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HISTORY LIVES: First night football game at War Memorial Field


In 1946, “turning over the first spadeful of earth with a long, silver-colored shovel, Doylestown Burgess [Mayor] George C. Butler presided at the ground-breaking ceremony Thursday for the Second World War Memorial Athletic and Recreational Field [today’s War Memorial Field]. Several thousand mothers and fathers, Second World War veterans, their wives and children, First World War veterans and families assembled on the 14-acre memorial tract.”

Immediately upon completion in 1948, Doylestown’s War Memorial Field became the Central Bucks High School’s football stadium, even though the school building (now Central Bucks West) didn’t open until 1952. Electric lights to illuminate the field had not been included in the original construction and remained an additional expense estimated at $10,000. However, proponents were not deterred; and on Sept. 23, 1949, “the first night football game ever played in Doylestown was staged. The selection of Bensalem High School for this game, even though we [CB] were defeated 12-7, could not have been better because they brought to the game a fine group of sportsmen. The portable lights, Langhorne Drum & Bugle Corps, Sam Lang and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Eaglettes provided an enjoyable evening for all who attended.”

“The money made on this game, and the $1.00 Booster Club memberships provided funds that permitted:

1. Contribution towards sending the football team to camp

2. Contribution to the purchase of cheer leaders’ uniforms

3. Purchase of additional instruments for the school bands

4. Other miscellaneous expenditures for the school”

Sources: Doylestown Intelligencer, July 6, 1946; DHS Alumni News, May 1950