Moment in time:January 09, 1949, Tom Longboat dies – At a time when aboriginals in Canada were denied the most basic human rights, Onondaga distance runner Tom Longboat became one of the world’s most celebrated athletes. He burst onto the international running scene with a record-breaking victory at the 1907 Boston Marathon. His popularity soared such that his wedding reception was held at Massey Hall and a cigar was branded with his name. But when he split with his managers in 1911 over an argument about training methods, he was labelled a lazy alcoholic squandering his talent. He trained alone - and his times improved. He remained a dominant figure in his sport until he enlisted for war in 1916. Twice wounded and once declared dead, he survived to spend most of his remaining days as a Toronto garbage collector before returning to his home reserve near Brantford, Ontario. He died at age 61. – Patrick White
Happy birthday to one of Canada’s finest long distance runners: Tom Longboat, who was born this day in 1887. Tom was raised at Ohsweken, on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario. He won the Boston Marathon in 1907. Later during World War I Longboat served as a dispatch runner in France and raced professionally. After the war Longboat returned to Canada and settled in Toronto where he worked until 1944. He retired to the Six Nations Reserve and died of pneumonia on January 9, 1949.
Cogwagee (Thomas Charles Longboat) (June 4, 1887 – January 9, 1949) was an Onondaga distance runner from the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation Indian reserve near Brantford, Ontario, and for much of his career the dominant long distance runner of the time. June 4 is officially “Tom Longboat Day” in Canada