While we all know about Sherman’s march through the Carolinas, we were not as familiar with North Carolina’s November 12, 1949 invasion of New York City. On that day, slightly over 37,000 zealous Tar Heels descended on New York for the football game between UNC and Notre Dame in the unlikely setting of Yankee Stadium. It appears that the Tar Heel incursion into the Big Apple caused quite a stir. According to the New York Times account, the pre-game festivities of “the Southern forces [have] turned the midtown into a neon-lighted campus.” The spirited UNC fans also “staged a rally that was enthusiastic even by Times Square standards.”
Entering the game undefeated and as the nation’s top-ranked team, Notre Dame proved to be too powerful for the underdog Tar Heels. While the Daily Tar Heel reported that North Carolina “played with utter contempt for the greatness that is Notre Dame,” the Heels ultimately lost to the Irish by a score of 42-6. The DTH went on to report that the exuberant North Carolina fans’ “traditional end-of-game singing of ‘Hark the Sound’ came out with such gusto that several thousand of the rabid New York fans stopped dead in their usually hurried tracks” to listen.