“The Newhall Girls of 1927″

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Welcome to Women’s History Wednesday!

In 1924, the Iowa High School Athletic Association decided that organized basketball was “unhealthy” for girls and announced their decision to eliminate the girls’ state championship tournament. In response, female athletes statewide took action; that included members of the Newhall team, pictured here, who rode on horseback from farm to farm to win their neighbors’ support.

Those efforts paid off big for Newhall’s players, who in 1927 won the first-ever girls state championship under the newly-founded Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. After a breathless night following the game remotely — it wasn’t broadcast on the radio, so fans gathered at a Newhall restaurant where the tournament plays were called out via a long-distance phone call — the whole town turned out the next morning to welcome their champions back home.

As one newspaper report described it, “The Newhall Girls of 1927 have given the town a place in the sun.”

Newhall items from the Rural Women Digital Collection

*This post is duplicated from the Iowa Women’s Archives Tumblr.