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Rockne Unmatched

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Knute Rockne was one of the most prominent figures in America - let alone the famous coach at Notre Dame - when his plane crashed in a Kansas pasture 75 years ago Friday.



Easter Heathman, however, didn't know anything about him that morning. The 14-year-old boy merely heard a loud noise, ran to the scene - and later helped carry Rockne's body on a stretcher.


"I remember it just like it was yesterday," Heathman said in a telephone interview from his Kansas home.


Over the years, Heathman has become the unofficial caretaker of the crash site near Bazaar, Kan., and the monument that was built there. He and others plan to gather today to commemorate the life of Rockne and the seven others who died.


Another ceremony will be held today in Rockne's hometown of Voss, Norway. At Notre Dame, the video documentary "Knute Rockne and his Fighting Irish" will be shown hourly this afternoon.


With a 105-12-5 record in 13 seasons, Rockne's major college football winning percentage of .881 remains unmatched.

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