October 11, 1930 - Alma Mater first played as Stadium is dedicated

Notre Dame Stadium Dedication ProgramNo longer were games being played at Cartier Field as Notre Dame Stadium had been built in just four months. Today would be the second game in the new stadium as it had officially opened a week earlier. Navy came to South Bend for the first time as the first three games in the series had been played in Baltimore twice (1927, 1929) and at Soldier Field (1928) when Notre Dame was the "home" team. Fortunately, Knute Rockne had the opportunity to play an entire season in the stadium before his all too soon death. He was directly responsibly for building a new stadium and helped the architectural design by envisioning a smaller scale Michigan Stadium.

The game itself was controlled by the Irish the whole way. In front of 40,000 fans, the University of Notre Dame defeated the United States Naval Academy 26-2. The amazing picture below shows a glimpse into the game day atmosphere (click it to enlarge), notice the lack of Touchdown Jesus in the background. The dedication ceremony featured several speeches and poems. One such poem was read by the English writer G.K. Chesterton. Notre Dame had arranged for Chesterton and his wife to come over from England to give a series of lectures on campus. The poem he read, The Arena, can be found here. The primary speech was given by Frank E. Hering, captain of the 1898 team and first football coach as well as president of the Alumni Association.

Notre Dame vs Navy Stadium Dedication Game

Not only did Notre Dame receive a new stadium the week before, but now they had a new school song as well. At halftime, the marching band performed a brand new song written by then band director Joseph Casasanta. There were no lyrics at this point, only the tune that we all know. (Though, the Victory March has gone through some musical revisions since it was first written so it is possible that the Alma Mater has been slightly altered over the past eighty years as well.)

(EDIT: It appears the dedication ceremony may have occurred the night before on Friday Oct 10. Either way, the Alma Mater premiered at halftime of the dedicatory game against Navy.)

Keywords: alma mater, football, navy, band, notre dame stadium, knute rockne, gk chesterton, frank e hering, joseph casasanta

Posted On: 2011-10-11 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07


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