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The Class of 1948

Notable Alumni

Events in 1948

  • Presbyterian College Coach Lonnie S. McMillian declares that taking his team into Clemson Memorial Stadium is like going into Death Valley.
  • African-American student Spencer Bracey applies to Clemson Agricultural College but his application is rejected. (Riley, Helene M., "Clemson University", Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, South Carolina, 2002, Library of Congress card number 2002108889, ISBN 0-7385-1470-5, page 103.)
  • February 9: A resolution is adopted amending the original charter of the Oconee County Hospital to change the name to the Oconee Memorial Hospital. ("The Heritage of Oconee County, Vol. 1, 1868-1995, The Blue Ridge Arts Council, Seneca, South Carolina, 1995, Library of Congress card number 95-61417, page 23.)
  • February 22: The State newspaper in Columbia publishes article about a Confederate flag flap that occurred at Clemson on March 12, 1904, including interviews with alumni who were present, on the occasion of their reunion. (Unpublished files, J. C. Littlejohn papers, Folder 62, Special Collections, Strom Thurmond Institute.)
  • March 3: "Dr. Lee Milford reported this morning [March 4] that he was 'highly pleased' with the condition of Rudolph Anderson [sic], textile engineering senior from Greenville, who fell from the third floor of the second barracks about seven thirty last night. Dr. Milford said that Anderson rested 'very comfortably' last night, and that he was ready to take food. The college physician said that young Anderson was suffering from laceration of the right forehead, complete dislocation of the right wrist, and a fractured pelvis bone. As far as can be determined, no internal injuries are prevalent.
It is understood that the student was chasing a pigeon down the hall of the third floor of the second barracks, and was unable to stop at [sic] the bird flew out the window. Several witnesses said that he hit the eaves that protrude over the door of second barracks, breaking his fall, and saving him from more serious injuries. He was conscious when arriving at the college hospital, and was able to identify himself.
Dr. Milford said that it was a miracle that Anderson escaped with the injuries he obtained. The gangplank that he finally came to rest on is constructed of iron and concrete. The college physician further stated that Anderson had a good chance to recover provided nothing unforeseen turned up.
(The Tiger, "Rudolph Anderson Is In 'Good Condition' ", Thursday 4 March 1948, Volume XXXXI, Number 19, page 1.)
Subsequently, The Tiger reported on Thursday, March 11, "A few days ago the president's office received the following message on a card post-marked Greenville:
'I read in the paper that one of your distinguished senior students fell out of a third story window while chasing a pigeon down the hall. It did not state whether he caught the pigeon or not. This has me worried because I have often wondered whether a Clemson man is capable of catching a pigeon or not.
'Yours truly,
A Cute Pigeon'"
  • April 2: Future Clemson Football Coach Danny Ford born in Gadsden, Alabama.
  • April 13: The Clemson Theatre opens on College Avenue (SC 133), the town's first commercial movie house.
  • June 18: On this date, President Robert F. Poole alerts the Trustees to the possibility of federal student housing legislation called the Lanham Act. Clemson conceives a plan to replace the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century housing with one large residence hall complex. Initially the administration requests permission to issue bonds for two million dollars, but by the time the architects and engineers complete their work, four million dollars in bonds are needed. Daniel Construction Company wins the low bid. Charles Daniel, the chairman of Daniel Construction Company, will become a life member of the Board of Trustees, joining in 1949. He will remain a life member until his death in 1964. The dormitory will be named Johnstone Hall.
  • July 29: During a regular meeting of the Board of Directors, the need for additional beds and space at Oconee Memorial Hospital is addressed and plans for an new wing, to be added at the rear center of the building, as well as a basement and a new floor to the west, are made. It will open in 1950. ("The Heritage of Oconee County, Vol. 1, 1868-1995, The Blue Ridge Arts Council, Seneca, South Carolina, 1995, Library of Congress card number 95-61417, page 23.)
  • August 23-August 27: Annual Farm Week is held at Clemson, with Bowman Field filled with exhibits and machinery.
  • August 24: Furman University holds its largest summer school commencement, awarding degrees to 71 candidates in the chapel at 7:30 p.m. Dr. D. W. Daniel, dean emeritus of Clemson College, makes the principal address at the exercise, speaking on "The Measure of a Man." (Greenville News, "71 Furman Summer Students Will Get Degrees At Exercises Tonight - Daniel To Make Principal Talk", Tuesday 24 August 1948, Volume LXXIV, Number 237, page 3.) Dr. Daniel had been making this speech since at least 1915.
