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“HARVARD DEFEATED”
– BOSTON AMERICAN, NOV. 12, 1911

No game brought more attention to Jim Thorpe than Carlisle's unlikely victory, on November 12, 1911, against Harvard. The Crimson was regarded as the best football team in the United States, and Carlisle's twenty-six man squad was outnumbered by Harvard's fifty players. For the first part of the game, Harvard's coach, Percy Haughton, disdainfully fielded the second squad, holding his regulars back for upcoming games against Dartmouth and Yale. Forty thousand fans watched the game that day ­ more than attended the first game of the 1911 World Series. Thorpe had a badly injured, heavily taped ankle. Instead of using him as the primary runner, Coach Pop Warner made him a lead blocker. Thorpe kicked one field goal after another, and the Indians gained a 15-9 lead. Then Harvard sent in its first team. Despite his ankle, Thorpe began carrying the ball, gaining 173 of Carlisle's 334 yards. With the score 15-14 and the game in doubt, Thorpe kicked a field goal from midfield. The "Aborigines" had upset Harvard 18-14 thanks to Thorpe's field goals, inspiring the racist headline "Four Scalps for Thorpe."

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JIM THORPE HOME

A Moira Productions Film in association with Datline Productions, 2008, Lillian Lincoln Foundation