This Week in Packer History

Here's a look at some of the important events in Green Bay Packers history for the week of August 1-7.

1968: A bittersweet celebration
Vince Lombardi Day was celebrated in Green Bay on Aug. 7, 1968. The event was organized by a Green Bay business association to honor the coach shortly after his retirement. Fittingly, Lombardi Day began with 7:30 a.m. mass at Resurrection Church and went on to include a parade complete with baton twirlers, balloons and a band. Two downtown theaters showed Packer highlight films, players signed autographs. The governor proclaimed Vince Lombardi day throughout the state.

More accolades and honors of the day included a ceremony to announce the renaming of Highland Avenue to Lombardi Avenue, and the event was marked with an Air Force Golden Hawk flyover. The day concluded with an "Evening with Vince" tribute, attended by a capacity crowd of 5,100 at the Brown County Arena.

The event was attended by the state's political leaders as well as presidents of several NFL clubs.

1980: Lightning over Canton
Packers and San Diego Chargers play to a 0-0 tie in the Hall of Fame exhibition opener in Canton Ohio on Aug. 2, 1980. The game was called off with 5:29 remaining due to severe lightning. The storm put a damper on the Packers' first appearance in the Canton game since 1969.

1998: Going global
Packers travel to Japan, the team's first trip overseas in its 80 year history. They defeat Kansas City 27-24 in OT in the American Bowl game at Tokyo Dome in front of 42,018 spectators on Aug. 2, 1998.

Happy Birthday
Two former Packer tight ends celebrate birthdays this week:

Ed West born Aug. 2, 1961 in Leighton, Ala. West played for the Pack from 1984-94.

John Spagnola was born Aug. 1, 1957. He may be remembered by Packer fans not so much for his one season here in 1989 -- a late stop on his long but not so illustrious pro career -- but as one of the few Yale men to wear the Green and Gold. The other "Elis" to play for the Pack were Chuck Mercein (1967-69) and QB Brian Dowling (1977).


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