HALL OF FAME

Hollywood Walk of Fame, in Los Angeles, California, which are depicted as a star

Walhalla hall of fame temple, Germany

A hall, wall, or walk of fame is a list of individuals, achievements, or animals, usually chosen by a group of electors, to mark their fame in their field. In some cases, these halls of fame consist of actual halls or museums which enshrine the honorees with sculptures, plaques, and displays of memorabilia and general information regarding the inducted recipients. Sometimes, the honorees’ plaques may instead be posted on a wall (hence a “wall of fame”) or inscribed on a sidewalk (as in a “walk of fame” or an “avenue of fame”). In other cases, the hall of fame is more figurative and simply consists of a list of names of noteworthy people and their achievements and contributions. The lists are maintained by an organization or community, and may be national, state, local, or private.

The English-language term was popularised in the United States by the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at Bronx Community College, in New York City, in the form of a sculpture gallery completed in 1900 and officially declared the following year in 1901. Its inspiration is the Ruhmeshalle (“Hall of Fame”) in Munich, Germany. The Walhalla memorial in Bavaria, Germany, is an even earlier hall of fame, conceived in 1807 and built between 1830 and 1842. The meaning of “fame” has changed over the years, originally meaning “renown” as opposed to today’s more common meaning of “celebrity.”[1]

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