Downtown Athletic Club Trophy…aka Heisman Trophy

Today in History, December 9, 1935:

The Downtown Athletic Club Trophy is awarded for the first time to “the most valuable football player in the east”, Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago. The following year, with the death of the Club’s director, John Heisman, the name of the trophy was changed and opened to athletes nationwide.

I counted eight Oklahoma recipients, not including runner-ups!

Luftwaffe Reborn

Today in History, February 26: 1935:

Adolph Hitler secretly signed a decree creating the Luftwaffe, the German Air Force, and names Hermann Goering it’s commander. At the end of WWI the Treaty of Versailles signed between the combatants, including Germany, declared that Germany could have no military air service.

Hitler quietly built up what would become a larger, and more modern, air force while the rest of Europe and America let their forces languish.

Lufthansa, the civilian airline that was permitted, was used to provide flight training to the men that would become Luftwaffe pilots.

By September 1939 when the German Blitzkrieg swept across Poland, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium and France, the Luftwaffe consisted of 1,000 modern fighter planes and 1,050 modern bombers.

This build up, and the build up of the Wehrmacht, all took place while the future allies practiced appeasement and protested verbally (the British had built up the Royal Air Force, but it was still much smaller than the Luftwaffe).

To Key West, By Rail…20th Century Engineering Wonders

Today in History, January 22: 1912 –

The Florida East Coast Railway opens service to Key West, 128 miles from the southern coast of the mainland and the southern most city in the United States.

Built mostly over water between the islands of the Keys, the railroad took seven years to build and was an engineering marvel. It was destroyed by a hurricane in 1935, an interesting story in and of itself. In 1938 it was replaced by the Overseas Highway, which was built on it’s foundations.