19th Century Origins of Athletic Competition at the University of Michigan


– Okay, well good evening. Welcome and thank you all for coming, to this part of our new series on the history of the
University of Michigan. My name is Gary Krenz. I’m director of post bicentennial planning at the Bentley library, and I appreciate you’re joining us. These monthly talks are part of our effort to continue the exploration
of the university’s history, that our 27 bicentennial
helped accelerate. In November, we had a
wonderful talk by Lisa Young from the anthropology department on food, at the university back
in the 19th century. Next month, we’re gonna
hear from Terry McDonald, the director of the Bentley
on the history and future of the humanities, and, or the
liberal arts, I should say. And in February, in recognition
of the 150th anniversary of the admission of women to U of M, we will be joined by Andrea
Turpin from Baylor University. She has recently published
a really wonderful book, on gender and the changing
nature of universities in the 19th century, and U of M figures very
prominently in her account. There are schedules on the table of the whole lecture series just outside and also, an email sign up sheet So, please sign up if you’re
not are already on our list and anything you can do
to help us spread the word about this lecture series,
we’d greatly appreciate, you know, there’s always a lot of activity in Ann Arbor, and at U of M, and sort of raising
visibility can be a challenge. So, come to the lectures,
bring some friends and I hope we see you in the future. One more thing before
turning to tonight’s talk. It’s been on the scroll here,
but I want to talk about, another resource that we have
just released, a new website. Historyofum.umich.edu,
which is devoted to history of the university and the collects work on the history from across campus, as well as from the
Bentley Historical Library. So, I hope you will check it out and, let us know what you think. Okay, so now for tonight’s talk, we are fortunate to have
with us two of the most knowledgeable people around
when it comes to the, to U of M history. Greg Kenney and Brian Williams. Greg has specialized in the
archives of U of M athletics for over 25 years. As many of you know, the
Bentley’s athletics collections are really remarkable, and I
think there’s little doubt that no one surpasses Greg in
breadth and depth of knowledge of UM’s athletics history. In fact, in our publication that featured him not that long ago. They said he is, quote, “The man in charge of Michigan’s
football history” unquote, which I hope that means you
can retroactively change the outcome of the OSU game. But in any case, Greg
joined the Bentley in 1989, so congratulations on, on 30 years. Brian Williams is assistant
director of the Bentley and the archivist for the
for university history. Like Greg with athletics, Brian
has remarkably broad, deep and specific knowledge
of the history of U of M and also, of the Bentley
collections, including the items in what we call the vault, which holds some of the real treasures. Brian has done extensive work, interpreting and explaining U of M history in addition to building
the archival collections. He and his team are currently working on a major project documenting the history of African American students at U of M. Brian joined the Bentley
in 1994 so is this right? You guys both have
anniversaries this year, so that’s great congratulations. And please join me in welcoming them in their anniversary year. (audience applauding) – All right, well thanks for coming out. I see a lot of familiar faces out there, that’s great to see and
appreciate you coming out on a kind of cold, December evening. This is a fun talk to give and as Gary said, Greg’s
really the guy that does the athletics, it’s really his talk. so I’m mostly here for the ride, but, it’s a fun ride, I assure you. We both work at the
Bentley, which is a really, we have the unique
opportunity work with the original letters, the
contracts, the programs, a printed material that tell
the history of the university, and particularly athletics at Michigan. There’s a lot of history in an institution that’s been playing organized sports since the 1860s and
football since the 1870s. And, there’s been a lot written about Michigan football. So, at the Bentley we have more than three
shelves filled with the books about Michigan football
coaches, rivalries, great championship
teams, greatest moments. So, we’re not gonna spend
much time on football. We promised a little
bit of football though, but we’re going to talk about an era that, it’s gonna make
us wonder a little bit how did we get from this? This is a 1894 shot of
a game on Regents field. To this a sport, you know, the east draw just a few hundred people and
now draws on 100,000 people. We’re not going to completely answer that, but we’re going to leave you thinking about that question. We’ll get you close to it. Set out up to about 1900 as
things really get moving, but we’re really going to kind of focus on the foundations of intercollegiate
athletics at Michigan, we are looking at the
development and growth of athletic competition at
Michigan in the 19th century. So, it’s an ear that sets the stage that puts us where we are by 1900. But it was a student run enterprise, almost completely student
run in the 19th century. The, it was an era before the current rivalries even existed. Most of the rivalries were internal, freshman versus sophomores,
law students versus lit. And, external opponents were
actually hard to come by. We were in the west, and there
were not a lot of people, playing football or some
of these other sports. So, we were kind of wanting for opponents, but we’re gonna start with a little bit of framing just to give some context. So, the University of
Michigan opens its doors in Ann Arbor, and 1841 fewer
than 10 students are enrolled. The campus consists of four
houses, four professors, four story academic building,
and it contained everything, classrooms, library, museum, chapel and living space for the students. The students carried up water
from a pump for washing. They cut wood in a wood yard
and brought it upstairs. In fact, a student from
the 1840s, looking back almost 50 years from the
time he was enrolled, said, “There were no athletics in my era. “In fact, our exercise was chopping wood “and carrying it upstairs,
and that was it.” So, the students are,
that era kind of woke up at five o’clock the bell was rung by the
custodian, got him up, went to chapel at 5:30, had a recitation, and then were excused for breakfast and then came back for
more recitation classes, the rest of the afternoon. So there really wasn’t a
lot of structure built in for that would allow for athletics. And, they studied a pretty heavy classical curriculum of, Latin, Greek and a lot of recitation. Second academic buildings added in 1949, medical school was established
it had its own building. So, by 1850, it had grown
to about 151 students, but these are all male students. The Michigan doesn’t go
coeducational until 1870. So, what do all these male students do to occupy their time? And, that question of how do they burn off their surplus animal spirits? We’ll get to the origins of that quote. I knew that was, we had to
put that quote out there to attract an audience, and obviously it worked. But with these questions,
how does athletics begin to take hold in what form? I’m gonna turn to Greg and his
part of the presentation now. – Well, let me start with this famous picture or a
painting by Jasper Cropsey of the campus in, 1855. It’s a very pastoral setting, almost bucolic kit, the way it looks, but Brian said, my 1860,
there’s almost 500 students or a little over 500 students on campus. And what’s missing from this is the string of boarding houses that had sprung up around the edge of the campus. In 1853 the new President
Tappin basically kicked the students out of those
dormitories on campus and they had to live in boarding houses. And so, if you can imagine, you know, string of boarding houses around there and then plug 500 young males down in the middle of the
diag, and you can imagine what kind of havoc that could arise. So, what I’m gonna do is kinda talk about some of the factors that gave rise to this culture of athletics on campus and the need for, or the students’ perceived need for a gymnasium and organized sporting activity, as binding Yokota that wants students, the only act athletics on campus before back in that early
period was chopping wood. But then by 1850, there were 500 men on campus with energy to burn. You know, the students brought with them their own traditions of popular athletics and sport and foot races, wrestling. Everyone knows the
story of Abraham Lincoln being a wrestler in his youth and boxing and all kinds
of feats of strength or the normal competitions. And in one of the early histories of the university, you
want to comment that spontaneous wrestling
matches used to break out in that dormitory on the campus. And then there were also specifically collegiate traditions of athletics. Some of these derived from sort of the english university
model, but many of them came from the Eastern schools and the Michigan students were well aware of what was going on at
