Roger Bannister and the four-minute mile | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Roger Bannister and the four-minute mile

Roger Bannister became the first man to run a mile in under four minutes on 6 May 1954.

You can search British newspapers from 1954 online at The British Newspaper Archive, so we took a look to see how the incredible feat was reported.


‘Something typically British about this new world record’

The Aberdeen Evening Express published an article about Roger Bannister the following day, proudly stating that ‘Britain’s great mile-runner has achieved the ambition of all athletes; he has broken the four-minute mile barrier’.


Roger Bannister's four-minute mile

Aberdeen Evening Express – Friday 07 May 1954
Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

View the whole newspaper page


The newspaper went on to describe how the 25-year-old returned to his university, the University of Oxford, to create the new world record. He was watched by ‘an excited but not demonstrative small crowd of about 1000… There were no bands, no cheer-leaders; there was no super-stadium packed with thousands of roaring supporters’.


Read more newspaper reports about Roger Bannister

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