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Tanks to have day in the sun

Tanks Memorial Stadium will have its day in the sun Sunday.

At 3 p.m., the facility will be recognized by the Ohio Historical Society and the Ohio Bicentennial Committee as a historical landmark. The public ceremony will be held at the Ironton High School Sports Center Outdoor Arena on South Seventh Street.

Glenn Presnell, 96, of Ironton -- a former Tank and oldest living former National Football League player -- will have the honor of unveiling the historical marker. Also during the ceremony, Presnell will be recognized as his jersey number, 20, will be featured in a special postage stamp cancellation. Tanks memorabilia also will be on display.

Tanks Memorial Stadium became the team's home in November of 1926. Talk of building the stadium began in 1925 -- a public meeting was held in December of that year, a publicity campaign started in March of 1926, the first construction contract was awarded in May of 1926 and the stadium was completed in November. Today, the Ironton High School football team plays its home games there.

Semi-professional football in Ironton began in 1893 with the Irontonians. The Ironton Tanks were founded in 1919, playing teams from the American Professional Football Association, which became the NFL in 1930. The Tanks accumulated an 88-17-15 record during the team's 12-year existence. The team was disbanded in 1931 and many of its players, including Presnell, went on to play in the NFL. Tribune staff report