Illinois vs. Army

Illinois-Army Game Handshake
Cover of Game Program

November 9, 1929, the day of the robbery, started with one of the most anticipated games of the year. The Fighting Illini and the Army Cadets football team (led by head coach Ralph Sasse) faced off at Memorial Stadium in front of a season high 69,509 spectators.

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Illinois-Army Crowd
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Secretary of War James Good watching the game from his front row seat.

The massive crowd for the Illinoi-Army game was notable for the number of dignitaries in attendance. Among them was the Secretary of War James Good. He joined Illinois Governor Emmerson, United States Senators, Illinois Constitutional officers, and Illinois Supreme Court Justices, among many other politicians. Unfortunately, this trip was one of the last for the Secretary of War James Good, as he unexpectedly died nine days later on November 18th from peritonitis caused by a ruptured appendix.

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Dignitaries in attendance included Governor Louis Emmerson (second from left) Secretary of War Good (second from right), and United States Senator Charles Deneen (far right).

Illinois-Army Souvenir Pin