Derby History Quiz
This "Diplome" shows Donald Waldhaus as a participant in the Paris Olympics.
Donald Waldhaus may have been the only of Derbyite to be a member of a US Olympic Team. He was a member of the 1924 US Olympic Fencing team that came in 5th place in Paris. At the time, the 29 year old Waldhaus was an employee of the Derby Home Trust Company and resided at 157 Minerva Street. In his spare time, he was quite an accomplished fencer and in 1924, he captured the junior epee championship of the United States and was selected as one of twelve members of the US team at a competition held in New York in April.
At the Olympics, the US team was eliminated by the Portuguese, but not without controversy. The two teams played their match to a draw, but the Portuguese protested over the listing of names on the rosters. When the judges ordered a replay, the Portuguese took advantage and eliminated the American team.
In the replay, the Portuguese had 10 victories and received 7 touches while the American's had 6 wins and received 21 touches. Waldhaus had two of the six US victories.
Waldhaus later opened his own insurance agency in Shelton which can still be found on Howe Avenue today. He died on April 17, 1975.
Randy Ritter reports that other members of the 1924 US Olympic team included Johnny Weissmuller and Dr. Benjamin Spock. The movie Chariots of Fire was also based on events at the Paris Olympics.
This quiz proved to be one of the most difficult that we have ever had. The only correct answers were received from Rick Dunne and Joe Dedo.
To see our other earlier quizzes and learn more about Derby's unique history, click here.