1913 Seventy-five Years Ago

PrintPrintEmailEmail

Notre Dame’s quarterback, Gus Dorais, and its team captain, Knute Rockne, orchestrated an upset victory over Army on November 1, when, through innovative use of the forward pass, the Fighting Irish racked up 35 points to the Cadets’ 13.

The forward pass had been introduced in 1906, but most quarterbacks crudely lobbed the football to stationary receivers. Rockne and Dorais, who was also a star pitcher on Notre Dame’s baseball team, fine-tuned the pass play with precision throws to moving receivers. In front of three thousand amazed spectatrrs, Notre Dame premiered its new tactic, clobbered Army, and changed forever the way the game was played.

Determined to ensure the establishment of a democratic, constitutional government in Mexico, President Woodrow Wilson called for the resignation of Mexico’s military dictator, Victoriano Huerta. Wilson had withheld U.S. recognition of the Huerta government, which had come to power through the murder of the populist leader Francisco Madero. “I will not recognize a government of butchers,” Wilson had said privately. Hopes of conciliation glimmered briefly when Huerta promised free elections, but a martial crackdown and the arrest of 110 members of the Madero government confirmed Wilson’s suspicion that Huerta was a full-fledged tyrant. On November 7 Wilson warned that he considered it his “immediate duty to require Huerta’s retirement” and “to employ such means as may be necessary to secure this result.”

Wilson’s stance led to military intervention the following year; U.S. troops occupied Veracruz, and Huerta fled to Spain soon thereafter.