1875: Captain Webb swims the English Channel, giving notoriety to long-distance swimming. No other person successfully swims the English Channel for 31 more years.
1896: Athens Olympics: Four swim races are held in the Bay of Zea (100, 500 and 1200 meters and a race for Greek sailors) in 55ºF water and very heavy surf.
1900 Paris Olympics: Five downstream swim races are held in the Seine River, including a 4K freestyle race won in under an hour.
1916: Annual La Jolla Roughwater Swim starts in San Diego.