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1917: A young FDR gets into fighting shape with Woodrow Wilson’s cabinet

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Cabinet officials perform exercises led by Walter Camp.

Image: Library of Congress

Walter Camp is known today as the “Father of American Football” for his contributions to the rules of the game, including the development of the line of scrimmage and the system of downs.

He was also an outspoken advocate of exercise and physical fitness

With the entry of the United States into World War I in 1917, Camp was appointed director of the U.S. Navy Training Camps’ Physical Development Program.

Disappointed by the sorry shape of most recruits, Camp devised a simple eight-minute exercise routine he called the “Daily Dozen,” a sequence of calisthenic motions including “hands, grind, crawl, wave, hips, grate, curl, weave, head, grasp, crouch and wing.” Read more…

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