Rutgers Football from the Vault: Celebrating 150 Years – Post-game Analysis

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By: Stephen Dalina

On November 6th, 2019, football fans celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first college football game, which was played by Rutgers and Princeton University. It was University Archivist Erika Gorder’s and my pleasure to assemble an exhibit celebrating not just college football, but also the game’s evolution alongside the growth of Rutgers University.

For myself, this exhibit was match made in heaven! My father is a longtime Rutgers employee, so going to Rutgers football games and other athletic events filled my childhood. I attended St. Joseph’s High School (Metuchen) and had the privilege to play varsity football with a plethora of talented young men, a handful of whom went on to play for the Scarlet Knights. I had the opportunity to pursue my love of history at Rutgers, obtaining my bachelors’ degree in 2018. I had the unique viewpoint of being a Rutgers football superfan while having a background in historical research. The stars were aligned.

The exhibit captures the spirit of event, the essence of the birth of a national pastime, and the meaning of college football in relation to Rutgers’ prestigious legacy. To encompass a 150 years of history, the archives were thoroughly investigated for any items that interconnected with history of Rutgers with its football program.

The 1st collegiate football game was played differently than how we witness the pastime of football today. Rutgers’ squad of 27 players – only 25 took the field at a time – defeated Princeton 6-4 in the first intercollegiate football game, more like soccer than the modern sport. The game was played on the property that the College Avenue Gym parking lot now inhabits. Princeton won a second match that year, allowing both schools to claim the sport’s first national championship. A third match between the two New Jersey rivals was canceled, because professors said studies were disrupted by the uproar.

Rutgers’s George Dixon and Stephen Gano are accredited for the game’s first score. William J. Leggett, ’72, elected by his teammates as captain of the 1869 Rutgers team. Leggett and his counterpart from Princeton, William S. Gummere ’70, met prior to the starting time of the game to discuss and agree upon the rules of the game. Both men went on to distinguished careers, Leggett as a Reformed clergyman, and Gummere as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Boyd Painting Of the 1869 Rutgers Vs Princeton Game    

Boyd’s depiction, as well as other depictions, of the game were done several years after it had taken place. Therefore, these depictions are not 100% accurate to how the game was played. The only first person account we have of the game comes from a copy of the Targum, currently on display at University Special Collections and University Archives in Alexander Library.

 

West George Street Station

Princeton players took a train to play against Rutgers in New Brunswick. These tracks are now inhabited by NJ Transit.

  

1900s Helmet

 

This helmet is typical of ones players wore in the 1920s. The exhibit features a whole uniform from a 1920s lineman. 

 

1918 Football Team Photo

 

The 1918 team coached by George Stanford featured Paul Robeson, Rutgers’ first All-American. Robeson would go on to be known as a true Renaissance man, renowned as a musician, actor, and political activist. He was forced to sit out one game due to a request from the University of Washington and Lee due to their apprehensiveness to play against an African American player. That was the only game Rutgers lost that season.

1950 Retiring Chanticleer Photo

Rutgers’ fullback Steve Simms officially says goodbye to the Chanticleer as the mascot of Rutgers during a ceremony to mark the end of his reign. The Scarlet Knight then took over as the mascot we now know and love.

Centennial Game Program 1969

Publication sold at Rutgers Vs Princeton Game to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of College Football.

1980 Rutgers Vs Alabama

Photograph of Rutgers playing University of Alabama, which Alabama won 28-25. Of the game, Alabama coach Bear Bryant gave the famous quote, “We won, but we didn’t beat them.”

Rutgers Vs Louisville 2006 Game Ticket

Ticket from Rutgers Football’s greatest victory under Greg Schiano’s tenure. The 15th ranked Scarlet Knights upset the 3rd Ranked Louisville Cardinals.

The project was a collaborative undertaking. Memorabilia displayed in the exhibit was provided by collection here at the University Archives and Special Collections along with some items from Steve Green, and Stephen M. Dalina (My Father).

