An 1881 editorial in the Academica, UC’s early student newspaper, called for colors: “The great majority of American colleges and universities have selected certain colors or combinations of colors, which, for want of an adequate term, we may designate as their ‘colors.’ These colors are of great use in intercollegiate contests in distinguishing the members of different colleges. They also have the effect of creating in the student a feeling of loyalty to his Alma Mater. Each year finds it more difficult to select colors that are not pre-occupied. We, therefore, commend this matter to our students in the hope that they will at once take measures looking to the selection of colors for the University of Cincinnati.”
Although students wrote in suggesting either green alone or “black, sprinkled with a little white,” there was no immediate action on this request. A few years later, on April 10, 1885, the the University of Cincinnati baseball team took the field against Hughes High School sporting white suits with blue stockings, belts and caps. Later that year, new baseball uniforms appeared in blue and brown. Although the university dithered about selecting official colors, each class took great pains to select a unique color. The annual for 1885, for example, records the senior class adopting green and yellow, while the juniors claimed “maiden’s blush.” The sophomores that year adopted violet. Continue reading Why UC’s Colors are Red & Black
Last year, Morgens Hall reopened its doors as one of the nicest residence halls on campus. It had spent about a year in renovations that replaced the brick building with floor to ceiling glass and removed the balconies to allow for more interior space. With renovations for Scioto Hall scheduled to begin next year, I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about how fluid campus is.
This time of year 100 years ago, the “Bear Cat” made its first appearance in a student newspaper cartoon that celebrated a UC football victory over the University of Kentucky. UK had its “Wildcats” but with the red and black backfield boasting the likes of Leonard “Teddy” Baehr, the cartoonist, Paddy Reece, showed a bear-like creature chasing after a wildcat. It wasn’t until a few years after that gridiron win that the term “Bearcat” came to be commonly used as the University of Cincinnati’s mascot, but now a century later, it’s an integral part of our campus identity.
In 2019, the University of Cincinnati will celebrate its 200th birthday, and for the past two years the UC Bicentennial Commission has undertaken a number of initiatives to celebrate and commemorate this momentous event. One aspect of the bicentennial endeavors is directed by the Spirit of History Committee. Chaired by longtime UC benefactor and former member of the Board of Trustees, Buck Niehoff, the committee’s plans are for two complementary publications.
The first publication is a scholarly history of the university by David Stradling, professor of history. Dr. Stradling will focus on UC’s relationship to the city of Cincinnati throughout its history. The second volume, edited by Greg Hand, will be a collection of diverse essays that begin with a facet of University of Cincinnati history and expand it to where it has relevance and meaning to any reader, not just those who are connected to UC in some way. To that end, Hand is soliciting ideas for essays and invites anyone to submit a proposal by linking to this web page: http://www.uc.edu/content/dam/uc/Bicentennial/docs/6034-Spirit-of-History-Essay-form.pdf. The form provides details on the style the essays will take. It can also be printed out and mailed to potential authors. Continue reading UC Bicentennial Publishing Plans Gearing Up
For the past few weeks, Mr. Dennis Christine (CCM, Class of 1969), has corresponded with Sue Reller, Mark Palkovic, and me about an old bronze plaque he had. He wished to donate it to us as a piece of University of Cincinnati heritage that he strongly felt should be preserved, and we’re very fortunate that he thought of us because the plaque that reads “Shillito Hall” is a reminder of CCM’s past and its merger with the University of Cincinnati in the 1960s. Yesterday I met him at the gatehouse on Clifton and hauled it in to the Archives & Rare Books Library.
By: Iman Said, Archives & Rare Books Intern for 2014-2015
It’s officially Fall, which means I am writing this post with a pumpkin spice latte in hand. Last week, I wrote about a photo of the UC football team from the late 1800s. While my role is primarily focused on images and photos, I also get to work with historical documents. I love looking through old copies of the News Record, the student-run newspaper here on UC’s campus. You can find digitized copies of the newspapers from 1960 to 1970, as well as 1973 to 1976 by going to http://digital.libraries.uc.edu/newsrecord/. The Archives & Rare Books Library’s intent is that eventually all the years of the newspaper will be digitized, from 1885 to the point where the News Record began electronic issues. Continue reading Fall Means Election Time: A Look Back Through ARB’s Issues of the News Record
By: Iman Said, Archives & Rare Books Library Intern, 2014-2015
Hello, and welcome to my first blog! My name is Iman and I’m a student in the College of Business, studying Operations Management. This year, I am working as a research intern in the Archives & Rare Books Library, a cozy nook on the 8th floor of Blegen Library. The ARB Library is a home to the University’s rare books collection, UC archives, hundreds of archival collections, and texts from all over the world. Just an hour of working in this corner of campus is enough to get a glimpse into the history and traditions that have influenced the way our laws are made, the way we interact with others, even the way our society functions.
The Archives & Rare Books monthly talk returns on Wednesday, September 24, at 12:00 noon with a special presentation on UC’s first female graduate. Like nearly every other institution of its kind, documenting the “firsts” and the significant moments of our history lends context to our heritage, and, reveals some very interesting stories. And for this 50 Minutes talk, we welcome back Greg Hand to campus and to Blegen Library. Greg made some very interesting 50 Minutes talks in the past few years on Cincinnati’s Federal Writer’s project guide to the city; artist, poet, and mystic William Blake; and pioneering cartoonist Winsor McCay. Now he comes with another…Continue reading ARB’s "50 Minutes" Talk for September
In 1917, the noted journalist and philologist H.L. Mencken published an article in the New York Evening Mail concerning the history of the bathtub in the United States. According to the Baltimore writer, known as much for his satire and acerbic wit as he was for his political reporting, Cincinnati was home to this tub. Mencken asserted that America’s first bathtub was introduced on December 20, 1842 by Adam Thompson who lived, in all places, Cincinnati, Ohio. Made of mahogany and lined with lead, the vessel was introduced by Thompson to his guests at a Christmas party, described how it worked, and invited the partygoers to take a dip. Four of them took him up on his offer, and the next day the invention was widely reported in the press. Continue reading Cincinnati’s Bathtub Hoax and a Missing Giant Tub
On the south parapet of Blegen Library are carved these words from John Milton’s Areopagitica written in 1644:
For books are not absolutely dead things
But do contain a potencie of life in them
To be as active as those whose progeny they are.
Milton (1608-1674) is one of the greatest poets and essayists in the English language. The quote, which is part of his work condemning censorship and pleading for free speech, is part of the architectural design in the library, which opened as the University of Cincinnati’s Main Library in 1930. Intended to inspire students and scholars, they are words meant both to establish the primacy of books and the written word in human culture and to draw the reader within the building to explore, to learn, to consider, and to share knowledge.