Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rollins College vs. la Marina de Guerra Constitucional (Cuban Navy) (1938)

Photo of the gameday program's cover, 1937-1938.
Rollins College, Olin Library, Special Collections and Archives.
The photo above is the cover of a twenty-two page program for an American football game between Rollins College and la Marina de Guerra Constitucional (Cuban Navy). The game was scheduled for January 2, 1938, in Havana, Cuba, but a tragedy prevented it from being played. On December 29, 1937, three Cuban Naval airplanes crashed in Colombia while on a goodwill tour. The Rollins College football team arrived in Havana the following day and agreed with Cuban officials to cancel their game out of respect for the lost airmen. 
Photo of the rosters from the gameday program, 1937-1938.
Rollins College, Olin Library, Special Collections and Archives.
Unable to secure a replacement, Rollins coach Jack McDowall split his squad into two teams, one called “Rollins College” and the other “Cuban Navy,” and played an exhibition game that ended in a 26-26 tie. Similar to other American football teams that visited Cuba for a game, the Rollins football party visited popular tourist sites and attractions in Havana, such as the Capitol building, Morro Castle, the Prado, and a jai-alai match.

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