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Jack Lummus Display Inside Ennis Public Library

The information card in the center of the display, reads as follows: 

"Marine First Lieutenant Jack Lummus, former Baylor University and New York Giants football star, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for heroism on Iwo Jima at the cost of his life, March 8, 1945.

"First Lieutenant Lummus was born in Ennis, Texas on October 22, 1915. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew J. Lummus. His father was a policeman. The Lummus family settled in Ennis in 1900 after having lived in Mississippi.

Left 1st Lt. Jack Lummus circa 1944
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Right Medal of Honor presentation to Mrs. Andrew J. Lummus by Rear Admiral J. J. Clark at Tabernacle Baptist Church, May 30, 1946
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Top New York Giants Professional Football Team, 1941. Jack Lummus (No. 29) first row, seventh from left.
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Bottom Jack Lummus Baylor University Circa 1940
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Bottom Congressional Medal of honor Citation

"Duplicate Display Congressional Medal of honor and Purple Heart on Display at the Ennis Railroad and Cultural Heritage Museum." 

 

New York Football Giants 1941 Eastern Division Championship Team

On Sunday afternoon, November 23, 1941, the Giants beat the Washington Redskins 20 to 13 at the Polo Grounds in New York to clinch the Eastern Division championship. The last game of the regular season would be played against the Brooklyn Dodgers on December 7, 1941.

On Sunday, the 7th, 55,051 cheering fans were packed into the Polo Grounds at 157th Street and Eight Avenue, setting an NFL season's attendance record. The kickoff was set for 2:00 p.m., and the presentation ceremony to honor Tuffy Leemans for 1:30. But at 1:25, New York Time, a carefully planned and rehearsed act of aggression began to unfold that would unite Americans from the East to West Coasts. At 7:55 a.m., Hawaiian time, bombs from Japanese carrier aircraft began falling on Wheeler Field, eight miles north and slightly west of Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Territory of Hawaii.

At 2:00 p.m. Ward Cuff kicked off to the Dodgers slicing the ball out of bounds. The Dodgers were relentless throughout the afternoon, and for the second time in the current season upset the Giants. The final score was 21 to 7. Radio reports of the Japanese strikes against Pearl Harbor were being broadcast before and during the game. some fans knew of the attacks, others did not. The players were made aware from radios in the locker rooms.

With the United States at war, the NFL championship game on Sunday, December 21 was in jeopardy. The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers were tied for the Western Division title. A playoff game was scheduled on December 14 at Wrigley Field. The Bears beat the Packers 33 to 14.

On Sunday, December 21 at 1:00 p.m., CST, the Chicago Bears kicked off to the New York Giants to start play in the NFL championship game at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The Giants played a tough offensive and defensive game for the first half and seven minutes into the third quarter with the score tied 9 to 9. Then the bears moved ahead by seven points, and suddenly the game was no longer in doubt. The Bears won their second NFL championship in a row, back-to-back, beating the Giants 37 to 9.

The 1941 Chicago Bears were billed as the "Monsters from the Midway," and touted as the greatest of all football teams. In Peter King's Football: A History of the Professional Game, a Sports Illustrated book 1996, the best team from the years between the Depression and World War II, 1932 through 1943, was the Chicago Bears. King ranks them in fifth place in the ten greatest teams in professional football history.

In 1941 Timothy James Mara was team owner, Wellington T. Mara, the youngest son of Timothy Mara, was Secretary, Steve Owen was in his eleventh season as head coach, Mel Hein was a six-foot four-inch, 235 pound captain and center in his eleventh season, Alphonse (Tuffy) Leemans was a six-foot, 200 pound running back in his sixth season and Jack Lummus was a six-foot, three-inch, 200 pound freshmen end in his first season.

In 1963 Timothy J. Mara (owner) was a charter enshrinee in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. In 1997 Wellington T. Mara (owner) was enshrined. In 1966 Steve Owen (coach) was enshrined. In 1963 Mel Hein (player) was a charter enshrinee. And in 1978 Alphonse (Tuffy) Leemans (player) was enshrined. 

Maurice (Footsie) Britt, who was a freshman end for the Detroit Lions in 1941, Jack Lummus, who was a freshman end for the New York Giants in 1941 and Joe Foss, who was commissioner of the American Football League from 1960-66 were all awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in World War II. All three are honored in a museum exhibit at the Pro Football Hall of Fame entitled Football and America: The NFL Responds During Times of National Crises.


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