Harvard, Yale, and all the Eastern schools, the
early student newspaper had exchanges with all
of those student papers. So, they see that in
the, like the Chronicle, the newspaper would regularly report, you know, Harvard, Yale, Penn’s organizing a track team or something. So, they had a very good
sense of what was happening at other universities and
colleges across the country. And then it was also
beginning about this time, this notion of physical culture and the idea of a sound
mind and a sound body. It was movement, partly in reaction to what it becomes sort of a stereotype of kind of the innervated student, who is stuck up in his garret
studying such an extent that you started to ruin his
own physical health. Part of this came as popular culture was both kind of a popular, upswell from below and also kind of an academic and later on, a very commercial
event project as well. But some of it came from the
German gymnasium tradition, where a German school is
emphasized athletic participation in calisthenics and physical activity. And in Ann Arbor, of course, had a very strong German
population at the time, and there was a local
German Turner organization. And then finally towards
the end of the 19th century, you begin to have notions of what Frederick Jackson Turner, they called the closing of
the frontier of the sense that buoyant outward expansion
of the country was closing, that the nature of urbanization, the changing role in style of work. And the race question
of what the whole notion of masculinity was. And you know, there’s now a whole sort of sub genre of academics study devoted to masculinity and what it meant, what the idea of it was
to be a man at that time. And you have other developments the boy scouts developing that time, which is kind of another
reflection of that notion. Teddy Roosevelt, you know, was this vigorous guy
with a vigorous life. And he was, he played football and was a great defender of football. In fact, a couple of years ago as part of the Ford’s book session, they did a book by a guy. The title of book was “How Teddy Roosevelt “Saved Football” in 1905, when he was involved
in the reform movement. But the other factor too,
in very specific campuses and one of them was this notion of how closely people identified with the class that they belong to much more so than today, where you know, you’ve come in with 4,000 students and you don’t progress with them. It’s you know, relatively few year, a core, a college career. And so, the competition was
often organized by classes. So, it would be freshmen
versus sophomores, or, you know, the class of ’76 versus ’77. And in “The Palladium” and “The Oracle”, which are two of the early yearbooks for the university put
out by the students, they would always have
a the class publishing, it would always have their
own class history in it. That’d be off the narrative. And they would often be sort of these mock epic poems where
they recount the battles they fought against the other two classes and some of the great
achievements of their class. And it found the athletics was also viewed upon as a source of
pride for the university into allowing Michigan to take its place among the great
universities of the country. How it could be see itself on a par with the Harvards, Yales,
Penns, and Princetons. And there’s one quote I like. It’s from an article from “The Oracle”, by the boating club, and
it just read it briefly. It says, “I guess, gave
you the idea that we need “to have this a boat
clubs that we can compete “with the teams in the east,
let us have a boat club “whose first crew can represent us “among our nation’s colleges “and who in whose hands
are colors that Azure blue “and maize shall near dip,
even though the blue and red, “the red, the blue frown upon us.” And red and blue, of course,
were first at Harvard and Yale. And then finally, another factor in this was that there was a commercial interest in athletics right from the beginning. The very first intercollegiate
athletic inter, collegiate athletic competition
was a rowing regatta between Harvard and Yale, which was staged at Lake Winnipesaukee in Vermont. And it was sponsored by a guy who had built a railroad station to railroad line to his
resort in Lake Winnipesaukee. And he wanted people to
come up to his resorts. So, we sponsored this big regatta. But this idea of class spirit, as I said, was really important at that time, much more so than today. There’s a article from “The Oracle” in 1883 was guy kind of wax eloquent about the importance of a class spirit. He described it as to be, there’s a force almost unknown to
science, which he called. He said, “Its first true food is a class “organization that unites the members into “a single body”. And from that, all kinds
of rivalries ensue. There’s football, baseball, tug of war, but it also reflects itself in competition in forms like publications, social events. And these were other ways that
the class expressing itself. And one way that this
inter-class competition and class spirit exhibited itself was
what was called the rush. And the idea of the rush it can really be traced back as far as to Harvard in the late 1700s. It was kind of an outgrowth of the hazing between classes and eventually
by the mid 19th century becoming almost to a ritualized
sort of a street brawl. The term rush by some accounts goes back to the Harvard when,
there was mandatory chapel and you would, they’d be, would
sit in rank order by class. So, the freshmen would be in back, sophomore, junior seniors in front, and when class or the chapel was over, there would be a rush to get out. You were supposed to
follow file out by class, but they would just be this mad rush of pushing and shoving and
then often time outside, there would be just a general brawl. (audience laughing) And so, this is a cartoon
from “The Palladium” another one of the yearbooks from 1875 and it’s showing what they
call the rushing raul. And it depicts, I don’t know if this is supposed to be chapel
or not, but it depicts, you know, the students try and
you’re rushing out the door, and this guy, oops. Here you see him, it’s actually supposed
to be President Angel. He had actually come originally to campus and the story is like this, so it was mandatory
chapel and he had attended some chapels but didn’t say anything for the first few times. And then how about the second weekend there was this mad rush, and he is supposed to simply have said, “Desist boys’ desist.” And that calmed them
down for the time being. But then the rush resumed
again the next week. So again, the rush can take many forms. It was essentially just
a large group of guys going on mass to do something. So, there was, at some
point, it was called the post office rush. The Ann Arbor, the post office was down on Huron Street, kind of
where the courthouse is now. And so, students had to go
down there to get their mail. So occasionally there would be just a whole mob of students go down there and they’d get down there and be elbowing everyone out of the way. And there would, at times the post office would close down when they
saw the students coming. The other famous one was when the Four Paws
Circus came to Ann Arbor. Students decided they
wanted to get in for free, so they just went down and
just barge their way in. It turned into a mile riot
and the tent burned down. Bunch of students got expelled It was one of the first
great student protests on campus about those
students being expelled, but they’re really uniquely
Ann Arbor, Michigan form of the Russian was
called Over the Fence. At that time there was a
picket fence around basically the campus, the diag, and the thread, the ultimate way to humiliate
one of your enemies, your class enemies, was to pick them up and throw them over the fence. And so, this could happen
sort of individually. A sophomore could see a freshman and just decide over the fence, you go, you insulted me, or hadn’t
paid proper ovations to me. So here’s the class someone
from ’85 giving the boot to a soft freshman from ’84, but then what the real, the rush actually would really be just this mass of two groups trying to push each other across the campus until one of them got the other side of the fence
and could throw them over. This is another illustration from 1872 which is one of the most famous rushes, and people were talking about
it for years afterwards, and it was basically the
medics against the lits. So, the medics were on
the East side of campus where the medical school was, building, lits we’re on the West side. And they literally had just, you know, back and forth pushing
and shoving contests until finally, this went on
for about four or five hours, and some people even took
a break to go to dinner, then came back and resumed the rush. It says here how the medics
rushed the lits off campus, but in fact, that’s a satire. It was really the lits, who, I’m assuming, it was written of the lits who threw the medics off campus. It’s the in there sort of the box there, you could see reach go west and the one guy’s vocal box there. That was the chant of this, where we’d yell, go West to get the lits over the West side of the fence. Lits we’re trying to push the medics off the East side, over the
