Homecoming is cool as hell. And people have been making a big deal about it for a long time at the U of M we are celebrating 100 years since the first homecoming. All of this is great for me because I have lots to share with you.
Notice from the Alumni Association in 1914.
So that pretty well sums up how things got started here. According to the all knowing wikipedia, Missouri (and possibly a few other schools) had the first Homecoming festivities in 1911.
I'd like to highlight greek houses transforming into intricate showcases that routinely make fun of the Gopher's homecoming opponent. Thankfully people have snapped photos of these and so I have a ton of examples:
'NIHILATE NORTHWESTERN! 1937 Homecoming via MNHS
HELL YEAH. IT'S A WEIRD LOOKING GOPHER HAULING OFF A POLAR BEAR(?), 1938, via MNHS
It's your classic sad illinois pumpkin/football player motif. 1940. via MNHS
And it's not just decorations, in 1925 some of the frat bros at Delta Chi got TWO ACTUAL LIVE BEARS. I guess because "bear down" was a phrase the U of M was using then? Who knows, crazy kids!
BEARS! 1925 via MNHS
For more great homecoming pictures the alumni association has done a great job of putting together Homecoming stuff from various decades. I'm not able to link out to the photos in the article but go there and enjoy! They've also beaten me to the punch, writing about the history of homecoming. Also the U of M has a timeline that covers some of the more interesting highlights of the history of homecoming.
It wouldn't be right of me to neglect some good Purdue photos.
SNOW BOWL, 11/8/1947 The Gophers beat Purdue 26-21 via MNHS.
Homecoming balloon release, 11/6/1948 vs Purdue. The Gophers beat Purdue 34-7. via MNHS
Finally a couple of game action photos from 11/18/1950 against Purdue, the Gophers won 27-14, but sadly it was their only win of the season..
Purdue running the ball, 1950 via MNHS
The Gophers running the ball vs Purdue, 1950 via MNHS
Finally, have you ever thought about starting your collection of Gopher memorabilia but not really known where to start? Homecoming pins are a good way to get dipped in vintage Gopher's paraphernalia, but not break the bank. Usually retailing on ebay from $10 and up. Watch out for the culturally insensitive ones! It's hard to imagine the U of M giving the OK to make "Scalp Chicago!" pins (why they made them in the first place is puzzling) but there are plenty of hilarious pins for yesteryear that are just waiting to be scooped up.