22nd Annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposium

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Slicing the Air, Carved Board Book, by Asha Ganpat
Slicing the Air, Carved Board Book, by Asha Ganpat

From Here to . . . There: Concept and Technique in Artists’ Books, the 22nd annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposium will be held on November 4, 2016 at the Alexander Library, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 169 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ. The Symposium, which runs from 8:45 am until 5:00 pm will feature 7 individual book artists, and 1 collaborative pair of artists, presenting on their artists’ books, as well as 2 morning workshops, 2 readings from artists’ books during the lunchtime seminar, and an onsite work, a “registry project,” conducted by Asha Ganpat. The day will conclude in our traditional book artists jam, at which all attendees will be able to share their own work. Lunch and refreshments are included in the price of admission ($45 for general admission; $15 for Rutgers staff and faculty; students free.

For more information see

 

New Brunswick Music Scene Archive Kickoff

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300 10_22 Panel v6

By Christie Lutz

Rutgers’ Special Collections and University Archives and the School of Communication and Information Doctoral Student Association will host a symposium to celebrate the establishment of the New Brunswick Music Scene Archive on Thursday, October 22.

The event will feature a panel discussion with figures from the New Brunswick music scene, past and present:  Ronen Kauffman, author of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye; Marissa Paternoster of the band Screaming Females; Joe Steinhardt, founder of Don Giovanni Records; and Jim Testa, founder and publisher of the influential music magazine Jersey Beat.

While the early days of music, performers, and musical venues in New Brunswick have been well documented through manuscripts, sheet music, photographs, programs, and advertisements, there is a gap in the historical record since 1980. Nevertheless the music scene has produced countless pieces of ephemera such as show flyers, zines, photographs, and releases in the form of cassettes, CDs and vinyl records, and digital media.

The New Brunswick Music Scene Archive was established to close this gap and to demonstrate the value and reach of independent, local music.  The collection will also further Special Collections and University Archives’ mission to collect, preserve, and provide access to materials that document the history and culture of New Jersey.

Musical life in New Brunswick can be traced as far back as the early 1800s. Throughout the 19th century, the Hub City boasted numerous theaters, an opera house, music shops, local and traveling musicians, musical associations such as the New Brunswick Band, and the largest musical string manufacturer in the world, the National Musical String Company.

Rutgers in particular has played a large part in the musical history of the city. During the early 1900s, the multi-talented Paul Robeson sang for spending money in cafes and taverns throughout New Brunswick. In 1964, Lenny Kaye played his first gig with his band The Vandals at a Rutgers fraternity. During the 1970s, Bruce Springsteen came from Asbury Park to play at The Ledge (now the Student Activities Center) for $2 per ticket, and New Brunswick’s Looking Glass, formed by Rutgers students, hit #1 with “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl).”

“New Brunswick has been host to a vibrant musical community for such a long time,” said Christie Lutz, New Jersey regional studies librarian.  “We are excited to document its impact and preserve its story through the New Brunswick Music Scene Archive, and hope that this will be the first of many public events as the archive grows and develops.”

The symposium will be held from 6-8 p.m. in the Telecommunications Lecture Hall on the 4th floor of Alexander Library. It is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served. Parking is available in the College Ave Parking Deck and Lots 26 and 30.

For information on the New Brunswick Music Scene Archive and how to donate material, please email Christie Lutz or call 848-932-6148.

43rd Annual Gathering of the Friends of the Modern School

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Rutgers University Brower Commons, Rooms A and B

12:00-4:00pm

The Modern School, located in Piscataway, NJ, was a liberal and progressive school. Influenced by modern educational theorists such as Friedrich Froebel, the founder of Kindergarten and the anarchist Francisco Ferrer, who established a modern school in Barcelona in 1901, the modern school’s pedagogy focused on individual needs and free thinking. As the centerpiece of the alternative Ferrer Colony in Piscataway, the Modern School made a significant contribution to the interpretation and implementation of progressive educational ideals.

Please join us for discussions on the history of anarchism and education in practice in New Jersey.

Luncheon Buffet (with a fee of $20) at Noon*

Program begins at 1pm. Each lecture will be followed by a short q & a session.

Francisco Ferrer: The Anarchist Behind the Modern School. Mark Bray, PhD. Candidate in Modern and European History, Rutgers University.

Sasha and Emma: The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman. Karen Avrich,    writer and editor, daughter of anarchist historian Paul Avrich.

The Stelton Colony: A Personal Appreciation, a film by Robert Rosen, former Dean, UCLA School of Theatre, Film, and Television.

*Those who do not wish to pay for lunch may attend the lectures for free, beginning at 12:45.

For more information, contact

Fernanda Perrone: hperrone@rci.rutgers.edu or 848.932.6154.