1884: The Birth of A Rivalry
In attendance at that event was the president at that time, Republican Chester A. Arthur, and Democrat Grover Cleveland, who would win the presidential election later in the year.
In 1884, Mark Twain lived in a house just outside Hartford, Connecticut, a Victorian Gothic mansion where he and his family settled after he had penned The Innocents Abroad. That year, in the upstairs billiards room, he wrote Huckleberry Finn.
More local to the Rivalry, in that same year the city of Easton would get electric power for the first time in its history. “Electric lights now burn brightly in Easton’s streets,” the Lafayette student newspaper noted, “and in many of her business houses and places of amusement.” (South Bethlehem wouldn’t get electric streetlights until 1887.)
It also would be year of the first-ever meetings between Lehigh and Lafayette on the gridiron, only a couple of years after the early collegiate athletic powers of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and others had established standardized rules for “rugby football”, as it was still called at the time.
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