En Garde at the Carnegie Lyceum
Throughout this season, we've revealed many unusual events that have happened at Carnegie Hall in its 120-year history. Here's one more thing that you thought could not possibly have happened here ... exactly 106 years ago today.
On February 27, 1906, French fencing champion and Olympic medalist Lucien Mérignac (below) faced off against Italian champion Giuseppe Galante in the Carnegie Lyceum (today's Zankel Hall). The Frenchman bested the Italian in a match of eight bouts, with Mérignac winning two, Galante one, and five resulting in a draw. According to the subsequent coverage in The Sun (report below) and The New York Times, Galante—though a skilled fencer—was no match for Mérignac's "long reach," "lightning attack," and "whirlwind parry."
The Sun account of the Mérignac versus Galante bout in Carnegie Lyceum, which took place the previous day. | Courtesy of the Library of Congress's Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Lucien Mérignac | Courtesy of Biliothèque nationale de France
Related: Hall History