OTD: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opens

On today’s date in 1968, the original Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which honours basketball’s inventor, James Naismith, opened its doors to the public.

This year marks the Hall of Fame’s 49th anniversary. It opened less than a month after the National Basketball Association’s 18th all-star game. The sport of basketball had come a long way since 1891, when Naismith first invented the game.

Basketball was first accepted as an Olympic sport for the 1936 Berlin Games. In 1959, Naismith was voted into the Hall of Fame bearing his name. In 1978, he was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame in his home town of Almonte, Ont.

In 1991, Naismith and the 100th anniversary of the game of basketball were commemorated on a 40-cent stamp (Scott #1344) issued by Canada Post. The stamp, featured in the Basketball issue, came in souvenir sheets of 40-, 46-, and 80-cent stamps, and another sheet of only 40-cents stamps.

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