East side of the fence. And then again, so this is part one of the sort of class poems. I just took a little breath. And so, this is illustrating a sophomore who the author has called Jumbo and he’s throwing a freshman called Hank over the fence. And the phone goes on for several pages, but he likens the freshmen
to a banty rooster who likes, he flaps the swings, crows, and then runs and this
as the phone goes down. And so the sophomore, Hank
has finally just had enough and he just picks it up and
throws him over the fence. But then after then, that’s
sort of a general rush ensued. But then after that they’ve settled down and played a football game, or it was then called the football game. And then finally at the end of the poem, he recites that after three state scores in quick succession, one
of the day for ’85 in vain, did Hank the freshmen wait all that evening for the juniors who arrived. So, it’s usually between
the sophomores and freshmen, but sometimes the juniors would come in and one side or the other as well. So that, what was termed
football at that time, there’s nothing like what we
would think of football today, you know, this another
illustration for “The palladium”, it doesn’t do it just
because they would be, you know, anywhere from 40
to a 100 people on each side kicking a ball that was
probably a little bit bigger than a modern basketball. And the idea was something
to kick that ball over to the other side of the other, there wasn’t a goal per se, but just to kick it to
the other side of the, of the campus. And so, it was very much a kicking game. It was more like association football or more like soccer
then like the rugby game as we would come to know it. And it really was strictly a kicking game and the ball wasn’t the
only thing being kicked. You know, as students in these epic poems that a place was who would proudly wear their battle scars and
talk for years about, you know, the injuries that
they suffered in the glorious, you know, it was a glorious
thing to be injured for your class. And then this is, so
there’s one passage here. They’re from “The Chronicle”,
the student newspaper, they talk about and there
was a battle between the sophomores and freshmen, and this score ended up
being five to nothing. I call it unclear exactly
what constituted a score, but the number of sophomores engaged was 42 and the number of freshmen was 82 so there was no sense of even teams or anything it was like
whoever was on the campus, on the diag at the time
just joined in their fray. So that form of football eventually morphed into what
came to be known as push ball. And this again was played just with this giant balloon-like ball, and the idea of it was again both, it used to be, again,
one class against another and the object was just to push
it past a certain goal line. So here you can see, again,
this is all down on Ferry Field. Again, there’d be any
number of people playing, and this tradition went on into the 1920s, they would still have this as sort of a part of a class day, whether it be all kinds
of inter-class competition and they were just another later photo. Remember, other athletes would often serve as judges and officials for
these, push ball competitions. But they’re all the other contests too, like tug of war and wrestling and other events as part
of these class days. But if we go back now to when really organized sports
got started on, on campus. The first club was known as
the Pioneer Cricket Club, which was organized in 1861. We don’t know why cricket
at this time or who, or if there was some particular individual or group of individuals
who were cricket players, but that was the first sport organized, and the club went on for about 10 years. It varied year to year, but
sometimes they would have as many as many as 54 members that actually belonged
to the club, paid dues and members of the club, but there would be impromptu
matches initially just played on State Street. And so, when a carriage came along, the game would just have to move aside to make way for the
characters coming through. Then 1865 what was described as a large group of students petition to Regents asking that they designated a
playing field be established. And the Regents appropriate
$50 to have a field marked out. And we think it was kind of
over in the northeast corner of campus, roughly where the
chemistry building is now. And so, they, so that was the first order, but then our other, a
student athletic association organized through other sports as well. Again, these were all student initiatives. The administration had no role in organizing or funding
any of these at this time. So various times there
was a voting association. There was a university athletic club, which was at time, the term athletics, often referred to sort of gym, what we would call gymnastics or calisthenic type exercise today. Then there’s a boxing
club and a fencing club and a number of others. The boating association
was initially probably the most popular and the most active. At times it would have up to 80 or 100 members, and these, again, are all kind of cartoonish reports from the yearbooks, but
the boating association, their goal was to be able to go to the great regatta at Saratoga. It was the big event in the Eastern rowing clubs, and so they raised several thousand dollars over the years, enabled to purchase two
boats were not inexpensive. And he acquired a building that served as the boathouse, and this
is somewhere down on Huron. You see the train in the background. So, it was probably down past
Casey’s down there somewhere. Now we don’t know exactly where it was. So, they were very active,
they were never able to get it together enough to actually send a boat or crew out to, because
it was very expensive to get your boat and a whole
group of people out there. But that was the great hope that the, they were going to go annual face-off against this big schools from the East. So, these athletic associations, they were organized to support either an individual support or later, at various times there was attempts to have just a single athletic association that covered all sports,
but event up and down, depending on who the
students were at the time. They elected members or they had members, they elected officers and they elected the team managers and captains for the various sports, and they arranged all the competitions, supplied equipment and facilities. They sometimes would select for football or baseball was they called often or as a university nine. So, from there again, there
were inter-class teams organized at the same time. There’s some inter class competitions. Now, the association
would pick what was called the university nine for baseball, and later on, the university 11 though. That’s what we think of as the varsity football team or baseball team. And these associations also sponsored what were called field days and other events as fundraisers to support
other athletic endeavors. Since there were, there was no ticket revenue for
most of these sports at all. And so, it was all based on the membership fees that the
association members paid. And then any money they could
get through fundraising. And then the field days,
one of their major goals was also to raise money for what is called the Gymnasium Fund. This, we’ll talk about this in a minute, but there’s been a long campaign to get a gymnasium facility on campus. These associations,
sometimes they fell victim sort of to campus politics. There might be, there
was a distinction between what called the secret societies, the fraternities and the independence. And so sometimes we’d be rival candidates. A whole slate of candidates representing one faction or the other. Just reading about the
1880, I think it was, or 1883 elections for
the football association was like this campus wide
campaign with sort of under slush funds, and one group was actually
paying people’s memberships so that they could come and
vote for their candidate. And then both sides did it. In the end, it was okay because we raised more money for the gym that way. (audience laughing) And then in 1890 was when finally, there was a single, long standing, university athletic association
that covered all sports. That was organized by Ralph Stone, who was and these university association would be the sole manager of
campus athletics until 1894 when the board and control
of intercollegiate athletics was established, which
provided some faculty oversight for athletics. But the associations were still managing the day to day operations of the various teams up until the 19
up to a pass in 1900. So, I mentioned the quest for a gymnasium and this has been going on since the 1850s when students first
began to appeal for the, or described the need to have a gymnasium athletic facilities on campus. This illustration was printed in a 1937 athletic department publication on the 100th anniversary
of the university, and it’s described as simply copied from a sketch by a campus visitor. We have no idea what the actual source of this was or how accurate it is, but there are references throughout in some of the newspapers and there are things to various attempts to set up sort of a
gymnastics type equipment. You can see they’re still
rings and some bars. And students were constantly appealing for this space to do for exercise rooms. Occasionally the administration would say, well, there’s an unused
