Carlsbad's 'Hula Girl' gives her spin on toy's history (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

In 1956, Joan Anderson flew home to Australia for the Christmas holidays and was fascinated to find her old friends joyously swiveling their hips in bamboo exercise rings.

A few months later, the mother of four had her family ship a hoop to her Los Angeles home so her kids could give it a whirl. And when a friend at a dinner party said the hip-swinging motion reminded him of the hula dance, Anderson gave the ring its now-iconic name: The Hula Hoop.

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Theodore Dudley