Wednesday, July 04, 2012

History Lesson: the Eagle


In honor of the 4th of July, I thought it might be a good time to revisit one of the symbols BC shares with our great nation: the eagle.

Although the Eagle is now synonymous with BC through statues and other references on campus, we were without an official mascot during our first few decades. In 1920 the Heights published a cartoon showing a cat licking a plate of its sports rivals. Yes, we could have been the "Cats." While that would have inspired plenty of nicknames and unique imagery, Father McLaughlin didn't think a cat was the proper representative for our university. He suggested the eagle due to its majesty, power and freedom. We officially became the "Eagles" that same year.

Contrary to millions of sports writers' work, we are not the "golden eagles." And despite Baldwin's looks and name we are not the "bald eagles" either.

Two other FBS programs also use the eagle as their mascot. Like us Eastern Michigan is just the Eagles. Southern Mississippi uses Golden Eagles.

I can't find any evidence that McLaughlin wanted to tie BC's symbols to those of the United States, but it is a nice connection.

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10 Comments:

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

Here's an interesting story about the Eagle in front of Gasson Hall (It has been refurbished since the original donation).

In October 1954, Boston College received a large gold-leafed, bronze statue of an eagle from the estate of a former American ambassador to Japan, Lars Anderson. The sculpture, cast in Japan, was originally part of the Ambassador's Residence in Tokyo.

It was brought to the United States and for many years adorned Anderson's Japanese garden in Brookline, Massachusetts. With Rev. Thomas M. Herlihy, S.J. (Pastor of St. Ignatius Parish) acting as an intermediary, the statue was donated to Boston College.

To make this fairly brief - Isabel Weld Anderson and Larz Anderson acquired the property and transformed it into one of the showcases of New England.

Mrs. Anderson bequeathed the main portion of the estate to the Town of Brookline for purposes of public recreation, or for charitable purposes, or for purposes of public education" in 1951.

Here's the kicker - It has always been my understanding since I was a boy, that my father, who was a Brookline Selectman at the time (1954) was instrumental in "donating" the Eagle to Boston College on behalf of the Town.

Perhaps it was my Dad who made the deal with Fr. Herlihy,S.J. - after all, my Dad could be very persuasive, and his favorite brother was a Jesuit priest.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Happy July 4th to Eagles everywhere!!!!

 
At 11:05 PM, Blogger Knucklehead said...

Boston College is known as the Screaming Eagles.

At half time the PA person calls the band the "Screaming Eagles" marching band.

The old "Game" hats verify it:

http://www.thecollegeshack.com/Boston-College-Eagles-Circle-Hat-p/800-boston%20college%20eagles.htm

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger eagle1331 said...

Knucklehead that is just inaccurate. Yes, the band is announced that way, but that is strictly the band's nickname, as many college bands have their own monikers for competition sake. By the same token, Meet says "you Boston college eagles" when the team runs out

 
At 11:30 PM, Blogger anniemulderrig said...

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At 12:52 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

eagle1331 is correct. The *band* is nicknamed the "screaming eagles." Perhaps that makes sense to you now, since they obviously make a lot of noise?

As for AtlEagle's ending line:

"I can't find any evidence that McLaughlin wanted to tie BC's symbols to those of the United States, but it is a nice connection."

Hmm... how about the fact that he suggested the eagle? That's pretty good evidence, I think! :)

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Knucklehead said...

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At 11:11 AM, Blogger Knucklehead said...

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At 11:13 AM, Blogger Knucklehead said...

I was always under the impression that we were the screaming eagles. Mainly because of the trademarked hats and the band introduction.

Jeffie Boy,
Go *f - - - * yourself, perhaps? I think you need it! :)

 
At 11:40 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

Are you freaking serious Knucklehead? We're all fans here. Why do you feel the need to personally attack someone just because you're wrong about something? Grow up!

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger Knucklehead said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 

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