First at Bethel… silliest at Grant’s Tomb?

“The tomb of Ulysses S. Grant on Manhattan’s Riverside Drive was closely guarded over the weekend by damyankee police who had heard that North Carolina rebels, in New York for the Notre Dame game, were planning to hoist the Confederate flag over the shrine.”

— From Time magazine, Nov. 21, 1949

4 thoughts on “First at Bethel… silliest at Grant’s Tomb?”

  1. Interesting post, Lew, as always. I don’t know if this “event” was planned by those Tar Heels attending the game, but after “a good time was had by all” (despite the loss), James. S. McCabe the General Manager of the Statler Hotel, which was headquarters for many Carolina fans, wrote a letter to Carl Goerch, Publisher of “The State” magazine. In part here’s what he said:

    “In all my hotel experience I’ve never dealt with a finer crowd of people than the North Carolinians who came up to see the game. I believe we must have had close to two thousand of them here at the Statler. They were out for a good time and they had it, but there was nothing rough, and nothing out of the way. There was no damage of any kind to hotel property. I haven’t even heard of a broken glass. There was noise–plenty of it–but it was of the good-natured variety: the kind you would naturally expect on occasions of this kind…

    “For a number of days after the game, the people from North Carolina proved to be one of the chief topics of conversation in this town, particularly among the hotel folks. To my way of thinking it was one of the finest public relations jobs ever done by any state in the union…

    “It certainly was a real pleasure to have had them with us.”

  2. Lew, I think I know where “Time” magazine might have gotten the idea of this “story.”

    Recently I was doing some research for a blog-post on “A View To Hugh,” when I ran across an article in the November issue of “Tarnation” magazine. (A UNC humor magazine from the 1940s). On pages 23 & 25 is an article by Bev Lawler titled “Which Way to that Damyankee Stadium?” The article is a series of parody radio news reports about what “might” have happened during the UNC-Notre Dame game weekend.

    In the “mid-day news roundup” is this:

    “(A) group that has been causing some activity in the city has been identified by the Confederate Embassy in Richmond, Va. as citizens of that country. They are in town to observe a football game between natives of their country and the Irish, the report stated. Police have removed the Confederate flag which has always flown over Grant’s Tomb and are searching for the torch which is missing from the Statue of Liberty.” The story goes on to report that the final score of the game was 84 to 0 in favor of UNC.

    As I prepared to send this comment, I noticed that today marks the 61st anniversary of the famous game in Yankee Stadium, played on November 12, 1949.

  3. Intriguing find, Jack — and it makes sense…. I’m drawn to vintage Time magazine coverage not for its accuracy, although sometimes it reported the otherwise unreported in the South, but for its considerable influence over many decades in how we were viewed by the rest of the country.

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