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First and 100: A Century of Rose Bowl Football

Tina Lerno, Librarian, Digital Content Team,
View of the Rose Bowl entrance flanked by tall palms on either sides
View of the Rose Bowl entrance flanked by tall palms on either side, [1987]. Photo credit: Dean Musgrove, Herald Examiner Collection

Happy New Year, Happy Rose Bowl, Happy Football! Did you know that the Rose Bowl Stadium is nearing its 100th year? The story of the Rose Parade and the subsequent football games have been going on long before.

Here is a brief timeline: The Rose Parade begins in 1890. The Tournament of Roses Association purchases the land in 1897. The football games start in 1902 to boost parade viewers and dollars. Before the construction of the Rose Bowl, the annual game was played at Tournament Park, a large open area directly adjacent to Caltech in Pasadena. The first associated football game was played on January 1, 1902. Originally titled the "Tournament East-West football game," it is considered to be the first Rose Bowl. The next game was not played until New Year's Day 1916. Construction on the stadium began in the early 1920s and was completed in 1922. Built just for football, the first game played at the Rose Bowl was on October 28, 1922, when Cal beat USC. The Rose Bowl originally had a seating capacity of 57,000 in a horseshoe configuration. (it's now literally come full circle). On January 1, 1923, the first Rose Bowl Game was played—USC beat Penn State. Now a National Historic Landmark, the Rose Bowl Stadium has also hosted five NFL Super Bowl Games, the 1984 Olympic Soccer Matches, the 1994 Men's World Cup, the 1999 Women's World Cup, and numerous other sporting events and big-ticket concerts like Beyonce, BTS and The Rolling Stones.

Enjoy these photos from our collection of the Rose Bowl stadium in all its rosy glory, then place your bets on this year's game between the Oregon Ducks and the Wisconson Badgers!

