Athletics, Collections and Resources, Events, Special Collections, UNC History

Archival Films Bring Tar Heel Football History to Pre-Games

Gridiron Glory
Oct. 2 and 30, 2010
3 hours before kickoff until game time
Wilson Library
, Pleasants Family Assembly Room
Free and open to the public
Information: (919) 962-3765 or wilsonlibrary@unc.edu

Updated Oct. 19: We’ve enhanced Gridiron Glory with audio! Oct. 30 homecoming showing now features Woody Durham, voice of the Tar Heels, calling the plays. Visit our photos on Facebook for a look at his recent recording session in the audio preservation studio in Wilson Library.

Visitors to UNC’s pre-game festivities on Oct. 2 and 30 can catch a special glimpse of Tar Heel football history. A showing of archival film clips in Wilson Library will feature highlights from games past, including footage of football legends such as Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice and “Famous Amos” Lawrence.

“Gridiron Glory” will run in a twenty-minute continuous loop in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room during the University’s Tar Heel Town. Showings will begin three hours before kickoff and continue until shortly before game time. The showings are free and open to the public.

A YouTube preview of the clips is now available.

The film loop will include 13 games from 1934 through 1985. Among the highlights will be:

  • UNC’s first match against #1-ranked Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium in 1949, with a brief appearance by an injured Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice (#22);
  • Justice passing, running, and kicking in the 1950 Cotton Bowl game against Rice University;
  • All-American #85 Bob Lacey in the 1963 UNC vs. University of Virginia game;
  • #20 “Famous Amos” Lawrence rushing against East Carolina in 1978.

The films are drawn from the University Archives in Wilson Library, where they are part of the records of the UNC Football Office. In the 1930s, the Football Office began filming games in order to help coaches evaluate and train players and review strategic plays. Many of the films provide unique camera angles and views of the games not captured by broadcasters.

Most of the films are the original 16 mm recordings, said University Archivist Jay Gaidmore, and they are badly in need of preservation.

“We’d like to be able to share these films more broadly,” said Gaidmore. “But many are in too fragile a condition to use or digitize.”

Gaidmore said he hopes that the showing will raise awareness about the collection.

The Library will also display football memorabilia from the collections, including programs, news clippings, and photographs by the late photographer Hugh Morton.

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