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1879
Lt. Col. Richard Henry Pratt persuaded Washington to hand over the mothballed Carlisle military barracks in Pennsylvania for use as a school for American Indians. In the early 20th century the school became a football powerhouse, beating Army in 1912. In 1918 the school was turned into a hospital to receive soldiers wounded in WW I.
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1892
Pennsylvania’s Mansfield Univ. played college football’s first night game.
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1918 Oct 5
The Univ. of Michigan played a home football game against Case Institute of Technology and won 33-0. A number of fans in the stands were infected with influenza and passed it on to fellow spectators. The first two local deaths occurred on Oct 11. The local epidemic was declared over on Nov 4 with 117 deaths in Ann Arbor.
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1919 Jul 31
Curt Gowdy (d.2006), later leading sports announcer, was born in Green River, Wyo.
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1920 Dec 14
George Gipp (b.1895) died in Indiana from pneumonia and a strep infection during his senior year at Notre Dame. He was buried in northern Michigan. Gipp was the school's first All-American and set a school career rushing record that stood for more than 50 years. Ronald Reagan portrayed Gipp in the 1940 movie "Knute Rockne, All American," in which he made famous the phrase "win one for the Gipper."
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1924 Nov 27
In San Francisco the first Turkey Bowl high school football championship was played at the new Kezar Stadium.
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1929 Jul 4
Al Davis (d.2011), NFL team owner, was born in Brocton, Mass. In 1982 he moved the Oakland Raiders to Los Angeles. The team moved back to Oakland in 1995.
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1930 Nov 18
The Stanford Univ. football team defeated UC Berkeley 41-0 in the Big Game. UC coach C.N. Price resigned Nov 24 following the most lopsided loss in the rivalry.
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1933 May 7
Johnny Unitas (d.2002), the son of Lithuanian immigrants, was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. He became a NFL Quarterback for the Baltimore Colts and San Diego Chargers. He was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.
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1933
Art Rooney founded the Pittsburgh Pirates football team for $2,500.
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1937 Nov 16
In Berkeley, California, the Big Game rally turned into an all-night riot. Police arrested 31 people and damages were estimated at $10,000. Some 1,000 high school students were reportedly involved.
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1938
Byron White signed a $15,800 contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates becoming the NFL’s first big money player. He later served for 31 years as a US Supreme Court Justice.
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1940
Art Rooney renamed the Pittsburgh Pirates football team to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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1946 Sep 1
The SF 49ers under coach Lawrence “Buck” Shaw, played their first home game at Kezar Stadium before a crowd of 45,000. They beat the Chicago Rockets 34-14.
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1951
The USF football team, the Dons, went unbeaten and untied under the leadership of coach Brad Lynn (1916-2006), but were not invited to any bowl games because of 2 black men in the lineup. 8 of the starters went directly to the NFL. USF Pres. Rev. William J. Dunne dropped football at the end of the season. In 2000 Kristine Clark, while working on a book about the team, convinced Sen. Barbara Boxer to request a presidential apology from Pres. Clinton.
Links: USA, SF, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1954
John Madden, born in Minnesota, graduated from Jefferson High School in Daly City, Ca., after attending middle school at Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
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1955 Nov 18
The Stanford Univ. football team defeated UC Berkeley 19-0 in the 58th Big Game. This tied the series with 24 victories and 10 ties each.
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1956 Jan 12
Frankie Albert (36) was appointed as head coach of the SF 49ers.
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1958 Dec 17
Howard Hickey (41) was named coach of the SF 49ers to replaced Frank Albert, who had retired unexpectedly.
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1958 Dec 28
At Yankee Stadium the Baltimore Colts beat the NY Giants in the NFL championship game 23-17, after the game went into overtime for the first time. In 2008 Mark Bowden authored “The Best Game Ever: The Birth of the Modern NFL.”
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1960
The Oakland Raiders began play in the fledgling American Football League at Youell Field, Kezar Stadium and the new Candlestick Park. The team was founded by developers John Brooks and Wayne Valley.
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1964 May 10
Victor Pasquale Morabito (45), president and managing owner of the San Francisco 49ers, died of a heart attack. His brother, Anthony J. Morabito, founder-owner of the 49ers, had died of a heart attack between halves of a 49ers-Bears game in 1957.
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1968 Jan 14
The Green Bay Packers under Vince Lombardi, after winning its third consecu-tive NFL championship, won the 2nd Super Bowl Football game over the Oakland Raiders. This was Lombardi's last game as coach of the Packers. The game drew the first $3 million gate in football history. In 1999 David Maraniss authored "When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi."
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1968 Jan 28
Vince Lombardi resigned as coach of Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers, two weeks after winning Super Bowl II. He remained as general manager. On Feb 1 Phil Bengtson was named coach of the Packers.
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1968 Nov 17
NBC outraged football fans by cutting away from the final minutes of a New York Jets-Oakland Raiders game to begin a TV special, "Heidi," on schedule. The jets led 32-29 with one minute remaining. Viewers were deprived of seeing the Raiders come from behind to beat the Jets, 43-to-32.
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1968 Dec 5
Football star O.J. Simpson won a Heisman Trophy. In 1999 it was auctioned in LA for $230,000 to help cover the $33.5 million judgment against him in the wrongful death of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
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1968
When the Raiders played in their first Super Bowl in Miami, boss Al Davis got a call from mobster Meyer Lansky asking him to speak to a group of funeral directors. Davis tried to back out but Lansky said: "You will be there at 6 p.m." A biography of Lansky was written by Hank Messick (d.1999).
