Swimming and diving events at the 1959 Amateur Athletic Union championships, held in Palm Beach, Florida, weren’t exactly like those you would see at today’s national competitions. The event, which was supposed to be held indoors, was held outside due to the heat. Divers today wear sleek and modern suits, not the modest one-piece bathing suits these 200 girls wore during the 1950s.
Photojournalist Peter Stackpole captured these vivid color images of the divers in action, but he did not provide any information about who won or what the events were. He did not record who among his subjects won, but his photographs show that gravity-defying dives were as impressive as they are now.