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“Husker Football in the Age of Reform & Progress, 1890-1920”

Part of the Carroll R. Pauley Lecture Series.

5:00 pm–6:00 pm
Nebraska Union Room: Platte River Room
1400 R St
Lincoln NE 68508
Additional Info: NU
Department of History, (402) 472-2414
Bruce Pauley was born in 1937 in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he attended public schools. He holds degrees from Grinnell College (Iowa, B.A., 1959), the University of Nebraska (M.A, 1961), and the University of Rochester (NY, Ph.D., 1966). He has also studied at the University of Vienna, the University of Graz (Austria), and at Yale and Vanderbilt universities. He has taught at the College of Wooster (Ohio), the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Wyoming, the College of William and Mary, the University of New Orleans summer program in Innsbruck, Austria, and the University of Central Florida.

Dr. Pauley’s lecture is part of a larger study of everyday life in an age of phenomenal social, political, and economic changes. An agrarian, frontier society was replaced by one which was increasingly urban. The three decades were the golden age of streetcars, trains, and newspapers. They marked the end of horse-drawn buggies and the arrival of automobiles, movies, electric lights, and modern hospitals. Women not only gained the vote but also played a dominant role in the prohibitionist movement.

Meanwhile, small denominational colleges were replaced by rapidly growing public universities including the University of Nebraska whose enrollment grew from fewer than six hundred in 1890 to nearly seven thousand in 1920. During the same period the supremacy of Ivy League football was being challenged by Midwestern schools. Husker football went from non-existence to becoming one of the country’s powerhouses. Meanwhile the rules of football changed drastically into becoming much as they are today, while attempts to make the game safer had only limited success.

Organized in memory of University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumnus Carroll R. Pauley (class of 1930), the Pauley Symposium takes place every three years on the University campus. Pauley memorial lectures are held in the years between the symposia. Both events feature a wide variety of speakers addressing current research in history and other social sciences, engaging both academics and the general public in an open discussion of the relationship between the past and the present.

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