basement in this building. You can have that for awhile or something. But it was, again, always very piecemeal. So, this question, you know, as early as the 1850s there had
been sort of formal attempts to get a gym organized and get some kind of
facilities for recreation. Moses Cote Tyler was
a professor of english in 1870s, in late 1860s and ’70s. Was very active on behalf of the students trying to get some facilities, he created a report about the need for this and
talked about the need to create actually a
department of physical culture. What we now think of as a
physical education department. And, he, with the students,
he actually worked up a proposal and they went directly to the state legislature to try and get them to provide funding and
it didn’t succeed there. And even President Angel as late as 1879 was still, in his annual report, talking about the need for
a well-equipped gymnasium and he says, you know, that,
“The health and consequently, “the intellectual and
moral vigor of not a few “of our students suffer
from the lack of sufficient “and attractive exercise.” The students again, “The Chronicle” and the
other newspapers of time Have a constant refrain about the need for a gymnasium and this is the article
that we get the title of our presentation, but
this need where we must work off our surplus animal spirits. Illustration on the
left, the right there is what was most of the yearbooks. Right at the very end, they would always have a section devoted to
what they called the grinds. Those students who were so dedicated to study that they actually
physically harm themselves. So, it was the allegations. This is person who had a grind. You know, someone spent all this time up in the garret of his boarding house studying, and his body would simply begin to waste away. And if I, if there’s, again, these repeated stories in the newspapers talking about the need for this. And this particular goes on and say that, “We hope the next appropriation
will be not for books. “We are nearly booked to death now, “but will be for a building
and a set of apparatus, “and if possible a
trainer, so we can tone up “our muscles and leave
college with something “besides a diploma and
a broken constitution.” (audience laughing) So, one of the things these
athletic association sponsor is what were called field days. And these were essentially
just athletic competitions, on-campus intramural competitions. There were to tend to basically as fundraisers for to support
the athletic association’s particular sport, but also, to raise money
for gymnasium fund. Sometimes they also
featured a varsity football or baseball game. And there was usually a
fall and a spring one, and sometimes the spring one was held in conjunction with a commencement when a lot of alumni would
be back in town on campus, and so they could, participate as well. So, they’re very formally organized, some with faculty support
here on the bottom of the, you can see some of the judges were professor, Thomas, professor Cooley, Charles Kendall Adams, and others. And so, it was a real mix
of events that they sponsor. Anything from the 10 mile walk through different kinds of wrestling, a baseball throw, Indian club
swinging, clay pigeon shoot. So, the whole range of activities and they kept very meticulous records on who was the campus record
holder and all these events. Another fundraising activity
that they sponsored, particularly in the late 1880s and 1890s was minstrel shows. That’s, you know, something we would be somewhat appalled at that now, but minstrel shows were
the most popular form and the popular form of
entertainment at the time. And in this article from “The Chronicle”, they make the note that
this is by no means original with U of M, for raising money by
bringing out the talent of students in a minstrel way. We’ve heard that there are similar schemes at other colleges, and there’s
been a number of studies recently there’s a scholar
who’s actually looking at the way athletic associations across campus in the East
relied on minstrel shows as fundraisers to support themselves. Well, after nearly 40 years
of student fundraising, they had amassed about $6,000. One of their hard-fast rules
was once money was donated, designated for the gymnasium
fund they couldn’t pull it out for anything else. So, this slowly
accumulated over the years, but it took a $20,000 gift from Detroit businessman
Joshua Waterman to actually get enough money to really get the project going. And there was some
additional state funding, and eventually the
gymnasium main for Waterman was built at a cost of $65,000. So, it stood again, right where the chemistry building is now. And it was a pretty state of
the art facility for its time. So now that we’ve got the gymnasium built, we’re gonna go back a little bit in time to when baseball came to campus. It was by far the most popular sport from the mid 1860s up
through about 18 late 1870s and both nationally and on campus. There was a great boom
in baseball activity. So, the first campus team
was organized in 1863. And the diamond was set up,
we think it was probably just the cricket field was expanded to accommodate baseball as well. A formal baseball
association was organized in 1864 with a guy named
John Henchman from Detroit as he was the president of
the association, team captain and the catcher, and he’d been
playing baseball in Detroit for several years. And was considered a, you know, well-regarded player at the time. The first recorded results we have from a game is from 1866 when U of M defeated an Ann Arbor community team by score of 33 to 11
and again another time, 13 to five and then finally they beat the Jackson club 61 to 41. Baseball was very different than you’re playing with,
you know, very crude gloves. Catchers are playing bare-handed for the most part even,
and they were playing, usually against community teams. They play Dexter, Lodi. In other words, they did
finally a play a number of teams from Detroit, a team called
the Cast Baseball Club in particular became kind
of their big rival early on, but it wasn’t until 1882 that they played their first
real intercollegiate games. If this there was form, what was really one of the first athletic
conferences in the West, it was known as inter-collegiate
baseball league. That included NorthWestern, Racine college and Wisconsin. Michigan finished the league
with a six and 0 record. And that was claimed its
first conference title in any sport. But they, Michigan
withdrew from the league the following season. And again, so there’s,
again, as Brian was saying, there’s all these difficulties
in scheduling teams because there just weren’t
many college teams around. So, they did play with the normal school
at Eastern, Western, and then occasionally they still kept playing all these local teams and even some, a few professional and semi-professional teams. And then in 1890 U of
M made its first trip to the eastward, beat Cornell by a score of two to
one and lost to Colgate. In 1891 they hired their first coach. Before this, it had always
been a student coach team. And Pete Conaway was
a former major leaguer and he coached at Michigan
for about two years. This is our picture of the 1869 team. It’s the first photo we
have of any Michigan team. You see a very formal portrait. The guy in the middle
with the big whiskers is Albert Patingill, who would later be a
longtime classics professor at the university and longtime member of the board and control of athletics. And another guy was on the team and is not in this picture was Edgar Cooley, who is the
son of judge Thomas Cooley. And he later settled in Flint and became one of the financiers behind the Oldsmobile company. And this is the thing, the first photo we have of any team in uniform. We know a few of these people, but the only one I’ll just mention here is the guy down in the lower corner here on the right is Frederick Stearns from the Stearns music collection. Later on, the faculty for many years. So, this is where the baseball diamond, we think probably the cricket
field of it laid out here. This is kind of on the
northeast corner of campus, and you’d be looking, so at this point they were probably playing, you could see the diamond way out here, sort of the posts for a base. And there’s all kinds of stories about some legendary home runs that were hit into the medical buildings, were presuming they’re hitting up over
the roofs on there. And eventually as the
campus developed a bit, it just became too crowded for baseball and you have windows being broken and all that stuff. And so eventually they
started playing games at the county fairgrounds, which at that time was
over on Hill Street, just below where the rock is now. And then in 1893 when Ferry Field or Regent’s Field was constructed, it was both for football and baseball. And so, this is a nice shot
of the baseball diamond with the grand stand there,
with that’s the new grandstand. So, this picture is probably
from about 1895 or so. And then– – Depeneds on the site. – Yeah this is approximately
where Schembechler Hall is now. This was known as South Ferry Field. So, the university literally bought the South half of that 40 acres first because the North half
