Thursday, February 2, 2012

Artifact Spotlight: Naval Training Station Football Photo Album, 1918

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?


Long before the dominance of the National Football League, Americans embraced college football with open arms. After the United States entered World War I in April 1917, many of the nation’s universities and colleges lost their students and athletes to the armed services. Though college football suffered, the football teams of the Army and Navy kept the sport alive. In fact, many of the student athletes joined their new unit's football squad. At Newport, athletes from Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Cornell, Brown, Princeton, the Naval Academy, and Williams College were selected for the Reservists Regiment of the Second Naval District’s winning football team in 1917. Among them was Clinton H. “Cupid” Black, an All-American from Yale who was chosen as captain.

During the 1918 season, the Newport Naval Training Staion football team, coached by Fred Walker, continued to draw crowds despite suffering two resounding losses to the Naval Academy and the Harvard Radio School Team.  The squad had great affection for Mrs. Edward Hale Campbell, the wife of the station's commanding officer. They presented her with a personalized leather photographic scrapbook on December 14, 1918. This wonderful record of life at the training station, features unique photographs of the players, practices, games, favorite officers, and even a visit from former President Theodore Roosevelt. Of the two team photographs included, one was taken in front of Luce Hall and the other in front of the Administration Building (now the Naval War College Museum).

The slideshow is a complete reproduction of the album and can be viewed full screen by clicking on the icon to the right.

Gift of Professor Donald Chisolm of the Naval War College                                                         2001.15.01


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