James Antick Collection

The photograph below depicts the Army-Navy foot ball teams in front of a football field at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco circa 1915. James Antick's father played for the Army Mules and went on to serve in the Coast Artillery Corps at the Presidio of San Francisco.

The annual Army-Navy football game began in 1890 and featured college teams from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point , New York and the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis , Maryland . In the 1890s, an officer at the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot decided the Army football team needed a mascot to rival the Navy's goat mascot. A mule mascot was selected since mules had been historically used to haul army equipment due to their strength, heartiness, and perseverance. During the 1899 game, a white mule pulling an ice-wagon was present on the sidelines and was thought to have helped the Army to a 17-5 victory over the Navy. Since that game, mules have been a mainstay on the sidelines as the Army's mascot. Originally, they were either selected from the stables at West Point or borrowed from nearby stables at away games. Not much is known about the official mascot mules until 1936, when a mule named Mr. Jackson (named for Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson ) arrived from Front Royal, Virginia and served as the team's mascot for twelve years and two national championships. Currently, the mascots are trained by cadet "Mule Riders" and are cared for by members of the Army Veterinary Corps.

Due to the historic affiliation of goats with the Navy, Bill the Goat is the official Navy mascot. For centuries, goats were frequent passengers on naval ships eating garbage and other undesirable food and providing milk and butter in return. In 1893, El Cid the goat, a gift from the officers of the USS New York, debuted as the Navy's mascot, propelling the Navy to a 6 – 3 victory over the Army. Although other mascots appeared over the years, the goat has served consistently since 1904. He took the name "Billy" in honor of a pet goat kept by Commander Colby M. Chester, Commandant of Midshipmen from 1891 to 1894.

GOGA-1766 James Antick Collection Army-Navy Mules PPIE Photograph
Army-Navy Football Game at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, circa 1915. The father of James Antick is pictured fifth from the right.

Golden Gate NRA, Park Archives, James Antick Collection, GOGA-1766


The Panama-Pacific International Exposition was a world's fair held in San Francisco from February 20 to December 4, 1915, to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal and commemorate the 400th anniversary of the explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa's discovery of the Pacific Ocean. The Exposition allowed the city of San Francisco to showcase the success of its recovery after the devastating 1906 Earthquake and Fire that had leveled much of its buildings and infrastructure. Although Golden Gate Park was the site initially selected, the exposition was located on 635 acres of filled mudflats (now the Marina district) and military land within Fort Mason and the Presidio that was loaned by the U.S. Army for the occasion.

A grand temporary city was built for the exposition. Buildings were constructed using wood and "staff," a combination of plaster and a burlap fiber, designed to last for one year. An eight-color pastel color theme was selected, complimented by the floral arrangements of landscape architect John McLaren, who also designed Golden Gate Park. The newest innovations in electrical engineering were used to illuminate the entire event. The exposition showcased agricultural advances, architectural techniques, art, leisure activities, new technology in genres that ranged from typewriting machines to electricity, and newly acquired colonial cultures as well as representatives from various states.


Last updated: February 28, 2015

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