was basically swamp. So, we’re gonna talk now, we’re getting into the
football beginnings. Brian, you know, he said it’s going to handle the varsity football. I’m gonna talk a little bit
about what happened before 1879. So, the first official
actual football association was organized 1872. It wasn’t an attempt to organize a game with Cornell, we’ll
get to that in a second. Again, this was, they didn’t know that the Eastern schools had been
playing what we call a sort of modern football since what, 1869 was Harvard
or Rutgers and Princeton. – Yeah. – So, they had bad about 10 years of experience on there,
but the rules still had not been codified to any extent. And before, every teams played
they would have to agree on whose rules they were going to play by, how long the game was gonna be, how long the quarters were gonna be. And so, there was a very still in court notion of what football was. So, Michigan organized this
club and they were again, class teams playing at the time. Then they selected, what were they called, the chosen 30. These were the guys that were in effect going
to be the varsity team. So, when the October of
1873 of the association made a proposal to their
counterparts at Cornell and after some negotiation
that was agreed that they would play a game
November 1st in Cleveland. Again, Cornell agreed to this, but insisted that the game
be played under their rules. Michigan thought that was very unsporting of them and put Michigan
at a real disadvantage. Because they weren’t aware of or used to playing under
the whatever rules set of rules Cornell used. But Cornell president, Andrew Dixon White, who had been a professor at Michigan before he went to Cornell, wouldn’t allow them to
leave campus and is supposed to have said, “I will not permit 30 men “to travel 400 miles to
agitate a bag of wind.” Now this phrase, it’s one of
the more famous quotes about early football, but we haven’t been able to figure out exactly where it came from. Sag endorphin is history of
the university of Michigan, uses it and he applies that it was a letter from
white to President Angel, but we haven’t found it
anywhere in the Angel papers. Archivist of Cornell haven’t
been able to turn it up. The first place I’ve found it was in 1937. In the New York times
article about this was the, I think, the 75th anniversary
of college football, and it’s quoted there. And then it gets repeated
often after that, I can’t say that it’s not a fact, but I haven’t been able to find the actual source of the quote. But even so, Michigan athletic department, their official records
include the at least three lettered winners before 1879, so these guys were either presidents of the association or
captains of one of the teams. So even though they never
played a varsity game for whatever reason, over the years, they have become to be
accepted as letter winners. But the other really crucial sort of turning point for
Michigan football came in 1877. When student Charles Gaily introduced the formal set of rules for rugby. Gaily was Irish American
born, but his parents, his father at least was from Ireland, but they were missionaries in China. And so, he actually grew up in China. His father died at a very young age and Gaily went back to Northern Ireland and went to schools there and learned the rugby game there. And so, when you got
to Michigan, and he saw what they called football, these sort of just mass
games of pushing and shoving, he said he tried to introduce the rules and there was an article
then in “The Chronicle” in 1877 where he, it’s not an author, there’s no signature on the article, but we presume it was probably
the Gaily who wrote it. He listed the 52 crucial rules for rugby and had a diagram of the field and some of the how the plays worked. But my favorite part of it is in one quote there he talks about, “By a
careful study of a few hours, “even the dullest aspirant
to football honors “can easily master them.” But I actually did it. (laughing) It’s not as easy as he thought. So, by then, we’ve got the setting for what we think more of as modern
football begins to emerge. And Brian is going to take over now and talk about how football as we know it started at Michigan. – So yeah, we promised
a little more football, and so I just love this quote
that’s at the top of this. “The football association erected on the “football campus for bare posts
who’s mysterious usefulness, “arouse a vague feeling of awe.” So, these goalposts went up on campus and nobody really knows
what’s going to happen. But that, it was awe inspiring. The, Michigan’s casting
about for an opponent, they’ve got goalposts. Football fevers caught on, you know, 150 years ago, the first game
was played as Greg mentioned, Rutgers, Princeton, and New Jersey, that football fever spread West. And, Michigan was just
had a team, had goalposts. They’re ready, but they can’t find a team. And all these rumors keep coming up that there’s going
to be a game against somebody. It’s getting organized. Keep talking about this possible game with Racine and finally it turns from mere possibility to a real game. It’s going to happen. They’re gonna play in Chicago. University of Racine is in Wisconsin. They’re gonna meet at the
Chicago white stockings grounds in Chicago, May 30th. And, it’s going to be a game. “The Chronicle” gives us a
really good rundown of the game, and it’s a pretty primitive game. It’s got a few hundred
people witnessing it there. But at 4:15 p.m. on May 30,
1879 in front of 500 witnesses, Michigan football history
begins, a toe met leather, Racine kicked off in Michigan, halfback Charles Campbell officially
field with the ball, and Michigan football
begins, team number one 1879. It’s a back and forth struggle. A lot of defensive work. But, the one outstanding
runner is a Irving K. Pond, he’s particularly famous
as the architect who built the Michigan union and
the Michigan league, but a lot of people think
he’s most famous for scoring Michigan’s first touchdown. And, I love his account and I can’t, Pond road his autobiography,
and he says that, just by a twist of fate he ended up, going on this trip to Chicago. He said, “I was rather forced
against my wish to join “the team on that memorable trip”. But if his a touchdown, it
sounds a little bit funky. He says, “My touchdown was made towards “the end of the first half “and involved a long distance to run “to where the ball must be “grounded directly behind the goalpost, “which are near the north bleachers “of the old white stocking park. “To you avoid being tackled, “I was forced to mount the bleachers “and run eastward along them
until I was opposite the goal. “I stopped suddenly and fearing that “a touchdown in the
bleachers would not count, “jumped over the heads of
my pursuers to the ground.” And so, (audience laughing) that’s Michigan’s first touchdown, right. I don’t know, but it counts. So, one game in the books. And we have an account, a kind of a picture of a
David Detar, the captain, his kick for goal. And so, Michigan wins one to nothing in their inaugural game
in the spring of 1879. And so, this was a kind of
Pond’s account that I read. He’s also, climbed on
the tower of the dome that was being built in 1872 on the top of University Hall and did a handstand. And he said, “I placed my head “in the center of the level place “and raised my feet in the
air and wave my legs about “in salutation to anyone below “who might be observing the act.” So, he did a lot of interesting things in Michigan history, but the problem that was,
continued to be finding opponents. So, 1879 we got a second game against Toronto in the fall, the more
traditional football season. But there’s some interesting
back and forth about trying to set up where to play, how to play. And, there’s a letter that
the Toronto football committee writes to Michigan. And that said, after
considering Michigan’s offer for them to play in Detroit,
they think it’s impossible for us to play you. The committee, however, determined to challenge you in Toronto
on the 8th of November. 11 men to a side. They’ve resolved to guarantee you $50 towards defraying your expenses and also a dinner on the day of the match. 50 bucks and dinner,
that sounded pretty good. But the letter went on to
say they’re not backed up by any association, so, the
money’s all coming from them. They do though secure the grounds and the advertising that
all be at their own expense. If they got some gate revenue over 50, they’d share that with Michigan. But the key thing, they said, “This is the first time any
arrangement of such kind “has been made and we do
not know how it will work.” There was a lot of this, kind of flying by the seat of the pants trying to figure out
how to make this work. Michigan really didn’t know
how to make it work either. They rejected that offer to
play in Toronto instead said, “How about we’ll give you
$100 and you come here “and we’ll play in
Detroit on November one.” So they do, Toronto agrees to that. And, we end up, playing them. There’s an interesting
account in the newspaper of the, a train from Ann
Arbor, going to Detroit On November one said, “200 fellows bent on witnessing
the coming football contest “between Michigan and Toronto
had a lively ride with music. “And when they got to Detroit, “a column was formed in
