On a sunny Monday morning, 83 years to the day of Knute Rockne’s death in that crash, Michael Lopez sits in a room on the Notre Dame campus and opens an old briefcase to reveal the item Rockne held closest as that disabled plane plunged into a Kansas cornfield.
A quick look at the calendar confirms that, yes, it is April 15. Tax Day. Major League Baseball’s opening day was last month, as was the first official day of Spring. The men’s and women’s lacrosse teams here have been playing outside since February. And the football team concluded its Spring practice on Saturday with the annual Blue-Gold game, where a high of 77 degrees coaxed out a crowd of nearly 28,000 to enjoy the day.