Thanksgiving Day in 1900 was a day for sport as well as giving thanks. The stellar attraction of the holiday in Omaha was a football game between the Omaha Medics, representing the Omaha Medical College, and a team from Rush Medical College of Chicago. More than two thousand people watched the game.The outlook for the Omaha Medics at the beginning of the 1900 playing season was not encouraging. According to D. F. Lee, team manager, players appealed to the college faculty for funds to purchase “sweaters, hose, shoes and other necessary paraphernalia suitable and befitting a team representing the Omaha Medical College.”
Lee said: “After three games had been played the Omaha Medics had rolled up the proud record of sixty-five points scored to none scored by their opponents.” The Sioux City Medics and the Doane Tigers cancelled their matches with OMC because of team injuries, leaving the Omaha Medics to train for the last two games of the season, with Drake University on November 24 and Rush Medical College on Thanksgiving Day.
Which of the two medical schools came out on top? Find out in a Timeline column on the Nebraska State Historical Society website. Read about football at the University of Nebraska from the 1960s to the BCS era in Russ Crawford’s review essay of Michael Oriard’s Bowled Over in the Summer 2010 issue of Nebraska History magazine. An excerpt from the essay is online at the NSHS website.—Patricia C. Gaster, Assistant Editor for Research and Publications