the line of March began.” And they said that line of March went past the Detroit free press office
where three Hardy cheers were given for Quimby and his paper. The first inning began at 3:15, Michigan captain David Detar kicked off, is described as a defensive affair. There’s a short rest, kind of a halftime and then a, what they
call the second inning. But again, Michigan got within a few feet of the Toronto goal line,
but never crossed it. The game ended in a scoreless tie. But, we know these
people were from Toronto, so they’re very polite. Canadians are polite, and so they say, “Too much cannot be said
in praise of the appearance “and bearing of the Toronto team. “They have all the qualities
of perfect gentlemen “and is a genuine pleasure to
meet them in such a contest.” So, things went so well we decided, in 1880 to play Toronto again. And so that’s our, that’s
the entire 1880 season. And then in 1881, we thought we’ve got
this football thing down. It’s time to see how we measure up against the teams in the East. And so, it was time for
a, a trial of strength. So, 1881, they went to 12 players, got on the train, went East in a period of five days, they
played three football games, played Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. A member of that team, Richard Dodd, wrote an account of that largely self-funded trip, and he said, “We boarded the train for going
the luxury of sleeper cars. “The man who possessed the whole seat “was fortunate during the two days “and one night spent on the train. “Those who couldn’t sleep saw no reason “why the others should either.” (audience laughing) So, they arrived without much rest, had a game to play, but they
had also received a shock. They, instead of the
round association ball, Michigan had trained and played with, they were forced to use
the smaller livelier egg shaped ball that had just been adopted by the eastern schools. So, Michigan protested and
said, we’re not used to that. But, they were overruled,
proceeded to play, lost all three games,
but got a very sound, football education on that. 1882, they couldn’t find any games, no outside opponents at all. So, their, no games were
played inter-collegial. But still this plucky team, 1883, decided we need to go west again. And, they petition the faculty. There’s a document that I just love. It’s, they ask a formal petition to the faculty and they’re
taking 11 or 12 men. So, 11 men for the team and one extra. And you think of today’s
travel squad, 72 players, and you know, so we’re taking one extra. But they asked to be allowed to miss class and they petition the faculty in writing. And it said, “It’s the universal sentiment “among the students of the university “that our football team visit the East “for a trial of strength
with the Eastern teams. “Therefore, the students
do urgently petition you, “the faculty to grant the
team for this purpose leave “of absence from work in the university.” And they laid out several days. It was a pretty, arduous
trip, again, going by train, they’re going to play
Wesley and Yale, Harvard and Stevens Institute,
another hitch in the plan. So, they plan to arrive
in Hartford, Connecticut on Sunday afternoon, but instead have an eight-hour delay in Niagara Falls due to the
adoption of standard time on that day. And so, the train schedule was changed, standard time was adopted, so they decided to make the best of it. And so, Michigan has the
fastest man on their team, Fred Bonine, ends up staging
races with the locals and he’s kind of a ringer. He is a really fast track athlete and so they helped fund
part of their trip, just him winning bets, beating the locals in foot races. (audience laughing) So, they reached their destination, have to get ready for an afternoon game. Two players, Horace Prettyman and Henry Kaleah were sent
off to make arrangements while the rest of the team found food. They play, they ended up losing to Wesleyan, Yale, and Harvard. But, they continued to learn more about this eastern style of play and, figured out how to do it. They, rest of the 1880s still, you know, looking about for opponents. The schedule is really filled
out with, athletic clubs, small colleges, we play a
lot of games with Albion, the Windsor Club, Detroit Athletic Club, Chicago University Club. But there’s one addition
to the schedule in 1887. So, Notre Dame gets wind that Michigan is gonna play a
thanksgiving game in Chicago and asked, would Michigan
be willing to stop by on their way to Chicago in South Bend and, teach them the
eastern rules of football? So, November 23, 1887, Michigan team stops in, got off the
train at Niles, Michigan, is met by a contingent from Notre Dame. They, run them through the rules. They split the squads up and have a couple of
scrimmages and then decide, why don’t we play a game? See how it works? And nobody’s sure if it’s
a game that counts or not, but played, Michigan wins 26 to nothing. There’s an account by a Notre Dame player years later, he said, “We always thought it was a practice game, “but then years later they decided that “it was Notre Dame’s first
intercollegiate football game.” So, I guess that made us historic. (audience laughing) So, the two teams played
again in the spring of 1888 for two more games. And, meanwhile, Michigan
continued to try to find opponents, builds
a schedule a little bit. But they continue to try and
beat these eastern teams. That’s the real mark of success. You know, it’s can you compete? Can you beat, can you beat an SEC team? Can you beat Ohio state? We’ll stop there on that. But, they, also in 1891, a thing that happens,
to start changing things is we can kind of see,
interesting thing here is we have a coach all these other years that our coaches are none. 1891, we have our first
professional coach, and that’s a turning point in
Michigan football history too. They, hired a string of these guys that had played for these eastern teams that, either Princeton or Yale that knew more about that game and could really formerly coach and train. And so, we continue to want to play eastern teams and take on Cornell. And we play them a six times between 1889 and 1892 and a loose soundly every time, but keep trying. Got a little closer in
1891 with the coach. But, 1894 is the year things turn. We played them twice. We played them in, Ithaca, New York, lost 22 to zero
had a rematch in Detroit three weeks later, and we
finally win 12 to four, so Michigan’s on the way, they
finally beat an Ivy league eastern power and things are turning up. Another thing is a Michigan starts to think of a home field. All the time we’ve been on
the road playing in the, in Toronto, Chicago, Detroit. But May, 12, 1883 Michigan played its first home game in Ann Arbor, the Washington County Fairgrounds that Greg had mentioned. They played the Detroit Independence as part of one of these
field day exercises. Horace Prettyman scored
the first home touchdown. Horace Prettyman is also
a famous for having played eight years, pre-eligibility rules. He has the longest tenure in
Michigan football history, and that’s probably going to stay in. And, there’s some question
that he even may have played a game or two, later after that. But the big games for Michigan continued to be played in Detroit at the Detroit Athletic
Club or Bennett Field, which was a home of the Detroit Tigers. Finally in 1890, the regents approve land along South State
Street for what would as Greg mentioned Regents Field. They, got an additional
4,500 for the fitting up the athletic field, quarter
mile track was laid out, and they built a grandstand that could hold about 400 people. October four, 1893, U of M defeats the Detroit Athletic Club, six to nothing in the first game at Regents Field, our permanent home field. And thanks to an engineering student in the class of 1895, David Lefever, we have the first known, action shots of games and Regents Field. And we can kind of see that’s
a dome for university tower and the smokestack for the power plants. So, it’s kind of looking
North, but you know, not an awful lot of spectators. And, you know, the grandstand
holds about 400 people. This is kind of a view,
looking towards State Street. But we see these, the grandstand, it burned down in 1895, so a year after this photo was taken. They built a bigger one that showed up. But things are, at least
starting to look up for Michigan. We’ve got a permanent home field. We’ve got professional coaches, and finally beat an eastern team. I’m going to turn it back
over to Greg to talk about some of the other sports
that came up after football, and I think we’ll do some
of these pretty quickly. – So, track and field
was the next major sport that started having
inter-collegiate competition. The first company that came in 1893, but individuals had
competed earlier than that. And you see from the photo bike racing was considered part of the regular track and field competition at the time? And this here is our friend Fred Bonine, who was the ringer on the 1883 trip east. He competed as an individual at the, what was called the
inter-collegiate championships, held at the Manhattan Athletic Grounds, and he came in first place
in the 100-yard dash. Jake is probably
considered Michigan’s first national champion of any sort, and for years he held basically
