Monday, October 12, 2015

Newlyweds at a 1950 Auburn Football Game

I recently came across the aerial shot below in one of the Auburn University Libraries digital collections. The photo of the Cliff Hare football stadium in 1950 with the homecoming game in progress grabbed my attention because my parents were living in Auburn at the time. Mom tells me they were probably at this homecoming game since they attended home football games regularly that fall.

Mom and dad had been married in September 1950 and returned to campus so dad could finish the final semester of his degree. The football team had a discouraging season that year under coach Earl Brown. In fact, Auburn did not score at all in seven games and lost that homecoming game 41-0 to #11 Clemson. The team finished 0-10. Brown was fired and Shug Jordan hired. Mom tells me about the only thing Auburn fans had to cheer about during the games that year were first downs. 

Of course, Auburn University was actually the Alabama Polytechnic Institute or API at this time, but mom said no one called it that. The school was known then and had been for a long time as "Auburn". Founded in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College, the school was renamed Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama in 1872 when it became the state's first land-grant university. 

In 1892 Auburn became the first four-year coeducational school in Alabama. Renamed API in 1899, that name held officially until 1960 when the change to Auburn University was finally made. AU is now one of the few American universities that has land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant research designations.

Today, the football stadium is a bit bigger.

Source: Auburn University Digital Library 

Action during the 1950 homecoming game

Source: Auburn University Digital Library

Source: Wright family scrapbook

Mom and dad pose at their wedding cake at the First Methodist Church in Haleyville on September 10, 1950. The town's other claim to fame is the nation's first 911 emergency service that began in February 1968. 

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