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Football is played in Zable Stadium at William & Mary.

The National Tobacco Festival and The Tobacco Bowl

The National Tobacco Festival, a festival that originated in 1935 in the town of South Boston, Virginia, promoted its locally grown tobacco leaf. Celebrated in October, the festival consisted of four main events: an opening festival dance, the Queen of Tobacco-land competition, the Tobacco Bowl, and the Grand Illuminating Parade. Becoming increasingly popular, the festival was relocated to Richmond in 1948 to accommodate festival attendance. Following its move to Richmond, William & Mary played in no less than six Tobacco Bowls, winning at least four times. By 1984, the National Tobacco Festival came to a close mainly because of financial issues but also due to the negative attention attached to tobacco-sponsored events.

Material in the Special Collections Research Center

Visit the SCRC's Access Tools page for information about searching for and finding resources. See especially the SCRC Collections Database, Archives Card Catalog, and The Flat Hat.

Published Sources

  • Issues of the Flat Hat are available online from the W&M Digital Archive and an index is available in the Special Collections Research Center.The Colonial Echo, the College of William & Mary yearbook, available online from the W&M Digital Archive .
  • Goal to goal : 100 seasons of football at William & Mary, by Wilford Kale, Bob Moskowitz, and Charles M. Holloway ; foreword by Davis Y. Paschall (1997); Available in the Archives Book collection in the SCRC, Swem stacks, and from other libraries: call numberGV958 .C6 K34 1997
  • Kickoffs and kickbacks : the 1951 football scandal at William & Mary, Joan Gosnell, Thesis (M. A.), College of William & Mary: 1990. Available in the Swem Library stacks and SCRC: call number LD6051 .W5m Hist., 1990, G68.
    • American excursion, J.E. Morpurgo, London, Cresset Press, 1949. The British Morpurgo was a student at the College of William & Mary and this book includes an account of his impression of his experience including American football. Copies in Swem stacks and Archives books (Special Collections Research Center): call number E169 .M866.

Manuscript and Archival Collections

Athletic Director Ben Carnevale on "College Athletics as Big Business--Where to Now?"

    • Audio recording of the rally after the 1967 College of William & Mary football team defeated Navy.
    • Zable Stadium Dedication, 1990
  • Many, many scrapbooks in the SCRC include photographs, tickets, and references to football and other athletics, but football may not necessarily be mentioned in the brief description of these items, so deeper investigation of these individual items would be worth a researcher's time. Results for the search term "football" in the SCRC Collections Database


Want to find out more?

To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for other resources to help you find materials of interest.

Questions? Have ideas or updates for articles you'd like to see? Contact the Special Collections Research Center at or 757-221-3090.

A note about the contents of this site

This website contains the best available information from known sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information in this website is not complete, and it changes as we continue to research and uncover new sources.