Date in History: 1955

On Father’s Day 1955 the city fathers of Fort Atkinson gave a wonderful gift to their children when they formally dedicated the long awaited new swimming pool in Rock River Park.

Discussions about a municipal pool had begun back in the 1930s, but referendums to finance a pool were defeated in 1938 and 1947. Appeals from Fort Atkinson children and community leaders turned up the heat in the early 1950s, and the third time was the charm as the 1953 referendum was successful.

The pool actually opened on a warm Thursday afternoon in June of 1955 and the first one in was 14 year old Ronnie Tesch. Ronnie had arrived a half hour early and was first in line when the doors opened. He quickly changed and, at the prodding of the photographers present, he ran and jumped into the water despite a rule against doing so.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 06/14/2004.