Fight over Jim Thorpe's remains

The sons of Jim Thorpe have been trying to get the remains of their father back from a Pennsylvania town for years.  On November 23, 2011, a federal court rendered its second decision in this case. THORPE v. BOROUGH OF JIM THORPE, 2011WL5878377.

Here are the facts of the case as stated by the plaintiffs in their complaint:

"Jim Thorpe was a famous athlete, an enrolled member of the Sac and Fox Indian tribe, and an advocate for the rights of Indian people. Upon Jim Thorpe's death in 1953, his remains were taken to Shawnee, Oklahoma, for burial near his birthplace. Before the completion of the traditional Sac and Fox memorial service, Jim Thorpe's third wife ordered that his casket be removed. She proceeded to “shop around” his remains until a deal was made to bury them in the Boroughs of East Mauch Chunk and Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania. The boroughs then consolidated under one new name, “Borough of Jim Thorpe.” The agreement between the Borough and Jim Thorpe's widow stated that she would not “remove or cause to be removed the body of her said husband, Jim Thorpe, from the confines” of the Borough, “so long as the boroughs of East Mauch Chunk and Mauch Chunk … are officially known and designated as ‘Jim Thorpe.’ ” Although Jim Thorpe is never known to have visited the town, the Borough hoped that the erection of a monument in Jim Thorpe's honor would attract tourists."

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