This fine poster is up for sale on eBay right now and caught my eye. It’s promotional bulletin produced by the U.S. Marine Corps in anticipation for their game against Michigan in November 1923:
Note that the print is signed by John Lejeune, the namesake of Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
You’ll also notice that it mentions that 2000 Marines would be in attendance for the game and with them, the Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby. Denby attended Michigan law school at the end of the century and even played center for the 1895 football squad.
But this is what really why this caught my attention. The visit by the Marines coincided with the dedication of the newest super structure in college athletics—Yost Field House.
According to the Michigan Daily [via Robert Soderstrom’s The Big House]:
The Marines, 1500 strong, together with their famous band, made an inspiring sight as they entered the field house. They marched in a column of squads the full length of the building in an aisle between the thousands of spectators seated in the stands and standing on either side.
Naturally The Bentley has some great photos, here’s one:
You can clearly see the Marines on either side of the seated attendees and the band up front. It’s unconfirmed if the light shining through the windows is the grace of God.
Of course Yost addressed the crowd and didn’t disappoint. He ended by delivering the following creed (also via The Big House):
I believe in the University of Michigan,
The maker of men,
And in the Michigan Spirit
Conceived in loyalty and democracy,
And in her traditions
Cherished by all her sons.
I believe in the spirit of service
To the University and all her activities.
All these I promise to uphold
To the best of my ability,
For the greatest of all universities, Michigan.
My heart is so full I cannot say more.
Michigan defeated the Marines 26-6 on November 10 and happened to beat everyone else on the schedule in 1923, finishing a perfect 8-0, giving Yost and his beloved Meechigan another national championship.
The auction of the Marines poster has already received 7 bids up to $57 at the time of posting. You can check out the full auction here.