Other than for Jim Thorpe and Pop Warner, the accomplishments of the Carlisle Indian School football teams are largely forgotten. Although these teams were legendary in their own time, they are now virtually unknown except to the most ardent football historians. Their contributions to the game were substantial and deserve to be remembered. Six Carlisle Indians are in the College Football Hall of Fame (not bad for a program that played its last game in 1917) and helped get Pop Warner, their coach, inducted.
Oklahoma’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals begins a series on Native American sports heroes that will be of interest to readers from 7th grade to senior citizen, particularly those from Oklahoma. This volume follows the lives of 14 players both on and off the reservation. Many of them made significant contributions to football after their playing days were over as coaches, but their greatest contributions were in other fields. This is not a sports book although its protagonists were athletes.
Find out whose life story served as the basis for a William C. DeMille play, Strongheart, which was adapted into a movie by D. W. Griffith and remade in 1925 as Braveheart by the playwright’s brother, Cecil B. DeMille. Hint: the stage play was written before Jim Thorpe arrived at Carlisle. Discover who had a school named in his honor and wonder why these men aren’t still famous today. Learn who made up an “Indian” name for himself as a joke and fooled the school’s administration.
Oklahoma’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals
John B. Flinchum
ISBN 978-0-9774486-8-5, 192 pages, hardback, 6” X 9”, $24.99
ISBN 978-1-936161-20-1, 200 pages, softcover, 6” X 9”, $14.95