The Story of the NFL's Dayton Triangles

1920s Timeline: the Decade at a Glance

Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
December 23, 1999


Jan. 1: Harvard defeats Oregon, 7-6, in the Rose Bowl.

Jan. 16: Beer, wine and liquor are banned by the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, putting the entire country in line with 25 states that already banned alcohol.

April 3: William T. "Big Bill" Tilden II wins the first U.S. indoor tennis title. In June he becomes the first American to win Wimbledon.

July 27: Resolute wins the America's Cup.

Aug. 26: The 19th Amendment to the Constitution takes effect, giving women the right to vote.

Sept. 17: The American Professional Football Association -- later to be called the National Football League -- is founded in a meeting at a Hupmobile showroom in Canton, Ohio.

Sept. 30: A census report shows for the first time that more Americans live in urban areas than in rural areas.

October 3, 1920:  The first game matching two APFA teams was held in Dayton, Ohio, at Triangle Park. In this first game the Dayton (Ohio) Triangles defeated the Columbus (Ohio) Panhandles 14-0.

Oct. 12: In his last race, Man o' War defeats Sir Barton, the 1919 Triple Crown winner.

Nov. 20: All-America halfback George Gipp plays his last game at Notre Dame, leading the Irish to a 33-7 victory over Northwestern.

Nov. 25: The Texas-Texas A&M game is broadcast by WTAW in College Station. The rivalry takes hold before a crowd estimated at 20,000. UT wins, 7-3.


Fritz Pollard is named player-coach of the Akron Pros, becoming the NFL's first black head coach. He would also be the last for almost 70 years, until Art Shell took over the Los Angeles Raiders in 1989.

April 23: Charley Paddock earns the title "world's fastest human" with a world record in the 100 meters, 10.4 seconds.

Sept. 6: Tickets are printed for this date for what is to be a title fight in New Jersey matching Jack Dempsey and rising heavyweight Harry Willis, a black man. The fight never comes off. Dempsey is later banned from fighting in New York because he didn't face Willis.


Feb. 17: The French reject baseball as an Olympic sport for the 1924 games.

June 24: Walter Hagen brings the British Open Golf Cup back to the United States with a four-round score of 300, winning by a stroke against 1920 champion George Duncan and James M. Barnes at Royal St. George's.

June 24, 1922: The APFA changed its name to the National Football League (NFL).

Sept: The try-for-point after a touchdown, by place kick, drop kick, run or forward pass, is introduced.

Oct: The North Side Steers appear on the way to being state football champions when the coach of a vanquished foe, (the score was 112-0), reports that a North Side player played two games with a summer semi-pro baseball team. The Interscholastic League negates the Steers' undefeated season.

Oct. 21: For the first time, a Texas Longhorns football game, against Vanderbilt in Dallas, is broadcast to Austin on radio. WFAA had signed on that year and broadcasts selected games in Dallas.

Oct. 30: Benito Mussolini threatens to take control of Italy by force if necessary but power is transferred by King Victor Emmanuel III and the Fascists gain control for the next 22 years.


TCU joins the Southwest Conference.

April 18: 74,200 attend the opening of Yankee Stadium.

May 30: Tommy Milton wins the Indy 500, averaging 90.9 mph.

Feb. 28: Kansas wins the national championship in basketball with a 17-1 record and three legendary figures help the Jayhawks do it. Adolph Rupp is a player, Phog Allen is the coach and Allen's adviser is Dr. James Naismith, who invented basketball.

Nov. 8: With the German Mark trading at 4 'Trillion' to one U.S. dollar, and anger rising over the French occupation of the Ruhr Valley region, National Socialist leader Adolf Hitler attempts a coup of the German government. Called the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, it fails and the plot lands Hitler in jail where he will write 'Mein Kampf' in 1925, further stirring nationalist passions in Germany and Austria.


June 27: Walter Hagen wins his second British Open, this time at Hoylake, defeating Ernest Whitcombe.

July 7: Great Britain's Harold Abrahams defeats the favorites, Americans Jackson Scholz and Charles Paddock, in the 100-meter race at the Paris Olympics. Abrahams' story is the basis for the 1981 movie 'Chariots of Fire'.

July 10: Finland's Paavo Nurmi turns in perhaps the greatest track performance ever, winning the Olympic 1,500 and 5,000-meter races in the span of one hour. The distance star had three weeks earlier set world records in both events at a meet in Helsinki. The "Flying Finn" wins five gold medals at the Paris Games, among the 12 medals he wins in his incredible career. He retires at age 37 in 1934 having set 31 world records, itself a record.

