The Pro Football Hall of Fame is a dream that was built into a reality by a community that accepted a bold challenge. The challenge came in the form of a December 6, 1959 Canton Repository newspaper headline that read: “PRO FOOTBALL NEEDS HALL OF FAME AND LOGICAL SITE IS HERE.” Canton, the newspaper argued, was a natural for the Hall of Fame site. After all, the city had been the cradle of pro football back in the leather helmet days of the early 1900’s.
Civic groups and community leaders quickly embraced the newspaper’s challenge. Land was donated by the city and a fund-raising campaign acquired pledges totaling $378,026. The pledges included contributors like the Canton Police who kicked in one dollar apiece, and donors like the insurance agent who pledged $300 and made faithful $6.25 monthly payments for years even after he’d moved out of the area.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
From its humble beginnings in 1963 to today, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has grown in both size and stature. Recognized worldwide as America’s premier sports showplace, it’s doubtful that even the most optimistic of those who led the drive to bring the Hall of Fame to Canton could have envisioned the successes it would realize. A truly exhilarating museum and exhibition center, the Hall of Fame pays tribute to the talents and triumphs of football’s greatest stars. Chronicled within the walls of the Hall of Fame are the stories and circumstances of play that bring to life words such as courage, dedication, vision, fair play, and skill.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit educational institution and is independent of the National Football League. Your support will help assure the long-term stability and continued success of the Hall of Fame. It will enable us to preserve, present, and promote this important part of Americana.
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