Tales from the Archives: Bowling League

1966 bowling team

If you have never browsed the pages of the Intercom, we highly suggest taking a look. The Intercom was Duke Medicine’s primary news publication from 1953 to 1972. The pages are filled with traditional news stories about new medical innovations, changes in hospital policy, or personnel changes. As we’ve documented here on the blog previously, we especially enjoy the lighthearted stories of daily life at the Medical Center. Throughout the 1960s, one heavily documented group in the Intercom is the Medical Center Bowling League. 

1971 Annual Awards

The group was formed in the summer of 1960 with 20 charter members. According to a 1966 article, the league was sanctioned by the Women’s International Bowling Congress and affiliated with the City Association of Durham-Orange County. This Duke league was made up of talented women across the Medical Center who enjoyed bowling. They formed into smaller 5 person teams with fun names like “Bowlerette”, “Alley Kats”, “Strikettes”, “Highballers”, and “Hot-A-Rods”. The group seems to have been popular as the Intercom reports 6 teams in 1966 and then 8 teams in 1967. 
The Intercom highlights their annual “Beat the Boss Night”, an event that first began in 1967 where each woman invited her boss and their spouse for a night of bowling. There are also reports of their annual awards banquet where they recognized the best bowling scores and perfect attendance as well as gave out awards for sportsmanship and most improved. 

1966 winning team

However don’t let all the relaxed fun fool you—these women were skilled bowlers who took competition seriously. Members of the league participated in a large number of tournaments at the city, state, and even national level. 
We encourage you to explore past digitized versions of Intercom and let us know if you find any other fascinating stories.