Go Cyclones! #TBT @CycloneATH

Since this Saturday is the ISU football game against University of Iowa,  this week’s #TBT picture is a photograph of the ISU varsity football team 100 years ago.  Go Cyclones!

Iowa State varsity football team. In the background are State Gym, Marston Water Tower, and engineering buildings, 1916, taken by D.A. Davis.

Iowa State varsity football team. In the background are State Gym, Marston Water Tower, and engineering buildings, 1916, taken by D.A. Davis (University Photographs RS 24-6)

 

For more football pictures from Special Collections & University Archives, check out our Football album on Flickr and our YouTube playlist of ISU Athletics films.

You can also drop by our reading room. We’re on the 4th floor of the Parks Library and open from 9-5, Monday-Friday.


CyPix: ISU Alumni Band

In honor of Homecoming, today’s image features the ISU Alumni Band, performing during the 1985 homecoming half-time show.

Iowa State University Alumni Band, where gold and black uniforms, create an "ISU" formation on the football field during the half-time show.

Alumni Band performing during the 1985 Homecoming football game half-time show. RS 21/2/G Box 1501.

The ISU Alumni Band Association was formed in 1981 by Kirk Hartung, a 1979 ISU alum. In collaboration with the marching band directors, he brought together 165 former marching band members from the graduating classes of 1927 to 1981. The band first performed together at the 1981 Homecoming football game, and has performed there every year since. Watch for them during this year’s game against Toledo on October 11!

More information on the ISU Alumni Band Association can be found in the organization’s Records (RS 21/2/4). Be sure to check out our Homecoming photo album on Flickr.


CyPix: Marching Band Season

Football season is in full swing, but let’s not forget about that musical ensemble that breathes life into that break between the two halves of every football game! Yes, it’s also marching band season, and halftime would not be the same without them. In the photo below, some sousaphone players are pictured blasting out the eardrums of two poor piccolo players (okay, it’s probably just posed) from our own marching band – the Iowa State University Cyclone Football “Varsity” Marching Band, or ISUCF’V’MB.

Sousaphone and piccolo players from the Iowa State University Cyclone Football "Varsity" Marching Band (ISUCF'V'MB), circa 1970s. RS 13/17/3

Sousaphone and piccolo players from the Iowa State University Cyclone Football “Varsity” Marching Band (ISUCF’V’MB), circa 1970s. RS 13/17/3

The band was first organized at Iowa State around 1879 or 1880. The Iowa State Band went on to play at the World’s Columbian Exposition, otherwise known as the World’s Fair, in Chicago in October 1892 for the dedication of the Iowa State Building. The band’s long tradition is still strong today, with a membership of more than 300 students.

More marching band photos are available here, as well as in the Special Collections Department. Interested in learning more about our fantastic marching band? Come in and have a look at our Marching Band Records, RS 13/7/3, a collection full of scrapbooks, documents, and artifacts, in addition to photographs.


Jack Trice: A Sacrifice Remembered

Trice,-Jack-1923

Jack Trice, 1923

A new online digital collection, containing highlights from the Jack Trice Papers and University Photographs, is available for viewing. 90 years ago this October, an Iowa State legend lost his life from injuries sustained during his first college football game. John G. Trice, better known as Jack, was born in 1902 in the small town of Hiram, Ohio. He later attended high school in Cleveland at East Technical High School, where he had a stellar football career. When his high school coach, Sam Willaman, left to coach at what was then Iowa State College, Trice followed to study animal husbandry with the ultimate goal of going south to help fellow African-Americans in their farming endeavors. While at Iowa State, Trice participated in both track and football, though he is best known for the latter. While just about everyone who has ever been associated with Iowa State knows the story of Trice’s first and last game with the college, here it is for those who are not familiar with it.

On October 6, 1923 Iowa State College (now University) played the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Trice was excited to play in his first college football game and, according to his “last letter,” felt like he had something to prove. In the second play of the game, Trice broke his collar, but said he was alright and kept playing. Then, during the third quarter, University of Minnesota players tackled Trice, forcing him to the ground and crushing him. Although he again claimed to be fine, he was taken out of the game and sent to the hospital. After an examination, the doctors decided that he was fit to travel, and he returned to Ames with the rest of his team. Not long after, on October 8, 1923, Jack Trice passed away from internal bleeding due to injuries from the game. According to a hospital record, he died of traumatic peritonitis following an injury to his abdomen. He left behind a young wife, Cora Mae, whom he had married just that previous summer and who was devastated by the news. Jack Trice is the only athlete to have died as a result of playing for Iowa State.

