Annette Kellerman, circa 1907
Known as the Australian Mermaid, Annette Kellerman was the first woman to attempt to swim the English Channel. She gained international acclaim for her swimming ability and great beauty. Kellerman performed with Pawnee Bill’s Great Wild West show at Wonderland at Revere Beach, Massachusetts in 1907, where she was arrested for indecent exposure after wearing her one-piece black swimsuit on the public beach. Her arrest generated a great deal of publicity and ultimately her case was dismissed when the judge accepted the argument for a woman’s need for unrestricted movement when swimming.