Mille Gade was born in Denmark into the Gade family of noted musicians. At 16 she was awarded the Royal Life Saving Medal (only five in the world at that time) by the king. She also received recognition and a cash award from the Carnegie Foundation for her life-saving feats. She emigrated to the United States in 1919. In 1921 she became the second woman to swim around Manhattan Island and in the same year swam frm Albany to New York City. On Sept. 21, 1921 she married Clemington Corson. Her first English Channel attempt was in August 1923, when she was forced to abondon the effort within two miles of the French coast. On Aug. 27 and 28, 1926, she swam the English Channel (France to England) in 15-3/4 hours, the first mother and only the second woman to conquer the Channel.
Three scrapbooks and two albums containing photographs of Corson; news clippings about the swim; a Certificate of Life Membership in the Danish American Athletic Club; a certificate from the American Red Cross; sheet music; a tribute to her which contains a picture of her and her children; programs with images of her; advertisements; and a Navy chart showing her route and time. Vaudeville appearances, product endorsements, and civic honors are depicted in photographs and playbills.
Mille Gade Corson Collection, 1920-1930, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of Esther Stoyanoff