The very first use of the term 'Hall of Fame' came about in 1900 with the creation of the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, part of the original New York University. The movement to create other halls of fame dedicated to various disciplines accelerated in the 1930's.
On June 12, 1939, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, commissioner of Major League Baseball, announced, "I now declare the National Baseball Museum and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York - home of baseball — open!" Fifteen thousand baseball fans applauded furiously and jostled each other to be among the first to step through the doors of the newly-opened baseball shrine.
Such a momentous occasion prompted a thought amongst hockey people: why shouldn't we have a similar hall of fame for our sport?!? The idea resonated, with former hockey great 'Cyclone' Taylor, who was one of the more vocal proponents for such an institution. The first references to a "mythical hockey hall of fame" were published in December 1940 by the Montreal Gazette.