The night before the game, Trice wrote a letter, part of which is pictured below. It not only gives us a glimpse into what he was thinking and feeling the night before the big game, but it shows that he may have had some sense of what was to come.

Jack Trice letter.  Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.

The first page of the letter that Jack Trice wrote the night before his first, and final, game.

the most  poignant excerpt reads as follows:

“The honor of my race, family, and self is at stake. Every one is expecting me to do big things. I will. My whole body and soul are to be thrown recklessly about the field. “

Jack Trice made history even before the fated football game. He was Iowa State College’s first African-American athlete, which is made more significant by the fact that this was the early 1920s and many schools, especially in the South, did not have integrated teams until the 1950s and 1960s. Not everyone viewed Trice’s involvement on Iowa State’s team as a good thing. The states of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma all refused to let their schools play against an African-American; essentially what they said was that either Trice would not play in the games against them, or there would be no football game. As expected of that time, Trice faced prejudice and discrimination, and yet he kept going. It does seem, however, that he and his fellow teammates got along well enough.

Jack Trice and teammates 1923 copy

Jack Trice and some of his teammates, 1923

Today, a bronze statue of Trice, erected in 1987, stands near Jack Trice Stadium, the only Division I-A stadium named after an African-American. The stadium, built in 1975 to replace Clyde Williams Field, was finally named after Trice in 1997 after a long promotion to name it after him that started in 1973. It was originally named Cyclone Stadium in 1984 and the playing field was named Jack Trice Field at that time as well. Now the stadium and bronze statue stand as a commemoration of a young man who sacrificed all for his team, his race, his family, and himself.

For more information on Jack Trice, in addition to what can be found in the online digital collection, feel free to contact us or stop by the Special Collections Department to view the physical collection.  To see what the collection contains, click here.  To learn more about Jack Trice Stadium, please see collection RS 4/8/4. Come on in and see us!


A Window into Building the Cyclone Spirit of Years Past: A Football Manual from the 1930s

The plain and simple cover of the 1930s era football manual recently donated to our University Archives – inside is some wonderful insight into the Cyclone football team of that time.

A football manual from the 1930s was recently donated to the University Archives, and may have even been written by George Veenker, the football coach at that time.  In paging through the manual, you only came across a few photographs.  Even so, the manual is itself a wonderful picture of the spirit and advice given to football players years ago!  It is fun to imagine the manual tucked away in the dorm rooms of every football player, being read diligently every night (really – we’re sure they did!).

The manual opened to the first page (Introduction).

The manual contains an introduction which describes the reason for the booklet:

“If after being told by a coach about a certain rule, a play or what to do under certain conditions, each player would know and remember his job, the coaching of football would be a bed of roses.  If, after having it repeated a certain number of times, all would get the instructions, it would still be alright…”  The manual goes on to say that that, however, does not happen on a regular basis and “Some boys will pick it up reading it in the quiet of their rooms quicker than in the hustle and rush on the field…IT IS FOR THIS PURPOSE THIS NOTE BOOK HAS BEEN ASSEMBLED.”  (And yes, this final sentence is in all caps!).

The bulk of the book contains advice and strategies for the game.  When one looks at the photograph below from a 1938 game, one can only wonder how many of those players were following the advice contained in the manual!

1938 football team

One of my favorite sections is the “Rules and regulations on the care and use of this book” in which the manual explains that “There is a lot of valuable dope in this book which, if gotten into the hands of our opponents, would ruin us…It is secret to the extent that it is the way we really are doing things.  It is valuable to them only to that extent and it is plenty.”  Players are not to share the manual with anyone, including their other football players!  The final part of the section explains that the book is to be eventually turned in and not kept by the player – one can only wonder how many Cyclone football players owned this particular manual while on the team…or if it was the coach’s own personal copy!

The manual contains wonderful pieces of general advice, often in found in all-caps.  An example found in the “Morale” section states:  “IT NEVER DOES ONE ANY HARM TO HAVE HIGH AMBITIONS AND IDEALS, IF TEMPERED WITH COMMON SENSE AND ABILITY TO STAND DISAPPOINTMENT” (many of these are great sayings anyone, whether or not a football player, would benefit to keep in mind!).  Another fun section to read through is the “More than Poetry” section.  One paragraph states “Be sure to dance during the season.  You have lots of energy to spare anyhow.”

