August 28 – Today in Hat History
August 28 – Today in Hat History. Lida Scott Howell
Proving you can win an Olympic Gold Medal in style, Madge salutes Matilda (Lida) Scott Howell on her 156th birthday.
She competed in archery at the St Louis Olympic Games in 1904, winning two gold medals. Her score for the national round archery was 620 and for Columbia round archery, 867. Her scores in the 1895 championship set records which were not broken until 1931 – 36 years later.
Archery was an event in five of the earliest Olympics and, as it had been an acceptable leisure sport for upper class women, they were allowed to participate. America’s first female gold medalist in archery was Lida Scott. Lida Scott became interested in archery around 1878. It was a result of articles she had read that were written by Maurice Thompson. In 1881, she won the Ohio State archery championship. She repeated her victory in 1882. In the spring of 1883 she married Millard C. Howell and also won her first national championship. Her dedication to the sport continued and by 1907, she had won seventeen national titles.
As an archer, she was clearly a woman ahead of her time. In 1904 a reporter from the Cincinnati Times Star interviewed Mrs. Howell after winning her 15th championship. When asked why she preferred archery over other sports, she replied, “Archery is a picturesque game, the range with its smooth green and distant glowing target with its gold and radiating red, blue, black, and white, the white-garbed players, with graceful big bows and flying arrows, makes a beautiful picture.” The reporter commented that the love of archery with her is surely inborn. She retired from National Competition in 1907. After the 1920 Olympics, archery was discontinued until 1972 due to a lack of standardized international rules.