National Champions

National Champions

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March 3rd Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

First Game In Death Valley

(Photo Uploaded By Alan Cutts)

Today’s photo is from September 19th, 1942 and the first game played inside Memorial Stadium. Clemson defeated Presbyterian.

You can notice that the top of the South Stands only extends to where the portals of the South Stands are today. You can also note the wall at the bottom of the South Stands is not painted orange as of yet.

You can’t tell from the picture, but the original seats in Memorial Stadium were wood, not aluminum.

Memorial Stadium was constructed against the wishes of the late and former Clemson Head Coach Jess Neely. Just before leaving for Rice University after the 1939 season, he told Frank Howard, "Don't ever let them talk you into building a big stadium. Put about 10,000 seats behind the YMCA. That's all you'll ever need."

Despite this, the University decided it was time to build a stadium. They chose to build in the valley in the western part of campus. On April 3, 1941, the South Carolina General Assembly ratified an act authorizing a $150,000 bond issue for the new stadium, and the bill went to Governor Burnet R. Maybank for signature. The original 20,000 seat stadium was constructed for $125,000 or $6.25 a seat.

The stadium was designed by Carl Lee of Charlotte, N.C., a Clemson graduate, Class of 1908, and Professor H. E. Glenn of the engineering faculty.

On September 19, 1942, Memorial Stadium was opened with a 32-13 victory over Presbyterian College. Much of the early construction of the stadium was done by scholarship athletes. In fact, the first staking out of the stadium was done by A. N. Cameron and Hugh Webb, two members of the football team.

Scott Rhymer can be reached at

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