Jack Trice and his teammates in 1923.

One final part of the book I would like to highlight is the page about Jack Trice, and the entire section could be thought of as equivalent to these sayings found throughout since it is quite clear the author meant for Jack Trice to be an example to current football players.  The manual states “He had the right attitude, the right spirit and a fine sense of loyalty.”  I won’t quote it at length here, but I highly encourage visitors requesting the manual to take a look at this page!  (More information on Jack Trice can be found in the finding aid for his papers and on our Flickr page).

The gym plaque mentioned in the section on Jack Trice.

The manual closes with a March 4, 1933 editorial, “There’s Something to Cyclone ‘Spirit'”, by Harold Ingle, sports editor of Iowa State Student.  One can think that this manual might be one of those “seeds” mentioned in a paragraph of the editorial:  “When we take note of the heroes who are now here and consider what they are doing to remain, we know that there has been planted here a virile seed that cannot die out.  Repeat to us the hardships that our pioneer classes endured to plant this seed, and we will tell you of the proud and courageous children who are carrying on in face of even greater difficulties.”

The football manual came to us in fragile condition, and the library’s Preservation Department did a wonderful job in making sure the manual will be  well-preserved for future generations!  Please take a look at the Preservation Department’s blog post about how the manual was preserved.  If you would like to find out about other records we have in the University Archives about football and other athletic teams, click here for a listing of the various collections’ finding aids.


Historic Athletic Team Names – Cyclones definitely included!

As I listened to the news stories this past weekend leading up to the Super Bowl game of the Packers versus the Steelers, I realized that our own Cyclones and other collections we have here in the Special Collections Department had a few things in common with the history of this year’s Super Bowl team names.

The history of how the Packers and Steelers received their names has been recounted in numerous articles.  The Packers got theirs from a Wisconsin meat packing company which helped supply their uniforms, and the Steelers from the steel industry around the Pittsburgh area.  Both names are rooted in history and place, just as the Cyclones’ name.

How did our Cyclones get their name? Iowa State’s athletic teams have been known as the Cyclones since 1895.  On September 28 of that year the Iowa State football team surprised Northwestern University’s team, and themselves, by scoring an amazing 36 points.  Northwestern scored 0 points.  The Chicago Tribune described the game the next day:

“Struck by a Cyclone…Northwestern might as well have tried to play football with an Iowa cyclone as with the Iowa team it met yesterday.  At the end of fifty minute’s play the big husky farmers from Iowa’s Agricultural College had rolled up 36 points, while 15 yard line was the nearest Northwestern got to Iowa’s goal.”

Although tornadoes are not necessarily a money making industry here in Iowa, Iowa is nevertheless well known for producing these often terrifying weather phenomena.

More on the history of the naming of the Cyclones can be found here on our online exhibit about the history of Cy.  News clippings about that game with Northwestern, along with many others on the Cyclone football teams through the years, can be found in our football news clippings file (RS 24/6/0/0).  The University Archives also holds other materials documenting ISU’s football history, including game programs and media guides.  If you would like to read a little more about the history of football here at Iowa State, please read a previous post on an exhibit here in Special Collections on Iowa State’s football history (if you would still like to view this exhibit you need to hurry – a new one will soon be taking its place!).

The original Cyclone football team from 1895.

So you would like to do some research related to the names of the Packers and Steelers?  Although we obviously do not collect records related to these teams, we do have Iowa papers and records of people and companies related to the industries these teams were named after.  In addition to the papers of an Iowa State football player who played for one season with the Green Bay Packers (William Reichardt Papers, MS-8however – his papers do not contain much if any documentation related to his football career), we have the records of an Iowa meat packing company, the Rath Packing Company (MS-562).  The Steelers?  This might be a bit of a stretch, but we have the Sherwood DeForest Papers (RS 9/7/53).  DeForest worked for the Agricultural Marketing Department (1954-1977) of US Steel (USX) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and held the positions of Marketing Representative and Manager Marketing – Agricultural Equipment.

Hopefully this post has given you an idea of the variety of collections we hold here in the Special Collections Department of Parks Library, in addition to a little bit of athletic history!