May 10, 2010 Archives Newsletter
May 10, 2010
Clown and friend, Dillo Day, 1979.
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This Month's Highlights:
The highlight was the crowning of the May Queen and her court, but there was also a cotillion, pageant, and Maypole dance. By 1946, the addition of a women's sing, a men's sing, and an academic honors ceremony necessitated stretching May Day into May Week. Later, amidst growing student skepticism, 1969 was the last time a traditional May Court was selected. One take on how May Fest was fully formed is that in 1977 Greek Week, Armadillo Day, and A&O's Spring Festival were combined, but there are several theories.
The earlier May events have their origin in pagan celebrations of fertility and the return of the summer months, such as the festivals of Beltane, Walpurgis Night, and Flora, among others. Today, the same energy and love of having fun with good friends in good weather fuels contemporary festivities. If you would like to learn more about the history of these events, please visit the Archive's Northwestern's May Celebrations online exhibit.
Object Lesson: When the Boys of Summer Wore Wool
Thick wool, short sleeves, full collar, and felt letters in a semi-circle: what you see is what you get. Little is known about the origins of this baseball team jersey, but it still serves as a tangible connection to the sporting past of the university. Even without much supporting documentation, a little digging in the Archives yields some fruit...
The 1901 yearbook holds one of the earliest appearances of this style of baseball jersey in a photograph from circa 1899. After about a decade the jerseys had no overlapping collar, more like contemporary uniforms.
Read the rest of the story on our blog.
The bed is named in honor of Berenice J. Miller (d. 1998), wife of former NU President (later Chancellor) J. Roscoe "Rocky" Miller and Northwestern's "first lady" from 1949 to 1974. A much-admired member of the NU community, Berenice Johannesen Miller grew up in Idaho Falls, Idaho and attended the University of Utah where she met her future husband. Graduating in 1927, Berenice married in 1928 and the Millers moved to Chicago where Rocky took his M.D. (1930) and M.S. (1931) degrees from Northwestern. Read more on our blog.
Book on Capone Uses NU Archives Material
The journals are rich in descriptive detail about the landscape, people, and wildlife of these northern latitudes in the mid-19th century. In addition to the journals, we have several artifacts relating to these gentlemen, including a spyglass and a hand-blown glass paperweight.
Sandra Schlachtmeyer, an alumna of Medill, has a new book on Kennicott coming out in June, entitled A Death Decoded: Robert Kennicott and the Alaska Telegraph. The book focuses on the last two years of Kennicott's life, and especially his final journey collecting natural history samples while connected to an expedition researching the potential of running a telegraph line across Alaska to Siberia.
Schlachtmeyer used our manuscript material in researching the work and learned some fascinating things by focusing on some small details.
Read more about this detective work in the archives, a mysterious death, and an upcoming event on our blog.
The University Archives: