"Bacardi Bowl" is one of several names attached to American football games that occurred in Havana, Cuba in the first half of the 20th century. Most North American schools that played a game on the island have crafted popular histories of the event, describing it as their "first bowl game" or claiming that they were the "first" or "last" to play in Cuba. The actual stories of these games are more complex.
American football games took place on a fairly regular basis in Cuba. Cuban universities and athletic clubs began playing the sport in 1904. An amateur league developed and Cuban teams played one another for a local championship. From 1907 to 1956, at least eighteen U.S. teams, not counting U.S. military squads, competed against Cuban teams on their home soil. At no point were these games considered "bowl" games in the modern sense of the word. They were more like post-season exhibition games along the same lines as the original Rose Bowl.
As mentioned in my bio, I am a Ph.D. student writing a dissertation that focuses on these games. I started this blog as a means of organizing and sharing my research. While my dissertation goes in depth on historiography and theory, this blog is going to be more of a chronological sketch of the games with maybe a few asides about sources. This is my first attempt at blogging, so I'm learning as I go. I am planning on updating it weekly, but don't hold me to that. Anyway, I hope you find it interesting and informative. Feel free to comment.
Michael T. Wood