International Origins

The Turnverein (meaning a union for practicing gymnastics) movement originated in Germany in 1811 as one nationalistic response to the War of Liberation against Napoleon, fostering rigorous exercise among boys and young men to produce a healthy body and to enable the citizenry to protect the nation. The idea of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, the movement evolved to embrace democratic principles. Suffering repression in its early decades, it eventually became absorbed within the State. It was the Turnverein movement was responsible for the development of much gymnastic equipment in use today.


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6 Essex Street
Lawrence, MA 01840

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Founded in 1978 as the Immigrant City Archives, the mission of the Lawrence History Center is to collect, preserve, share, and animate the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people.