by the lights and the cameras, nodded happily.
Johnny went on, "Gilly give it to me. He said he'd like to keep it himself,
but he said he thought I deserved it. Wasn't that swell of him?"
Young Jimmy just
grinned, but all over the country people nodded. It sure was swell of
But he was right,
Johnny. You deserved it.
The army mule and
the Navy goat are only moderately ancient mascots but neither West Point nor
Annapolis has an altogether satisfying record of how the two animals achieved
status in military society. West Point says vaguely that its cadets selected
the mule as mascot "near the turn of the century." Annapolis says
firmly that its first official goat mascot was El Cid, chosen in 1893, but
there is a tarry legend which holds that, three years before El Cid, naval
cadets swiped a grazing goat from land near the non-com quarters at West Point
on the very day of the first Army-Navy football game. Navy beat Army that day,
It is only
natural, then, that there has already been some confusion about the U.S. Air
Force Academy mascot, chosen just the other day. So that history may be better
served, a true account of its selection follows:
fledglings, building tradition with jet speed and swept-back efficiency,
nominated a long line of mascots, then narrowed them down to the golden eagle
and falcon after eliminating a highly improbable mountain lion. An officer who
had been lobbying for the falcon then addressed the 300 cadets something like
is a bird with a long and honorable history. It is famous for its swift flight,
its powers of vision, courage and ferocity. It is especially noted for its
courageous defense of its home nest. It has a flight speed of 100 mph and its
speed in a dive is classified information. The golden eagle is a scavenger. You
will now vote."
thereupon won a flaps-down victory. Then the confusion set in. The Denver Post
illustrated its election story with a 1951 photograph from its morgue. The
picture showed an airman with a goshawk and the caption described it as "a
peregrine hawk, called a goshawk, the type of falcon chosen Tuesday by U.S. Air
Force Academy cadets.... "