September 5 - 1906 - Bradbury Robinson Throws the First Legal Forward Pass
The forward pass was less of a tactical innovation in American football than a safety measure. So many people died in the 1905 college season that the President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, called for a rules committee to find ways to make the game safer. The key rule change was the forward pass, which was seen as something that would open the game up and allow smaller, speedier players to have a larger influence on the game. When Bradbury Robinson of St. Louis University threw the first pass in a game against Caroll College, he inaugurated a new era of football in America. He also got that distinction because his team played first, but the Midwest schools would remain leaders in developing the forward pass as an offensive strategy.