First Thanksgiving college football game played


On November 30, 1876, Yale defeats Princeton, 2-0, in Hoboken, New Jersey in the first collegiate football game played on Thanksgiving. Nearly 1,000 fans attend the game, played in cold, rainy weather. “The friends of both colleges mustered in good force,” the New York Times reports. “Several carriages containing ladies were on the ground, and a goodly number of Alumni were there to cheer the contestants.”

The “football” was oval and made of leather, the Times noted, “similar to those used in Rugby Union rules.” The game resembled rugby more than a present-day football game.


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