PHILADELPHIA – When Army football captains Thomas Holloway, Jarrett Mackey and Michael Kime go to midfield for the coin toss of the Army-Navy Game presented by USAA, they will be looking at an historic silver dollar.
President John F. Kennedy was supposed to use the coin during the 1963 Army-Navy Game. Fifty years later, the coin will be used to decide who gets the opening possession of the game.
Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963, eight days before he was scheduled to participate in the ceremonial coin toss in Philadelphia. The game was postponed and played Dec. 7, 1963.
Navy’s captain that season, Tom Lynch, received the coin in the mail with a letter from Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance that read:
9 December 1963
Dear Midshipman Lynch,
I am forwarding the coin which the late President Kennedy would have used and would have presented to you had he made the toss of the coin at the Army-Navy football game this year. Please accept this memento of a memorable football game.
With best wishes,
Cyrus R. Vance
Secretary of the Army
On Saturday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will have the honor of flipping that same coin.
The 114th meeting between Army and Navy will take place Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. CBS will carry the game live to a national audience beginning at 3 p.m.