"Praying Colonels" fire engine returns to campus
RELEASED: October 16, 2008
As part of The Wonder Team launch, the original fire engine that the famous Praying Colonels football team rode on through Danville after their legendary 1921 defeat of Harvard will be on campus.
When the Praying Colonels ended Harvard's five-year winning streak in 1921, the game became the David vs. Goliath story of the century. In fact, many sports historians still refer to the game as "the greatest football upset of all time." The winning formula C6 H0, short for Centre 6-Harvard 0, can still be found on Centre's campus. (In addition to a proud declaration of victory, it’s also a clever play on the periodic table of elements.)
But the end of that historic game was just the beginning of the pandemonium. Back home in Danville, virtually the entire town and several state officials met the team at the train station, and the victorious Praying Colonels boarded Danville's single fire engine for a parade through town, followed by thousands of overjoyed fans.
That Ahrens Fox fire engine served Danville and Boyle County with distinction from 1920 until 1960, when it was traded in on a newer model and local firemen lost track of it. Then, in 2003, the College received word that a collector in Ohio, Jerry Voisinet, had acquired the vehicle and was restoring it to pristine condition.
Voisinet, his nephew Tony Gaier (who contributed to the book), and Robertson will be returning this authentic piece of Centre's history for yet another celebration, 87 years after its celebratory trip down Main Street. The truck will be on display near the football stadium between Crounse and Sutcliffe halls. The group will also have several large posters on display, as well a number of large framed displays containing rare memorabilia from the era.
"[The book and the exhibit] will allow our alums to see exactly how big Centre was in the post World War I years," Robertson says, "…a nationally recognized football program."
- end -
Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422