Throwback Thursday: Navy's first trip to Notre Dame in 1930

Margaret Fosmoe
ND Insider

Notre Dame and Navy started playing football against each other annually in 1927, which makes it the longest uninterrupted intersectional rivalry in college football.

The first time Navy visited South Bend was on Oct. 11, 1930, which happened to be the dedication game for the brand-new Notre Dame Stadium. The South Bend Tribune covered that occasion in great detail.

"Fans crowd city; 55,000 to see Navy game," declared the front page headline on that day.

Click here to see the front page:

On the Friday night before the game, 25,000 students, employees and local residents turned out for a dedication ceremony in the new bowl.

Famed Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne spoke at the dedication of the valor of his players who warranted the building of the new stadium.

Click here to see the Tribune's Notre Dame Stadium Dedication Edition:

"This stadium," Rockne said, "was meant for the apex in Notre Dame's sports. If you want to see a less spirited contests, go witness an interhall game; but come here to expect the university's best spirit."

"They call us the 'Fighting Irish,' " the Rev. Charles O'Donnell, Notre Dame's president, said at the dedication. "And whether it has been in derision or because of the many descendants here of that race does not matter. We have borne the name proudly."

The Irish beat Navy 26-2 that Saturday before a crowd of about 50,000 in the new stadium.

Click here to see the Tribune's front page after beating Navy:

It would be Rockne's first and last season leading the Fighting Irish in Notre Dame Stadium. The famed coach, age 43, was killed the following spring -- on March 31, 1931 -- in an airplane crash near Bazaar, Kansas.


South Bend Tribune file photo