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1969 Jan 12
The New York Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts, 16-7, in Super Bowl III at the Orange Bowl in Miami.
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1969 Feb 4
John Madden (b.1936), a graduate of Daly City’s Jefferson High School, was named head coach of the NFL's Oakland Raiders.
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1969 Jun 6
Joe Namath resigned from NFL after Pete Rozelle, football commissioner, said he must sell his stake in a bar.
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1969 Dec 21
Vince Lombardi (1913-1970), head coach of the Washington Redskins, coached his last football game and lost.
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1969
Leonard Tose (1915-2003) and several others bought the Philadelphia Eagles pro football team for $15.155 million. Tose bought out his partners in 1977. He sold the team in 1985 to Norman Braman of south Florida for $65 million.
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1970 Aug 3
A 4-day NFL strike ended when the owners agreed to put $4.5 million into the players' pension fund and insurance benefits annually. The players also received increased preseason and per diem payments.
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1970 Sep 3
Vince Lombardi (57), one of Fordham University‘s stalwart linemen known as the "Seven Blocks of Granite" during his college days, succumbed to cancer in Washington, D.C. He had recently coached the Washington Redskins to their first winning season in 14 years. Lombardi had previously coached the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships and victories in the first two Super Bowls. He went to the Washington Redskins in 1969 as head coach, general manager, and part owner. The team wound up with a 7-5-2 record for the season. In 1999 David Maraniss authored "When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi."
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1970 Sep 12
The Univ. of Alabama under coach Bear Bryant football team played against an integrated opponent for the 1st time losing to the Univ. of Southern California 42-21.
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1970 Sep 21
"NFL Monday Night Football" made its debut on ABC TV as the Cleveland Browns defeated the visiting New York Jets, 31-to-21.
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1970 Oct 2
A plane carrying the Wichita State Univ. football team crashed near Silver Plume, Colorado, killing 29 passengers as well as the Captain and Flight Attendant.
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1970 Nov 14
The Marshall Univ. football team of Huntington, West Virginia, was wiped out in air crash of a Southern Airways DC-9 at Kenova, WV. All 75 people on board were killed.
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1971 Aug 26
New Jersey Gov. William T. Cahill announced that the New York Giants football team had agreed to leave Yankee Stadium for a new sports complex to be built in East Rutherford.
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1971
The SF 49ers played at Kezar Stadium in Goldengate Park up to this year, when they moved to Candlestick Park.
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1972
Stanford Univ. changed its mascot from an Indian to a cardinal following complaints of racism.
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1973 Sep 14
Pres Nixon signed into law a measure lifting pro football's blackout.
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1974 Jul 10
The World Football League played its first games.
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1975 Jan 12
The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Minnesota Vikings (16-6) in the Superbowl in New Orleans. Bob McCurry of Chrysler Corp. introduced the auto rebate in a 1975 Superbowl commercial.
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1976 Oct 10
In New Jersey the Meadowlands' Giant's Stadium opened with an NFL game between the Giants and Dallas Cowboys.
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1976 Dec 12
QB Joe Namath played his last game as a NY Jet. In 2004 Mark Kriegel authored “Namath: A Biography.”
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1976 Dec 27
The Oakland Raiders defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-7 and won a trip to the Super Bowl for the 1st time since 1967.
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1976
Clint Murchison Jr., owner of the Dallas Cowboys, visited Miami for the Super Bowl and stopped for ribs at a restaurant owned by Tony Roma (d.2003). He enjoyed the foods so much that he purchased the majority of US franchise rights. In 2003 the chain had grown to over 250.
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1976
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers football expansion team began playing and lost their first 26 games.
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1977 Jan 9
The Oakland Raiders beat the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl 32-14 at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. Quarterback Ken Stabler (1945-2015) led the SF Bay Area team to victory.
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1978 Dec 30
Ohio State University fired Woody Hayes as its football coach, one day after Hayes punched Clemson University player Charlie Bauman during the Gator Bowl after Bauman intercepted an Ohio pass.
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1978
Vincent Rovetti (d.1997 at 62), soccer and 49er player, set a Guinness Book of World Records mark for place kicking a football 1,035 times through the uprights at Candlestick Park in SF in 2 hours and 30 min.
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1979 Jan 21
The Pittsburgh Steelers became the first team to win three Super Bowls as they defeated the Dallas Cowboys 35-31 in Super Bowl 13.
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1980 Nov 22
UC Berkeley defeated Stanford 28-23 in the Big Game.
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1981 Jan 11
The Oakland Raiders defeated the San Diego Charges 34-27 in the AFC championship game.
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1981 Nov 28
Bear Bryant of the Univ. of Alabama won his 315th game to out distance Alonzo Stagg & become college football's winningest coach.
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1982 Jan 11
Dwight Clark made "The Catch" and the SF 49ers won against Dallas in the NFC title game. In Super Bowl XVI San Francisco played against Cincinnati.
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1982 Jan 25
In San Francisco crowds estimated at over 500,000 took to the streets to celebrate the Super Bowl XVI parade. City Hall had planned for 25,000.
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1982 Sep 21
National Football League players began a 57-day strike, their first regular-season walkout ever.
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1982 Nov 16
The US National Football League ended a 57-day strike, the longest in the history of professional sports.
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