Category Archives: Notre Dame History

Edward Sorin & Notre Dame’s Early Years

While Notre Dame would flourish in the 19th century, it was not an easy road.  Most American educational institutions faced severe obstacles that often led to ruin.  John Theodore Wack noted,  “Of the fifty-one Catholic colleges which were chartered in … Continue reading

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Illinois Rally for Civil Rights 1964

On June 21, 1964, Soldier Field in Chicago played host to the Illinois Rally for Civil Rights. The principle speakers were Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., President and Founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, … Continue reading

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Memorial Library Dedication 1964

Notre Dame’s Memorial Library (renamed the Hesburgh Library in 1987) was formally dedicated on May 7, 1964.  Its doors officially opened for student use in the fall of 1963, although the famous “Word of Life” mural wouldn’t be installed until … Continue reading

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The Great Fire of 1879

Wednesday, April 23, 1879, started out as any other spring day at Notre Dame.  Taking advantage of the warm day, the Minims were out on their play yard.  Around 10:00am, they were the first to notice the smoke rising from the Main Building and sounded … Continue reading

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The Laetare Medal

In the early 1880s, the Notre Dame faculty and administration were discussing a way to engage American Catholic lay men and women with the hierarchy of the Church.  University President Rev. Thomas Walsh, Rev. Edward Sorin, and Professor James Edwards … Continue reading

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Edward Sorin & the Founding of Notre Dame

On February 6, 1814, Edouard-Frédéric Sorin was born and baptized in the small town of Ahuillé, France.  He was born the seventh of nine children into a relatively well-to-do Catholic farming family, a generation or so after the bloody French … Continue reading

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The Zahm Special

In the early 1880s, University Vice President Rev. John Zahm and his brother Albert took excursions to the West, Southwest, and Mexico in scientific pursuits, of archeology, geology, and anthropology.  In addition to making observations, they were actively acquiring specimens to … Continue reading

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Notre Dame Football 1913

Since the beginning of collegiate football when Princeton played Rutgers in 1869, the game has been constantly evolving.  One aspect of the game that was in flux for many years was passing.  While lateral and backward passes or pitches were … Continue reading

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Souvenirs from the 1953 Notre Dame vs. USC Game

The Archives of the University of Notre Dame recently received a donation of interesting memorabilia from the Notre Dame vs. Southern California (USC) football game on 11/28/1953. An eight year old Felix Quesada Jr. attended the game at the Coliseum … Continue reading

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Sorin’s Golden Jubilee

In 1888, Rev. Edward Sorin, CSC, celebrated his Golden Jubilee – fifty years since his ordination as a priest on May 27, 1838, in LeMans, France.  Shortly after his ordination, Sorin joined Rev. Basil Moreau’s fledgling Congregation of the Holy … Continue reading

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