all of the running records from those field day competitions. Tennis became a very popular sport, both nationally and at Michigan. The late 1880s and 1890s,
there were regular tournaments on campus, both the big fall and the spring tournament,
both among students and faculty members also
participated in some of them. And it was very fashionable
sport, kind of in every sense. You can see on the top, there was both men and women played it. And then our first inter-collegiate competitors were in 1890 when George Cod and James Angel participated in what was called
the Northwest Championship. George Cod went on to become a Congressman and the mayor of Detroit,
who was also a pitcher on the baseball team. James Angel is the son of President Angel. Later went on to become
president of Yale university. They came in second
place in that tournament when Angel broke his leg
during the third match, (crowd groaning) or broke his ankle. And then in 1897, Michigan won his first,
conference championship, but it wasn’t very popular, just as a casual
recreational sport on campus. So, there are any number of lawn tennis courts that were laid out. This one here is, it’ll be museum building approximately where the
art museum is still on, the art museum today,
but there’s other photos, so, you would just see a
tennis net strung up between a couple of trees for just casual play? – Greg, could you go back one? I just had a question. Cod and Angel, were those team jackets. And do you suppose that
design is still available? – I would check. It should be. And then there were some other new sports that began to emerge in the late 1890s. One was what’s known as
the hare and hound races. This was a kind of a national craze. It was sort of a precursor
of cross country. The idea was you would
have a group of runners. It would be a hare who
would go out in front. Leaving a trail of paper, you
know, some kind of a clue. A few minutes later, the
others would follow him, and he would go out to some
usually predetermined spot and then the others got there, then there would be a race to get back, but they had to follow the
same course, coming back. And so they would do, if they were running from
campus up to Whitmore Lake or to Salani and stuff. This was for several years, very popular and they died out around
the turn of the century. But that kind of distance running, really laid the foundation
for Michigan’s track teams, which in the early 1900s is dominated in events like the mile or the two mile and four mile relay. They were national champions for eight or 10 years in a row. There was also a hockey club organized. The students had been
playing casual hockey down on the Huron River
periodically for years. But in 1899, actual club is organized and they are playing. There’s a just before that,
Weinberg’s skating rink had opened up, which was
downed kind of where the, the armory, not the armory. – Colosseum. – Colosseum, yeah, so that was. So, there was a, yeah, in the winter was an ice skating rink, and it was actually in a closed rink, at least
partially enclosed rink. And then in the summer,
they also flooded the area. It was the community
swimming pool as well. And then finally there
was a golf club organized. This is both against student and faculty preferences. Wenley and Trueblood were very
important in organizing this. Neither hockey or golf became
actually varsity sports until 1920s. But there was, again, the golf team was organized
and we’re, you know, occasionally individuals would compete in a meeting in Chicago every year that was sorta
for the western championship. And we want to talk just briefly at least about recreation and
athletics for women on campus. As Brian said, women
came to campus in 1870 and we don’t know a lot about what kind of resources
were available for them. In the early years, we had this like this great photo of women rowing on the Huron, but shortly after the men began organized or after women came on campus, they began organized
themselves for a gymnasium through the Michigan league. Again, they did all kinds
of fundraising activities on their own, and they finally
raised close to $21,000. Then the regents committed, the remainder, and it got a large donation
from regent, Levi Barber, and so the building was
erected right adjacent to Waterman Gym, the men’s gymnasium and there was actually possibilities to, they’re connected so they
could open up the gym for the both sides. So that became sort of the
university’s big banquet reception room for many years, and it also housed the office of the Dean of Women and the Department of Physical Education for Women. One of the things that
we think about this, so the men’s gymnasium
was finished in 1892. James Naismith invented basketball, and, the gymnasium was under
construction in 1892 and ’93. James Naismith invented
basketball in 1892, so, when Waterman for Men opened, as far as we could tell,
there were no baskets in the gymnasium. We think, Barbara, the women’s gymnasium had baskets for years. And it’s quite possible
that women were playing, at least organized basketball on campus before men were, because we have a reference
in one of the newspapers, in “The daily” to a basketball game for women to be played in 1899. You don’t find any references
to men’s organized games until about 1906 or so. And so eventually the women, how they’d organize themselves as the women’s athletic association, which is sponsored essentially
intramural competitions. Occasionally there would
be a competition from without outside schools. And so, this athletic
association would govern, manage women’s athletics
until the 1950s really. And so, kind of bringing
the century to a close, the sort of the climax
for Michigan athletics was the 1900 Olympics in Paris, Four Michigan men went
to Paris to compete. They were accompanied by Charles Baird, the coach, and some local
business men put up money to sponsor their trip for them. The 1900 Olympics were a
horribly disorganized affair. It spread out over about four months. And Michigan came back
with a couple of medals, but the one that was in
the pole vault competition, it was originally scheduled
to take place on a Sunday, and many of the US athletes
said, “No, we can’t compete “on a Sunday.” So, they agreed, okay, we’ll hold the competition another day. But then they went ahead and
held it on Sunday anyways, so the Americans couldn’t compete. Then they had a special competition and Michigan guy won a silver medal in that special competition. But it was considered a great success. That’s really the beginning of Michigan’s long history in the Olympics. And so come to close the century. We really have three people in place, that are soon to be in place who really became the foundation for the modern Michigan athletic plant and, department Keene Fitzpatrick was the track coach and football trainer. He came to Michigan in 1898. He was a well-known runner
in his own right back in New England, what were called
the hose and ladder teams. All the local fire departments
would sponsor track teams as fire departments were
private events organization or organizations that would raise money in whatever way they could. One of them was to sponsor
track teams and so, he was sort of a semi-professional runner. Chose Baird had been a Michigan student, captain of the team, or a
manager of the 1893, ’94 teams. He went to Chicago after
graduation then came back. His formal title was Graduate
Director of Outdoor Athletics. There was another
director of the gymnasium. But he was in effect, considered the first athletic director, and then he’s the one who in
1901 who hired Fielding Yost to be the football coach. And that really set the stage for the modern Michigan athletic department and all that we have today. So, we’re going to wrap there. If there is an questions, we’ll be happy. (audience applauding) – Greg, in the lake, you
started seeing the block M and then you know, then like you’ll see the other kind of a mishmash and, but in that ladder phot you
have, again that they had block Ms on. Was there any official designation or recognition ’cause
it kind of seemed like, oh, there it is, and then it’s gone. – Yeah there’s very different formulations of what the Michigan logo was like. We’re actually, someone’s
coming to the library next week from Michigan creative I
think to do a little video about the evolution of the black M. Early on the team sort
of designed their own. If you look at some of the early baseball, you know, it’s sort of an
old english style letter. Some of them very elaborate,
sort of an intertwined U of M and to be for baseball
or a BT for baseball team. The earliest ones we have for football, it looks like they just
drew an M on their sweater. Others you can see that it’s actually an M stitched on, but there’s very different styles of M’s. By 1897, you begin to see
something that looks like the block M but in the team photo, there may be three or
four different versions of what Ms on different
letters, and it’s around 1904 when the athletic department
starts to specify what the, at least the letter that’s
awarded to the players will look like, and that’s
really, that’s where the block M really
