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August 4, 2022

Amazing Photographs From the 1959 Women’s Diving and Swimming Championships in Florida

The 1959 swimming and diving championships of the Amateur Athletic Union, which were held in Palm Beach, Fla., didn’t exactly look like the diving events that you would see at a national competition today.

Even though the event was supposed to be the indoor championships, it was held outside due to the heat. And the 200 or so girls and young women of the AAU wore the same modest one-piece bathing suits that can be seen in many poolside photos from the 1950s, not the sleek and modern suit today’s divers wear.

American photographer Peter Stackpole took these vivid color images of the divers in action and provided no information about who won or what the events even were. Though he did not record who among his subjects proved victorious, his photos provide evidence that a gravity-defying dive could be as impressive then as it is today.

(Photo by © Peter Stackpole, via LIFE)


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