Nov. 4: Miriam "Ma" Ferguson is elected Governor of Texas, the first female governor in the United States. Not unfamiliar to the corridors of power, her husband James had been impeached as Texas governor in 1917.

Nov. 8: The University of Texas' Memorial Stadium, built of concrete and seating 27,000, opens in a 28-10 loss to Baylor.


The American Basketball League -- the world's first major professional basketball league -- begins play. The league folds after the 1930-31 season.

May 25: John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in his Tennessee high school classroom. He is convicted July 21 with William Jennings Bryan serving as prosecutor.

Oct. 7: Christy Mathewson, 45, one of the greatest pitchers in National League history, dies of complications partly stemming from a mustard gas attack suffered in World War I.

Dec. 15: Howie Morenz scores a goal to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-1 victory against the New York Americans at Madison Square Garden, the first NHL game played at the 18,000-seat arena and a turning point in recognition for the fledgling league.


Feb. 16: At Cannes, Frances, Suzanne Lenglen of France defeats Helen Willis of the United States in the tennis "Match of the Century."

April 25: The American Association of University Professors issues a report that states college football promotes drinking, dishonesty and neglect of academic work -- apparently by the players. The panel proposes reforms that include limiting careers to one year.

Aug. 6: Only five people had swimmed the English Channel, all men, before New Yorker Gertrude Ederle, 15, swims the 21 miles covered in grease to fight the cold. She breaks the existing record by more than two hours.

Oct. 10: Grover Cleveland Alexander strikes out Tony Lazzeri with two outs and the bases loaded and Alexander's Cardinals ahead 3-2 in the seventh inning of the seventh game of the World Series. The Cardinals go on to win.


To encourage use of the lateral, rules are changed so that a missed backward pass, except from the center, is declared a dead ball when it hits the ground.

Jan.: Abe Saperstein, a former Chicago social worker, founds the Harlem Globetrotters in Chicago. He formed the Savoy Big Five the year before, but when the Savoy ballroom is converted into a roller skating rink, Saperstein takes the team on the road.

May 21: Charles Lindbergh is greeted by more than 100,000 Parisians at Le Bourget Airport after the 25-year-old completes the first trans-Atlantic solo flight. The accomplishment brings Lindbergh $25,000 and lasting fame and adoration.

Sept. 30: Babe Ruth hits his 60th home run of the season, setting a record that will stand for 34 years.

Oct. 22: In what was billed as "the biggest event in Fort Worth history," TCU confronts unbeaten Texas A&M at Clark Field and holds the Aggies to a 0-0 tie, the only blemish on their season. The TCU star is two-way end Raymond "Rags" Matthews, a Fort Worth Polytechnic product who is among the first Horned Frogs player to gain mention on All-America teams.

Dec. 25: Byron Nelson defeats Ben Hogan for the Glen Garden Country Club caddies championship. The event is held every year on Christmas Day, the only day caddies are allowed to play on the course.


Feb. 1: Boxing great Jack Dempsey announces his retirement.

April 25: Auto racer Frank Lockhart is killed at Daytona Beach after reaching 232 mph when his car swerves into the surf.

June 11: Walter Hagen improves upon his 1922 Royal St. George's stroke total by eight shots, winning the British Open for the third time in the decade.

July 25: Gene Tunney defends his heavyweight title, knocking out New Zealander Tom Heeney in the 11th round. July 31: American Betty Robinson, 16, is the first female track and field gold medalist in the Olympic Games.


Jan. 1: In the Rose Bowl, Cal center Roy Riegels recovers a fumble by Georgia Tech's Stumpy Thomason and runs 69 yards in the wrong direction before teammate Benny Lom catches him and turns him around at the Cal 1, where he is tackled. On the ensuing punt, Riegels snaps the ball out of the end zone for a safety that turned out to be the margin of victory in an 8-7 Tech win.

May 10: One of the most dominating runs in sports history closes as Walter Hagen wins his fourth British Open in eight years.

May 16: 'Wings' is selected best picture and Janet Gaynor wins three times at the first Academy Awards.

Oct. 24: Boosted by wild speculation, the stock market crashes and billions of dollars are lost in an instant, dragging the United States inexorably toward the financial crisis gripping much of the rest of the world.

Nov. 3: The Providence Steam Roller hosts the NFL's first night game, against the Chicago Cardinals.

Nov. 28: Ernie Nevers scores all of his team's points as the Chicago Cardinals blast the Chicago Bears, 40-6, a record that still stands.


Copyright 1999 Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service


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