Category: This Week in History

New Acquisition: World War I Vignette Collection

In recognition of the upcoming 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, we are highlighting a recent acquisition of two short sketched vignettes in watercolor documenting University of Oregon student life during and after World War I.

“Over Here: A Striking Scenerio [sic] of Present Day Events,” 1918 (18 pages)

A vignette of a day in the life of a young woman living in Eugene during World War I. The sketches depict a morning routine, Villard Hall, the Rex Theatre.

 

“When the Boys Came Home: A Scenario in One Act,” 1919 (11 pages)

Depicts the expectations and realities of soldiers returning to campus. Each page contains a perception of those on the home front and the actual scenario of soldier reintegration into civilian life. The sketches include Eugene City Hall, and Obak Amusement Co. (a student favorite for billiards and bowling).

 

—Lauren Goss, Accessioning and Processing Archivist

5 Things You Didn’t Know Existed in the EMU 50 Years Ago

The EMU is celebrating its reopening Thursday and Friday—the building is full of new food, new spaces and even a Duck Store. But fifty years ago, the EMU was a lot different.

This is a video filmed in 1966 by a political science student named Ken Settlemier, who was trying to show how crowded the EMU had become. According to an article in the Oregon Daily Emerald, the film didn’t really achieve what it had intended when shown to the EMU Board—but today, provides us with a snapshot of student life in the EMU half a century ago.

Here are five things you probably didn’t know existed in the EMU in 1966:

1. A barber shop.

 2. Smoking.

3. A daily print newsroom.

The Emerald is now a daily online publication with two news magazines a week; in 1966, it printed every day from Monday to Friday.

4. Ping-pong.

5. A bowling alley.

Bonus points: A girl falling asleep.

Finding Muhammad Ali in UO’s Special Collections

Jack Olsen was a jouBlack is Best 1967 by Olsen coverrnalist who wrote for Sports Illustrated and later wrote true crime books. His was the very first biography of Muhammad Ali. UO Special Collections and University Archives has Jack Olsen’s Papers, check out the finding aid here.

Listen to an excerpt from the book Black is Best: The Riddle of Cassius Clay (New York Dell) of an excerpt of an Ali recording that Jack Olsen made and read the audio transcript. Continue reading

Commencement Speeches from Yesteryear

University Archives Photographs (UA REF 3, Box 31, Folder 20)
University Archives Photographs (UA REF 3, Box 31, Folder 20)

This week we are presenting a three-part series highlighting the history of graduation at the University of Oregon. Part one (Tuesday) takes a look back at commencement ceremonies from the the 19th century, part two (Wednesday) features a recent donation of graduation memorabilia from the turn of the century, and part three (Thursday) highlights commencement speeches over the years. Congratulations to the Class of 2015!!

 

One ubiquitous constant that has graced graduation weekend at the University of Oregon for over a century are the sage words of commencement speakers. These speeches offer both a window into a specific period of university history as well as eternal wisdom for present generations of graduates. Several collections in the University Archives house manuscript copies of student orations from the 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as those of guest speakers from the 1970s and 1980s. As the 138th commencement weekend approaches we have highlighted some excerpts from various UO graduation addresses of yesteryear whose messages remain relevant in 2015.

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Pomp and Circumstance: Zola Grimes, Graduation Attire and 19th Century Student Life

Zola Grimes, University of Oregon Graduation, 1899
Zola Grimes, University of Oregon Graduation, 1899

This week we are presenting a three-part series highlighting the history of graduation at the University of Oregon. Part one (Tuesday) takes a look back at commencement ceremonies from the 19th century, part two (Wednesday) features a recent donation of graduation memorabilia from the 19th century, and part three (Thursday) highlights commencement speeches over the years. Congratulations to the Class of 2015!!

 

Last year the UO Special Collections and University Archives received a unique donation from the family of Zola Grimes Sorenson. In the collection is the dress and shoes donned by Grimes at her 1899 graduation, the fan she carried on stage during the ceremony, and a portrait of the graduate in her dress from the commencement. The donation offered a rare glimpse of “typical turn-of-the century attire” that would have been worn by students of the late 19th century to graduation. This post highlights the donation of the collection and some background on Grimes while she attended UO.

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