Early Rose Parade
This was the 1902 Tournament of Roses parade, with a butchers band marching down the Pasadena street. There was nothing spectacular about the parade then, and the spectators were few. This was the first year of the Rose Bowl game, [1902]. Herald Examiner Collection
Tournament of Roses chariot races
A furious chariot race at the Tournament of Roses at Tournament Park in 1908. In 1909 football was substituted for chariot racing as the midwinter attraction. The first game was played between Michigan (49) and Stanford (0). In the years that followed, the Rose Bowl game grew to become the "granddaddy" of all bowl games,1908]. Herald Examiner Collection
1924 Rose Bowl football game
Aerial view of the Rose Bowl on New Years Day. The stadium is almost full. The football score that day was: Washington, 14 vs Navy, 14, [1924]. Photo credit: Harold A. Parker, Security Pacific National Bank Collection
Ariel view of Rose Bowl football game
Aerial view of the Rose Bowl on New Years Day. The stadium is almost full, yet crowds of people are still walking in. The football score that day was: Notre Dame, 27 vs Stanford, 10, [1925]. Security Pacific National Bank Collection
aeril view of the rose bowl
(A full circle). Looking down upon the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, which is quite packed. Also seen are the surrounding parking areas and people still walking in to the stadium, [n.d.]. Security Pacific National Bank Collection
1932 Tournament of Roses activity
A pre-Olympics publicity event featured in the 1932 Tournament of Roses, proclaiming the Xth Olympiad, the 1932 Olympic Games, to be held in Los Angeles. Here models hold flags for U.S.C., playing in the Rose Bowl football game. Security Pacific National Bank Collection
Ethel Schultheis' parents, 1938 Rose Bowl parking lot
Ethel Schultheis' parents stand on the left in front of the parking lot of the 1938 Tournament of Roses football game between the California Golden Bears (University of California, Berkeley) and the Alabama Crimson Tide (University of Alabama). California won the game 13-0. Ethel's father, Theodore Wisloh, was born in 1879, and her mother, Marie Flora Wisloh (formerly Eveland), was one year younger than her husband, [1938]. Herman J Schultheis Collection
Parking, 1938 Rose Bowl
Some people look for parking, while others stream in for the 1938 Tournament of Roses football game between the California Golden Bears (University of California, Berkeley) and the Alabama Crimson Tide (University of Alabama). California won the game 13-0, [1938]. Herman J Schultheis Collection
Entrance four, 1938 Rose Bowl
People gather in front of entrance four of the stadium before the 1938 Tournament of Roses football game between the California Golden Bears (University of California, Berkeley) and the Alabama Crimson Tide (University of Alabama). California won the game 13-0. The men's room can be seen on the left. Herman J Schultheis Collection
Buying tickets, 1938 Rose Bowl
People line up in front of the stadium to buy tickets for the 1938 Tournament of Roses football game between the California Golden Bears (University of California, Berkeley) and the Alabama Crimson Tide (University of Alabama). California won the game 13-0. Herman J Schultheis Collection
Tournament Park Pasadena sign
Tournament Park opened in 1923 and is best known for being the site of the first Rose Bowl Game in 1902, with a capacity of 43,000 at that time. It is a private park that is maintained by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, [ca.1939]. Herman J Schultheis Collection
2500 buyers for 1750 pairs of tickets
The sun finally rises over the Rose Bowl, revealing a blocks-long waiting line. When ticket windows opened, there were 1750 pairs of tickets on public sale for the waiting customers. Two hours later, all were sold, [1951]. Herald Examiner Collection
John Fouch and Al "Hoagy" Carmichael
John Fouch (left) who now struts his stuff for the University of Southern California, gives Al "Hoagy" Carmichael a word of encouragement before the ex-Marine goes into the Junior Rose Bowl game this Saturday in Pasadena. Fouch is considered the greatest all-around back in conference history while Carmichael is rated the most dangerous break-a-way runner in Santa Ana's 28-year-old football history. [ca.1953]. Photo credit: Richwin Color Photographers, Herald Examiner Collection
100,000 fans attend Rose Bowl game
Miss Marlys Roust of Excelsior, Minnesota, and Ron Redskins, of La Crescenta, engage in some pre-game cheering as they gathered with a crowd of some 100,000 fans for the annual Rose Bowl game between the football forces of the University of Minnesota and UCLA, in Pasadena. The Gophers led 14 to 3 at the end of the first half, [1962]. Photo credit: Milton Martinez, Herald Examiner Collection
Powerful Wisconsin backfield unit will try to reverse past Badger defeats in Rose Bowl New Year's Day
Powerful Wisconsin backfield unit will try to reverse past Badger defeats in Rose Bowl New Year's Day. "From left are Gary Kroner, Merrill Norvell, Ron VanderKelen and Louis Holland, [1962]. Photo credit: Jeff Goldwater, Valley Times Collection
Camera snaps parade, game
"Wisconsin whoops it up with a badger cheer. More than 90,000 fans watched acrobats." The cheerleaders perform during the 49th Rose Bowl Game between the University of Wisconsin and the University of Southern California in Pasadena. USC defeated Wisconsin, [1963]. Photo credit: Alan Hyde, Valley Times Collection
USC's great Hal Bedsole (19) gathers TD pass
USC's great Hal Bedsole (19) gathers TD pass. "Wisconsin's Jim Nettles (26) turns and defends, too late!" The article partially reads "Professional football prides itself on don't-believe-it football, but even the pros could never conjure up an equal to what happened in the Rose Bowl yesterday when the University of Southern California won an unbelievable victory over the University of Wisconsin in the 49th Rose Bowl game, 42 to 37." [1963]. Photo credit: Alan Hyde, Valley Times Collection
John Madden, Super Bowl XI
Raider's coach John Madden, after Oakland beat the Minnesota Vikings, 32-14, at the Rose Bowl. The Silver and Black were sparked by wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff, who won MVP honors, and running back Clarence Davis, who rushed for 137 yards. After retiring from coaching, Madden became a television football analyst, [1977]. Photo credit: James Roark, Herald Examiner Collection
No Penalty on Trojans for Holding
No Penalty on Trojans for Holding. "For a moment yesterday, USC's Lynn Cain, left, and Rich Dimier take their minds off the Trojans' game against Notre Dame at the Coliseum this Saturday and concentrate on showing Rose Bowl Queen Catherine Gilmour the fine art of throwing a football. The Queen visited the Trojans before their practice session. In the Rose Bowl, USC will meet the winner of this Saturday's game in Columbus between Ohio St. and Michigan. Michigan is favored by six points", [1978]. Photo credit: Chris Gulker, Herald Examiner Collection
Rose Bowl coaches
Rose Bowl coaches. Bo Schembechler (left) and Terry Donahue, seem like best of friends now, but wait until the Rose Bowl game, [1982]. Photo credit: Michael Edwards, Herald Examiner Collection
Hawking Super Bowl tickets
Terry Haskins of Ft. Lauderdale, hawks his extra Super Bowl tickets. He sold all 20 tickets in less than an hour at a "moderate" profit in front of the Rose Bowl, [1983]. Photo credit: James Ruebsamen, Herald Examiner Collection
Cushions for the fans
View of the stadium from the top north end of the Rose Bowl. Cushions have been set out to make it more comfortable for the fans and the cushions may be taken home as souvenirs, [1987]. Photo credit: Dean Musgrove, Herald Examiner Collection
Super Bowl limos
Mass of empty limos, stretching as far as the eye could see, fills a field near the Rose Bowl; most of the drivers attended Super Bowl party just for them, [1987]. Herald Examiner Collection
Empty Rose Bowl
Empty Rose Bowl. It looks empty here, but the Rose Bowl is anything but on New Year's Day when 100,000-plus fans rock the stadium, [1989]. Photo credit: Dean Musgrove, Herald Examiner Collection

 

 

 

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