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Pomp & Pigskin: 1924

Washington, D.C., 1924. "No caption (football team at stadium") is all it says here. Who can help fill in the blanks? Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

Washington, D.C., 1924. "No caption (football team at stadium") is all it says here. Who can help fill in the blanks? Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.


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More evidence for Quantico - Ft Benning Game?

President Coolidge himself was rumored to be coming to the game, but did not go. From the article below, his wife did. The 8,000 attendance figure would fit with the light number of people seen in the stands. The article is from the day after, and is more society-focused, talking about who was there but not including the final score!

The flag at half-mast could very well be for Henry C. Wallace, Sec'y of Agriculture, who died in Washington on Oct 26 and for whom flags were lowered (by order of the Sec'y of State) until after his funeral in Des Moines. There was a service at the White House before his body was brought back to Iowa.


This could be a photo from a President's Cup game. The President's Cup, donated in October 1924 by President Calvin Coolidge, was for the best service team (i.e., not a military academy team). The games were played at Griffith. My uncle played in the Cup game in 1931 when the Coast Guard defeated the Marines. The only information I can find is that "Army won the cup the first year [1924] of competition with a 12-6 victory." Interestingly, the Washington Senators in 1924 won the World Series at that park. Walter Johnson was the final game winning pitcher. Also, Babe Ruth was knocked unconscious during a mid-season game at the park in 1924.

To the field at Griffith Stadium

Several of the men in this photograph are dressed in what indeed appear to be U.S. Marine Corps uniforms of that era. So it seems likely that one of the teams here was indeed the Quantico Marine Devil Dogs.

Quantico does seem to have played many of its games in Washington at Griffith during this era. But the lack of leaves on the trees and the heavy winter wear of many of the spectators seems to me to make unlikely that this was the October game vs. Georgetown.

The building in the background is not a military or government facility. It is, in fact, the Medical School of Howard University. So the flag at half-staff could be for any number of reasons. Interestingly, the Howard University Hospital now occupies the land where Griffith Stadium once stood.

Hardly anyone in the stands

Why are there so few people there. Was there a game being played that day or was just propaganda for a newsreel. The trees are totally bare and football season may have been over.

The Few. The Proud. The Marines.

The Quantico Marines Football Team vs. Georgetown. Played on 10/18/1924. Marines won 6-0.

Star of the Quantico team was Frank Bryan Goettge, later killed on Guadalcanal.

Movie camera dead center

The answer should be a simple matter of just locating the newsreel that was being filmed that day. I'll get to work on that.

Marines Rout Army, 39-0.

Given all those uniformed men taking a close interest in the pre-game ball inspection, isn't this another photo from the Army-Marines game that took place at American League park in Washington, D.C. on November 1, 1924? An action shot from this game appeared in Shorpy on September 20, 2010: "Devil Dogs vs. Infantrymen. McQuade makes gain for Marines against Fort Benning."

USMC vs Ft. Benning - Nov 1, 1924

Given the presence of men in uniform and the pomp and circumstance of presenting a ball to someone, it could be the November 1, 1924 game between the U.S. Marines and Fort Benning. But that wouldn't explain the half-staff flag. Wilson died in February and the flag would have been raised after 30 days -- although the flag code for flying the flag at half staff wasn't enacted until June of 1924. More likely the death of Senator Cabot, but then that was on Nov.9 and the USMC/Benning game was on Nov.1.

Possible date clue

Florence Harding, First Lady, died on Friday, Nov 21. This might account for the flag at half mast in the background.

1. Football was and is a Saturday game.
2. Football season did not extend past the end of December. (The 1924 Rose Bowl was played on 1 Jan 1924).
3. Given the spectators attire, this is a late fall game.

I cannot wager a guess

as to the shenanigans on the field but the sign for the Oh Henry! bar says it costs 10 cents, isn't that an enormous amount of money for a candy bar in 1924?

Georgetown Centre College game?

"November 14, 1925. “Georgetown-Centre College game.” Georgetown University takes on Kentucky’s “Praying Colonels” at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C."

Griffith Stadium

The second deck supports are straight, not Y crosstees, so it's Griffith.

Six degrees of Shorpy

brings back R.L. Taylor Ford!

Marines vs. Army

I'm going with "Devil Dogs vs. Infantrymen - Nov. 1, 1924

American League park in Washington, DC

Jack McQuade, former University of Maryland football star, in a game that saw Quantico's Leathernecks mop the field with Army in a 39-0 rout."

Griffith Stadium?

Looks like left field.


I'm guessing that this photo was mid-February, 1924. The flag at half-mast would be due to the death of Woodrow Wilson.

Griffith Stadium?

Flag at half staff could be for Woodrow Wilson who died in Feb '24. No college games played at that time that I can find, so I'm guessing it's the Washington Redskins playing at home in Griffith stadium. Game ball presentation to/from who knows? That's my two cents.

Flag at half staff

Possibly for Henry Cabot Lodge, who died November 9th, 1924

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