begins to be formalized. And it’s very specific that, you know, the football team got one size track and baseball got a different size and things like that. And so that’s when it becomes formalized. – And Charles Baird donated the Caroline. – Right, yeah he was served as
athletic director until 1908 and then he, I think was his wife was from Kansas City
and he went down there and basically, took
over a baking business, was very successful,
but stayed very involved in Michigan athletics and then donated, I think it was like $30,000 in the 1920s to fund the construction of the Caroline. – And that was after his
dad created the Caroline at University of Chicago. – Chicago. – And his thought was if we had developed maybe a 10 o’clock, then
that would be curfew for the football team. So, Baird very soon after
created the Caroline. – Chicago and stag was the great rival. So, whenever Chicago had, Michigan had to have something better. – Greg, I was a little confused as we went through looking
at how classes of students identified themselves. I’ll refer to my own high school years. I was the class of ’69
because that’s the year that I graduated, but I almost got the
feeling that there were references to when
classes arrived on campus. – No, it was generally the, it would be their graduation year. – Their graduation year. – And by the way, students who attended to go up into probably
the mid 1870s, at least when the elective system really became the way that students took classes, but people would go through
classes pretty much in lockstep. All the freshman took
all the same classes, the sophomore took classes, so they had this real
bond and identification with a particular group of students that they were with all
the way through college. Yes. – When did they azure blue colors come in? I mean that University,
not necessarily athletics. – Yeah. Well, it was the class
of, what year was it? there was one I forget the exact year now, but it was in the 18 late 1860s or ’70s. The classes would each pick their individual color. And one class picked– – Azure blue. – Azure blue and maize as their colors and that came to be adapted, and no one knew exactly
what those shades were. And that when you see the
blue was a much lighter, almost a sky blue in those early years. The football team, almost
from the beginning, had a darker shade of
blue for their letters. But most of the other universities, like public and letterheads
and other things have that much lighter
shade of blue until 1912, I think it was when the regents,
decided to formally specify what the color was. – Are there teams that no longer exist that won trophies, flags,
or honors of any kind that are now held by the Bentley. For instance, you know, if
there were bicycle races, but they no longer take
place as part of track and field, do you guys retain any of that? – We really don’t have trophies. We’ve got a few odd medals and things, we don’t have the physical
artifacts uusually, but there are, you know, a
number of sports that, like, we had fencing team for a few years. Gymnastics came and went
away and came back again. Same with the cross country. – Synchronized swimming. – Synchronized swimming. – There are five that don’t really exist. – Yes. (laughing) They might be resurrecting we don’t know. Yeah. Anyone else? – Yeah, I mean, you mentioned Ralph Stone. I know you mentioned like
the baseball registration, but like the big words is the big 10 and like some of the tents
of the conference beforehand. How did, how did that concern, like why was Michigan kind of like in and out of those early attempts? – There was a, in the, I’d say late, early
1890s there was again, another sort of a football conference that was organized again with Minnesota, like Northwestern or Chicago. And yeah, and again, it
was partly, it’s scheduling and I don’t know what to
extent there was, you know, faculty control was beginning
to be an issue then. But again, these early
conferences were very much, you know, the student managers, that’s the part that
remembers all of these things. All the scheduling, everything is done by a student manager. So, you’ve got, we have Charles Baird’s papers from when he was a student manager. So, he’s writing off to all these schools, or they’re writing to him, saying, “Oh, I’ve got an open Saturday in October. “You want to play?” And so, they’re, you know, arranging this, you know, while they students and stuff. But they, the real move for the, for the big 10 conference is really, generated from the presidents. Michigan didn’t participate in the initial organizing
meeting of the big 10 probably, for some reason, Angel couldn’t go, but he was very much in favor of that. There’s, it was, you know, very much, it’s kind of reformed. The administration and the faculty were, football is becoming such a big deal at that time that they
were thinking it was just taking over the campus, really made them thought that this was, you know, far too much emphasis on Michigan in particular, one that, the student athletic
association, you know, had a substantial budget
that they’re raising or, you know, by the late 1890s, I’m not sure exactly what,
but it was, you know, in the tens of thousands
of dollars of income that they were generating
from games and other things. So, it became very much
a management issue. And these universities
were concerned that this, you know, football was
beginning to overwhelm the academic side of things. – And if I understand correctly, the games we played against Albion, they may be some sort of
a link in the sense that, even earlier athletic
conference was started among the smaller colleges
in Michigan and still exists. I think it predated– – Yeah, that’s considered
the oldest conference. – Four or five years, yeah. Albion, Adrian, schools like that. – Michigan, they thought very much of those as practice games and like of course, Prettyman, when he was playing all those years, he would maybe show up and play all only in the big game at the end of the season. And usually, it was how you
got a letter was determined, did you play in the big game against Chicago or Cornell or someone? But in his defense, I will say he was actually enrolled
in school for most of those eight years. (audience laughing) So yeah, he was, you know, took courses in the law school and then
of course it elsewhere. – Online courses? – Down south they do that, yeah. But he was, and then he
later ran what was known as Prettyman House, which was
a boarding house that became the training table for the football team. It’s right where the
dental building is now. And it was kind of an
institution on campus. Fielding Yost lived there for a couple of years when he was coaching or even when we’d be on
campus for four months while he was coaching. But Prettyman was, he ran the
local newspaper for a while. Another business that, he’s a very well known guy around town. – So, in 1905 at Carnegie
Foundation, I guess, created a report reviewing
college football. So, I think that also
brought the faculty principal and the president over to seeing football. – Yeah that was part of what I mentioned for that guy who had
written his book about how Teddy Roosevelt
saved football in 1905, I forget exactly what, it was like 17 people had been killed, kids had been killed playing football, and so they got me a national scandal, a number of places that were going to abolish football. Harvard actually did abolish
football for one year. And so, Roosevelt was a
great fan of football, called the presidents of
Harvard, Yale, and Penn, I think together and said, “Okay, we’ve got to do something.” And so, there was some rules, revisions. And that’s when what came to be known as the Angel conference
was actually called by President Angel of all
the western conference that the big 10 presidents to think about how they can reform football in particular and involved things like
limiting the schedule and doing other things, and
this becomes very complicated because the reforms went through, but Michigan actually objected to them and ended up withdrawing
from the conference for 10 years or so. There’s a whole other story
you would have to go into to understand that, but again, it was, this whole question of, you know, how big a part of campus should football and athletics be and some of
the administrators are thinking it’s too overwhelming. There was Wisconsin, there
was a movement there, led by Frederick Jackson Turner, the historian, to abolish
football for a couple of years. Amos Alonzo Stagg at Chicago was able to, there was some sentiment for that, but he had close support
from his university president and so he, according to
John Cricket at least, he posed as a reformer and a reformed it, the rules very much to
Chicago’s advantage, but, but there was a general movement and concern about football. It was just too violent. Too many people were getting injured. – Will Michigan ever have
a physical manifestation of a mascot or is that, is that below our– – I will just quote Don Canham on that. – Please. – There was a movement
in the ’70s I guess, to adapt the mascot, and this is something to the effect this,
“We’re not one of those “Cal Colleges that
needs to have a mascot.” I don’t know who he was referring to. (audience laughing) So, probably not. – One more, one more question. Okay well, thank you so much. (audience applauding)

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