Arundel History

November 20, 2005

1965: HOLIDAY GOAT

Instead of a Thanksgiving turkey, a Navy base in Scotland got a goat during the Thanksgiving holiday in 1965 - but not for dinner. The base borrowed a goat from a local farmer as its mascot for the annual Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.

Navy officers even planned to lock the goat up at night in case anyone from the Army tried to kidnap it - even though the nearest Army base was in Harrogate, England, about 250 miles away.

The Navy sailors and officers had been telling the locals of the traditions surrounding the Army-Navy game, played annually in Philadelphia. Edith Anderson, who owned a tiny farm in nearby Drumlithie, offered her goat on loan - but it's not clear whether it was named Bill.

"He's a perfect mascot, boys," she told them. "I hope he brings the Navy luck in the game."

Anderson's goat was entrusted to Chief Petty Officer Rick Williams, from Columbus, Ohio, who had experience looking after goats when he was a boy. He made a Navy coat for the animal. Suitably dressed, the goat was on parade during the game.

For all that team spirit abroad, Army and Navy battled to a 7-7 tie in the 66th service football clash.

[The Sun and Jean Packard, Sun library researcher]

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