Vision & Goals
The Sokol Museum and Library is dedicated to preserve the history and accomplishments of the Sokol movement. From its origin in 1862 in the Czech lands, it was based on
a program of systematic gymnastic training that cultivates a healthy body, sound mind and responsible citizenship. Sokol became an historic organization that established the
Czech culture and Czech identity. The goal of the museum and archives is to demonstrate Sokol’s contributions to gymnastics, physical fitness and sports, as well as to the ideals of democracy.
The first Sokol unit in the United States was founded on February 14, 1865, in St. Louis, Missouri. Within a few years Sokol units were formed in Chicago, New York, Baltimore, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cedar Rapids, and Omaha. Subsequently, many units were established from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to the Rio Grande.
In 1896 the Slovak Gymnastic Union (now Sokol USA) was established in New York city and their many lodges sprang up from New York to Illinois. Other Sokol Associations also were founded: Slovak Catholic Sokol (1905), Catholic Union Sokol (1893), Sokol Canada (1952), and the Polish Falcons of America (1887).
Gymnastics was introduced in North America by the German Turnverein and Czech Sokols and led to the development of gymnastic teams in colleges and later in high schools. Nine Sokol members have competed for the USA in the Olympic Games and many other in International competitions. Sokol members have contributed to the development of artistic and rhythmic gymnastics by serving in various capacities, such as judges, organizers of competitions and serving on association boards. Eight Sokol members have been inducted into the USA Gymnastics Federation Hall of Fame.