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March 30, 1924 – Snowing on their parade; Fall River Marksmen win 1st of 4 US Open Cup titles

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Fall River knew how to celebrate a championship in the 1920s. The Fall River Marksmen won the double (American Soccer League and U.S. Open Cup), taking the first of their four Open Cup titles with a 4-2 win over Vesper Buick in St. Louis on March 30, 1924, then returning by train to a “raging snowstorm” and a “rousing reception” two days later.

“Despite the raging snowstorm … was accorded a rousing reception when it arrived home tonight, thousands of fans besieging the local railroad station and lining the streets. …

“As soon as the players left the train the mob swept down upon them, shaking their hands and congratulating them. After a detail of police had cleared a passage for the players, the team was marshaled into line and began a parade through the principal streets. The thoroughfares were lined with people, in some places several rows deep, many of whom had been standing in the snow for nearly an hour to welcome the team. … In spite of all the police and National Guardsmen, however, the crowd broke through at several points to shake the hands of the men. Red lights illuminated the entire line of march and community singing was indulged in by the thousands of fans.”

At least three points in this story need clarification:

  • in the opening paragraph, the team is referred to as “Fore River,” a Quincy-based shipyard team that was also considered among the better teams in the Northeast;
  • the team’s arrival time is difficult to ascertain, but in the previous day’s story about plans for the greeting, the team was expected to arrive at 9 p.m.;
  • the phrase “red lights illuminating” the parade was described in the advance story: “The whole city will be ablaze with the red fire and the celebration will last until a late hour.”

TODAY IN NEW ENGLAND SOCCER HISTORY

 

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