Thursday, February 9, 2012

To be a Los Angeles Turners is to belong to a historic organization.  Turners are as much a part of American history as they are steeped in their German background. The word Turner is an Anglicization of the German Turnen (Gymnastics).  The Turnvereine became the first gym clubs in this country.    
Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, a Prussian gymnastics educator and patriot, founded the Turners. As a teacher, he developed a system of gymnastics and invented much of the gym equipment in use today —balance beam, parallel bars, horse etc.  In 1848, the first Turners immigrated and brought the movement to the United States, establishing Turner societies in many American cities. Today, there are fifty-four clubs across the U.S and we have been part of Los Angeles since 1871.  

Arriving in America during the turmoil preceding the Civil War, Turners immediately became stalwarts of the Abolitionist movement and active in the election campaign of Abraham Lincoln. Two Turners became Union generals in the Civil War and one became Secretary of the Interior.  As daily life normalized, Turners prepared gymnastics teachers in Normal schools and pushed legislation to make physical education mandatory in American schools.  More about gym in L A schools later.

We learn from our past, appreciate the advantages of the present and embrace the future.  Come visit us.  See if A SOUND MIND IN A SOUND BODY is for you. 

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