  • September 25: Clemson plays its first home night game as the Tigers crush Presbyterian, 53-0, with 8 p.m. kick-off under new floodlight system with 15,000 in attendence. "The Tigers got off to a good start by crushing a game P.C. eleven. The Howardmen were completely in control throughout the game as the Blue Hose were never able to penertate [sic] beyond the Clemson twenty-five yard line. Fred Cone led the Bengal scoring parade with two touch-downs. Other six-pointers were added by [Ray] Mathews, [Wyndie] Wyndham, [Bobby] Williams, [Gil] Rushton, and Carol Cox. The game served as experience for the reserves as Coach Howard cleared the entire bench." (TAPS, Volume XXXIX, 1949, page 400.)
  • October 2: The Tigers defeat N.C. State in Memorial Stadium in their second home night game, 6-0. "The Tigers and the Wolf Pack put on one of the most thrilling spectacles ever witnessed at Tigertown. The feature of the game was a ninety-yard punt return by Bobby Gage. Gage received the punt on the Clemson ten-yard line, faked to [Fred] Cone, picked up a host of blockers and literally outran the State Secondary. The Tiger defense refused to bulge throughout the game. In the waning minutes of the game Clemson took the ball on downs on the six-inch line." (TAPS, Volume XXXIX, 1949, page 401.)
  • October 9: In a road trip, Clemson defeats the Mississippi State Maroons, 21-7, at Scott Field, State College, Mississippi. "An underdog Clemson team that was supposed to lose by two touchdowns stopped the famed Shorty McWilliams cold and downed a favored State eleven. Tom Salisbury scored the first Bengal touchdown by blocking a McWilliam's [sic] punt. The other scores came on passes from [Bobby] Gage to [John] Poulos and [Ray] Mathews, the latter covering sixty yards. Jack Miller added the three extra points. State's only score came by virtue of a recovered fumble and a pass." (TAPS, Volume XXXIX, 1949, page 402.)
  • October 11: A $42,000 expansion of the Clemson Baptist Church is in use by this date, reports the Greenville News. The addition, of brick veneer construction, three stories high, was dedicated recently, equipment has been put in place and the structure is being used. The ground floor contains one large room for beginners and two nursery classrooms. The second floor has three offices, church parlor and a large Sunday School class room, and the third floor has the junior department assembly room, four classrooms and dressing rooms for the baptistery. A new entrance to the church auditorium was built and the ground floor of the old building was remodeled to make room for the primary department, including an assembly room and three classrooms. Two large assembly rooms on the third floor were converted into an intermediate department including an assembly room and four classrooms. Three classrooms for adults were also remodeled, the club room was repainted and the floor refinished, and a new heating system for the entire church was installed. The Rev. Harold Cole is pastor of the church, and Rev. J. L. Spangenberg is the minister of students. (Staff correspondent, "Addition To Clemson Baptist Church Ready: $42,000 Structure Now In Use - More Sunday School Space", Greenville News, Tuesday, 12 October 1948, Volume LXXIV, Number 286, page 5.)
  • October 15: "The construction of Clemson's new $500,000 power plant will get under way immediately, it was learned today through official college sources, and the new facilities should be in operation in the early spring. Contract for the actual construction of the building has been let to C. M. Guest and Sons of Anderson. The engineering part of the new plant has been performed by the J. E. Sirrine Company of Greenville. The facilities afforded by this new addition to the college will replace a plant built in 1905 and will be located to the right of the construction and repair division and adjacent to the water works division. It will enable engineering and textile students at Clemson to see up-to-date equipment in operation. It was through the interest of many Clemson men in industry, as well as the staff at Clemson, that this modern addition has been made possible. The plant, which will provide heating and hot water for the entire college, was authorized to be constructed by the South Carolina Budget Commision. Oddly enough, the father of the present owners of C. M. Guest and Sons built the old building. It will be maintained in its present location as a standby in case of emergency. A chemistry building and hospital are on the list of new structures being contemplated, since the present boiler plant is overtaxed. It will be necessary to finish the new one before attention can be divided elsewhere." (The Greenville News, "Construction Of Clemson Plant To Begin Soon", Saturday, 16 October 1948, Volume LXXIV, Number 290, page 1.)
  • October 21: The fourteenth-ranked Tigers defeat South Carolina, 13-7, in Columbia. "The Tigers had to come from behind to defeat the Gamecocks in the annual State Fair game. Carolina jumped to an early lead when Hagan passed to Wilson for a tally. Carol Cox scored first for the Tigers on a lateral from [Fred] Cone. However, the payoff came with only four minutes left to play. Phil Prince blocked a Gamecock punt and Oscar Thompson ran it over for a touchdown. The [Jim] Miller combination added the extra point and that was the ball game." (TAPS, Volume XXXIX, 1949, page 403.)
