Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Traditions

Barker Hall / Buell Armory, old gymnasium, Halloween party -- Nollau photographic print collection 1998ua0001:167_0008

Early students at UK were a rowdy bunch. "Town and Gown" relations often suffered in the wake of practical jokes or pranks which got a little out of hand. In the Board of Trustees minutes from December 11, 1906, President James K. Patterson recalls his surprise on November 1st to learn that "some of the students had endeavored to obstruct the street car service and had thus come into collision with the police, that a riotous demonstration had occurred on the grounds of Patterson Hall ... Six or eight of those participating in the riotous proceedings were arrested ... Their trial was postponed for ten days pending the recovery of a policeman said to have been seriously injured by stones thrown by the rioters."

However, it was not until the late 1920s that the school instituted a Halloween Dance in an effort to curb the annual displays of violence and destruction.
[DAS and JC]

Halloween Fun -- Underwood and Underwood photographic collection, 1913-1915 80PA103:0138

Couple in costume -- James Edwin "Ed" Weddle photographic collection, 1948-1981 1997AV27_0017

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to see where things come from. When I think of something as commonplace as a Halloween dance, I don't assume there was a reason outside of a general call or need for campus recreation.