The story of the US Fencing Hall of Fame began when the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games Committee decided to build the first Olympic Village in Olympic history. The city held a contest to see which bakery could bake breads in every country’s national style. The Helms Bakery, owned by Paul Hoy Helms, was the winner. Helms, the adopted son of a celebrated deaf baseball player from the 1890s, was so moved by his involvement with the Olympics that he renamed his bakery Helms Olympic Bakery and in 1936 inaugurated the Helms Sports Hall of Fame.
The National Fencing Coaches Association Hall of Fame was instituted on February 15, 1963, as a result of an initiative by the University of Illinois Coach Maxwell R. Garret. After the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, this was incorporated into the Helms Sports Hall of Fame. After the Helms Bakery closed in 1976, the Helms Hall of Fame was taken over by Citizens Bank, and then in 1978 the Amateur Athletic Foundation. No one was inducted to the Fencing Hall of Fame from 1975-1994.
In 1995, the USFA authorized a rebirth of the Hall of Fame Committee led by Arnie Messing and Steve Khinoy. All of the honorees of the Helms/Citizens Bank/AAF Hall of Fame are included in the US Fencing Hall of Fame. Nominations are made by the committee, based on research as well as suggestions from the USFA membership and voted by the USFA Congress.