The Heisman award ceremonies of the early 1940s took place during a horrific world-wide conflagration that often put sports into its proper perspective.
Things hit home hard when the 1939 Heisman winner, Nile Kinnick of Iowa, was lost in a training crash off the coast of South America in June of 1943.
Later that year, Angelo Bertelli of Notre Dame, was unable to attend the ceremony to receive his trophy (the first by a Fighting Irish player).
The reason? Bertelli was in the Marines.
Posted here is the telegram from Grant E. Scott of the Downtown Athletic Club informing Notre Dame’s publicity director that the ceremony set for December 8 was indeed cancelled.
Heisman Trophy Ceremonies December Eighth Cancelled STOP Marine Corps will not release Bertelli STOP Have exhausted every possible means STOP Notify Leahy STOP Letter follows.
This came after an attempt by the DAC (as told in a letter posted here) to convince the Navy and Marines to let Bertelli attend. The Marines said “no.”