonalcoholic drinks will be available for purchase at the limited bar.
Doors and bar open at 6:00 pm. The talk and live stream portion begin at 6:30 pm. To access the live stream of this event, please register here: https://forms.gle/LdgMt9ZCCGMBoWni9
Admission is free both in-person and virtually.
For more information about this talk and upcoming events at the museum please visit our website https://www.wisconsinmaritime.org/ or on Facebook @WIMaritimeMuseum.
This program is funded in part by a grant from Wisconsin Humanities, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Please note: although these events incorporate a thematic drink, there is no requirement or emphasis on alcohol consumption. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol and/or drug abuse, please reach out to the national substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.