Origin of Sokol Organization
Founded in Prague on February 16, 1862 in the Czech lands (now the Czech Republic) by philosopher Dr. Miroslav Tyrš. Based on his credo of “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body”, Sokol offers physical training in gymnastics and other athletics. It also provides cultural awareness and family oriented activities. Dr. Tyrš greatly admired the Greek “kalokagathia” (= in ancient Greece, an ideal physical and moral beauty) and applied its principles of harmony of body and mind in the organization. His ideals, class plans and terminology are still used today.
What “Sokol” Means
“Sokol” is the Czech translation for “Falcon”. The falcon was chosen because of its power, endurance and keen sense of perception.
American Sokol Organization History
The first Sokol in the United States was founded on February 14, 1865, in St. Louis, Missouri followed by Sokol New York in 1867. Within a few years Sokol units were formed in Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cedar Rapids, Omaha, etc. Since then they have expanded from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to the Rio Grande.
American Sokol Organization Today
Well into its second century, American Sokol remains an organization dedicated to the physical, mental, and cultural advancement of its members, both youth and adults that attend its programs and the local communities it serves. The mission of the American Sokol is to provide fitness and community for individuals and families through physical, educational, cultural and social programs. There are currently 35 American Sokol units, or clubs, operating in North America. Since 1865 American Sokol has been shaping the lives of olympians, athletes, diplomats, artists, and most importantly, the families in the communities in which we serve.
“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. I appreciate the part the American Sokol Movement has played in establishing physical fitness and good sportsmanship as major objectives of recreation, education and our way of life. In years to come, I hope American Sokol’s example will inspire millions more to join in this pursuit of excellence.”
– President John F. Kennedy
Sokol New York History
Sokol New York was established on October 13, 1867. Sokol Hall, the building we continue to operate today, was designed by Architect Julius Franke and was erected in 1896. It cost $200 to excavate the site and another $30,000 to erect the two story hall, with financial pledges from the almost 500 members. They each pledged $50, then about 10% of the average factory worker’s annual income. While there were some changes made, the building is very much the same as it was back then – one of a few remaining vestiges of our old Yorkville neighborhood.
Sokol New York Social Activities
– Sport Competitions & Exhibitions,
– Special Events & Lectures
– Social Events for Adults & Children
Sokol New York Physical Activities and Classes for Children, Teens & Adults
– Tot Gym
– Rhythmic Gymnastics
– Tae Kwon Do
– Folk Dance