  • October 29: The thirteenth-ranked Tigers defeat Boston College, 26-19, in a night game played at Braves Field. "Bobby Gage led the Bengals to a thrilling win over the Eagles at Boston. Gage passed for three touchdowns and set up another with a brilliant interception. The most spectacular play of the night was a fifty yard pass from Gage to [Ray] Mathews. Boston College fought back in the last quarter as [back Alfred] Songhin passed for two touchdowns. The Tiger line play was the best of the season as the Eagle ground attack failed to click." (TAPS, Volume XXXIX, 1949, page 404.) (Phone interview with Boston College sports information officer Matthew Lynch, 5 January 2009.)
  • November 6: The twelfth-ranked Tigers blank Furman, 41-0, in Memorial Stadium. "A game Purple Hurricane went down before the powerful Clemson onslaught in Memorial stadium. The game was featured by long runs and hard blocking and tackling. The Furman eleven was unable to penetrate the strong Tiger defense on the ground or through the air. Clemson rolled up 448 yards rushing as the rumors of a bowl bid filled the air. [Ray] Mathews was the leading scorer with three touchdowns. [Fred] Cone, [John] Poulos and [Carol] Cox added the other six-pointers." (TAPS, Volume XXXIX, 1949, page 405.) Furman sets a new record by an opponent for lowest yardage total - minus 12, minus 17 rushing and 5 passing. (Martin, Johnny, "Death Valley: 72 Years of Exciting Football at Clemson University", Independent Publishing Co., Anderson, S.C., 1968, Library of Congress card number 68-58849, page 91.)
  • November 13: Clemson, ranked tenth, takes on nineteenth-ranked Wake Forest in a road trip, winning 21-14. "The stage was set for the most exciting game in the Southern Conference when the Tigers met the Deacons in Winston-Salem. The Tigers scored first on a long pass from [Bobby] Gage to [Ray] Mathews. Seconds later Wake Forest tied it up by virtue of a recovered fumble. The Tigers scored again in the second period but the Deacons came back in the third and tied it up again. The Howardmen fought back in the final quarter as [Fred] Cone crashed over for the final six points." (TAPS, Volume XXXIX, 1949, page 406.)
  • November 20: For Homecoming, the ninth-ranked Tigers host the Duquesne Dukes, shut them out, 42-0. "Clemson celebrated homecoming by blasting a hapless Dequesne [sic] eleven. The feature of the game was a eighty-yard punt return by Ray Mathews. Mathews also passed to [Oscar] Thompson in a play that covered seventy yards. The victory almost assured the Tigers of a bowl bid. The other touchdowns were added by [Ray] Clanton, [Jackie] Calvert, [Dick] Hendley, and Mathews. In a ceremony after the game Coach Howard was presented a new car by Clemson followers." (TAPS, Volume XXXIX, 1949, page 407.) The cadet corps performs a brief drill exhibition at halftime and then are released to seek out dates in the stands afterwards. (TAPS, 1949, page 260.) Frank Howard is presented with a new black Dodge sedan. ("Clemson: Where The Tigers Play", by Sam Blackman, Bob Bradley and Chuck Kriese, Sports Publishing, L.L.C., 2001, page 42). Sam Donahue and his orchestra perform at the Homecoming dance in the Fike Fieldhouse gym that night.
  • November 27: The eleventh-ranked Tigers play Auburn in Mobile, Alabama, winning, 7-6. "An inspired Auburn team that was a three touchdown underdog completely dominated the game for three and one-half quarters. The Howardmen came to life in the last quarter as [Ray] Mathews sparked a drive. A Mathews to [Oscar] Thompson pass set up the touchdown and Mathews scored a few plays later. Jack Miller kicked the extra point that spelled the difference. The game was played in a sea of mud that slowed down both teams' attack." (TAPS, Volume XXXIX, 1949, page 408.) Clemson accepts a bid to play in the 1949 Gator Bowl.
  • December 4: "Ray Mathews led the Tigers to the Southern Conference championship by scoring three touchdowns against a stubborn Citadel eleven. Mathews clinched individual conference scoring honors with a brilliant sixty-yard scoring jaunt. Jack Miller kicked his twenty-eighth extra point out of thirty-five attempts. The Tigers already selected to play against Missouri in the Gator Bowl used only power plays as numerous scouts were on hand." (TAPS, Volume XXXIX, 1949, page 409.) With a 20-0 blanking of The Citadel in Charleston, the tenth-ranked Clemson football team achieves the first undefeated season since 1900 and will play the Missouri Tigers in the Third Annual Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida on January 1, 1949. Tailback Bobby Gage becomes the first Clemson player to break 1,000 yards gained in two consecutive seasons, his 343 rushing yards and 887 passing yards for a total of 1,230 in 1948, comparing well to his 1947 total of 1,504. (Martin, Johnny, "Death Valley: 72 Years of Exciting Football at Clemson University", Independent Publishing Co., Anderson, S.C., 1968, Library of Congress card number 68-58849, page 98.)
  • December 6: Frank Howard is named Southern Conference Coach of the Year, his first of three such crowns in his career.

1947 The 1940's 1949