Clara Gregory Baer was born in Algiers, Louisiana back in 1863 to Hamilton and Ellen. She graduated from high school in Louisville, Kentucky, enrolling at the Emerson School of Oratory, the Boston School of Expression and the Posse Normal School of Physical Education in Boston. After graduation, she was employed by the Southern Athletic Club to teach gymnastics to women.
Not content with that she reached out to Newcomb College, now a part of Tulane University. She was hired on a trial basis for a physical education teacher, that position was made permanent where she stayed and completed a 38-year career.
What you may not know about Clara is that she started the first teacher certification program in the South, as well as the first four-year degree program in physical education. She was also the author of the first book of rules for women’s basketball in 1896. She introduced Newcomb Ball, a variation of volleyball to women’s sports. She died in 1938.
Until tomorrow give someone the free gift of a smile