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1917 in Clemson History
- Samuel Littlejohn, Jr.
Events that occurred in 1917:
- Future Clemson Head Football Coach Josh Cody graduates from Vanderbilt University.
- The Southern Railway replaces the previous trestle over the Seneca River with new twin track spans as part of a three-year realignment project. The new spans are fabricated and erected by the McClintic-Marshall Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ("Trestle walking tempting, too dangerous to attempt" by C. Mark Sublette, free-lance writer, The Tiger op-ed page, March 3, 1989, page 5).
- The Calhoun-Clemson School, a two-story brick structure, opens on Calhoun Road.
- February 7: Banks McFadden born in Great Falls, South Carolina.
- April 2: President Woodrow Wilson asks the United States Congress for an act of war against Germany after the Zimmerman telegram reveals the Kaiser's attempt to enlist Mexico against U.S. interests in the Great War. The sinking of the passenger liner RMS Lusitania on May 7, 1915 was also a precipitant. This marks America's entry into World War I.
- The entire graduating class of Clemson enlists in the military. Many undergraduates also leave school to serve in the military - some return to finish their studies in the 1920s.
- September 28: In home opener, Clemson defeats Presbyterian, 13-0.
- October 13: Clemson defeats the Furman Hornets in Greenville, 38-0, and Tiger Left Halfback Stumpy Banks scores five touchdowns of the six, a record that stands today.
- October 19: In a roadgame, Clemson falls to Alabama Polytechnic College (later Auburn), 0-7. Slushy field conditions cause several fumbles by both teams.
- October 25: Clemson defeats South Carolina in Columbia, 21-13, during a 6-2 season. The Gamecocks go 3-5.
- November 1: The Tigers down Wofford, 27-16, in a road trip.
- November 8: In a game played at Orangeburg, South Carolina, Clemson shuts out the Citadel Bull Dogs, 20-0.
- November 17: The Tigers whup up on Florida, 55-7, in match played in Jacksonville, Florida.
- November 29: In a Thanksgiving Day game played in Charlotte, North Carolina, Clemson falls in the final game of the season to Davidson, 9-21.
- December 14: "Trains Collide Near Calhoun - Fireman and Baggagemaster Lose Lives - Passengers Hurt" "Clemson College, Dec. 14 - Fireman McKenzie and Baggagemaster Blake were killed in a head-on collision which occurred at 8:15 o'clock this morning on the Southern Railway one mile north of Calhoun, when passenger trains Nos. 43 and 46 ran together on a curve. The dead men were of the crew of the northbound train, No. 46. The impact completely demolished both engines, two baggage cars, one express car and 20 feet of track were torn up. No passengers were seriously hurt. It took several hours to extricate the body of the baggagemaster. He was pinned under the tender. The boilers are upside down in deep ditches on opposite sides of the track and the driving wheels of one engine are on top of those of the other. R. H. Tedder, engineer on 43, was slightly bruised in jumping from his train. Conductor Pope Barrow was in charge of 43, and Capt. Laird in charge of 46. Much express and baggage were scattered along the track. It is said that the accident was caused by the failure of an operator to deliver orders to the engineer of No. 46. Up to 4 o'clock this afternoon northbound passenger trains were detoured by way of Belton." (Walhalla, South Carolina, "The Keowee Courier", Wednesday 19 December 1917, Volume LXVIII, No. 51, page 4.) A steam crane is required to clear up the wreckage.
- December 18: The United States Congress passes the 18th Amendment making manufacture and sale of alcohol illegal in the country.