150 years ago, America’s favorite sport was … walking


In 1860, two men made a friendly wager over whether Abraham Lincoln would win the upcoming presidential election.  The result was a national frenzy over the sport of competitive … walking. 

This largely forgotten chapter of American history is the subject of a new book by author Matthew Algeo called “Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk was America’s Favorite Spectator Sport.” 

He’ll be appearing in Bucks County later this week, and he spoke with NewsWorks Tonight Producer Shai Ben-Yaacov.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal