Video: Army vs. Navy, December 2, 1939

by Travis Normand

What an amazing find!  The following is a silent-video clip that someone filmed from the stands of the 1939 Army v. Navy football game.  Watching the film is surreal, as it is a great capture of a moment in time.  The picture and color quality are really incredible and are far better than anything I would have expected to see.

I found the film on a blog at (click here to see that blog).  The following is an excerpt from that NBC blog:

Army had beaten Navy in 11 of their previous 13 meetings when former Navy halfback Emery “Swede” Larson took over coaching duties at his alma mater in ’39. Larson’s teams had beaten Army three times during his playing days, but to insure success as a coach he had the team’s mascot, a goat named Billy VIII, wear the same blanket a previous Billy had worn in Larson’s senior year, 1921.

It worked, as Navy won, 10-0 — its first of five straight victories over Army.

But Larson coached only three of those wins — he quit coaching to serve in the Navy at the outbreak of World War II. Larson actually enlisted in the Marines in 1917, and is still the only Marine to have both played and coached at Navy.

Here is the game’s recap from The News and Courier (Charleston, S.C.). [1]

[1] The News and Courier, Charleston S.C., Sunday Morning December 3, 1939, Section II, Page 1, Far Right Column, available at:

2 thoughts on “Video: Army vs. Navy, December 2, 1939

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