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Get to Know Bill the Goat

Aug 04 2017

Get to Know Bill the Goat

Bill the Goat, the Naval Academy’s iconic mascot, is now enshrined at a new exhibit in the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center at the Naval Academy.

Bill the Goat has served as the official Naval Academy mascot since the 1890 inaugural Army-Navy football game. Since the original Bill’s debut, there have been at least 37 different live goat mascots, many of which have had the honor of wearing a game-day blanket laden with the N-Star, signifying a victory over Army. The unique history of the Bills and their admiration by midshipmen and Navy fans is chronicled in this exhibit.

Along with a timeline of Bills (as seen at left), the exhibit features a special memorial for Bill 35. The goat died after one year as lead mascot because of kidney problems. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a glass case containing a taxidermy of a bucking “3-0 Jack Dalton” Bill, nicknamed after the captain of the 1911 Navy team, John Patrick Dalton. He kicked the game-winning field that year for a 3-0 win over Army.

Beyond photographs of old Bills, the exhibit features illustrations of Bill with opponents’ mascots, often bullying them — like the poster for the Oct. 22, 1983, game against University of Pittsburgh where Bill is shown lounging on a Panther-mascot rug.

The exhibit opened on July 13, so stop by and get to know all about Bill!

And while you’re at the Visitor Center you can also check out the neighboring exhibits featuring Naval Academy uniforms and Naval Academy astronauts.

Learn more about the Naval Academy as a heritage attraction.

For information on the Naval Academy Visitor Center and their hours of operation please visit: http://www.usnabsd.com/for-visitors/. For more information on Bill the Goat, visit https://www.usna.edu/PAO/faq_pages/BilltheGoat.php.