The Kentucky Historical Society will dedicate an historical marker about early 20th century class competitions which were popular at the University of Kentucky. The dedication is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on April 15, on the UK campus.
On American college campuses in the 1900s, freshman and sophomore classes held a variety of competitions and UK was no exception. One early rivalry was the annual flag rush in which one class would defend their flag from being captured by a rush of competitors. Replacing the annual flag rush in 1913 was the tug of war across Clifton Pond. Students were granted a half-day holiday for the annual drenching and crowds could reach more than 2,000 for the event. The freshman class was usually victorious in the battle until teams of equal size were established in 1923. Seniors supervised to ensure fair play and the victors would storm downtown in celebration.
This marker is dedicated by the class of 2012 as part of the UK Senior Challenge Historical Marker Project. This program, which allows each graduating senior class to leave a memorial to the university, creates a special historical marker that notes important people and places affiliated with the history of the university. Each year a UK historical marker committee picks a topic, raises funds for the marker, researches and writes the text and works with KHS to produce the marker.
The Kentucky Historical Marker Program, administered by KHS in cooperation with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, tells Kentucky’s story through the people, places and events that have shaped local communities across the Commonwealth. These markers highlight the importance of place in Kentucky’s collective history in order to build strong communities for the future. The markers are on-the-spot history lessons that make connections between history, place and historical evidence housed in the Commonwealth’s many historical organizations. Through the program, Kentucky’s history is made accessible to the public on markers along the state’s roadways; online here and via the Explore Kentucky History smartphone application available for free at iTunes and Google Play.
For more information, contact Becky Riddle, Kentucky Historical Marker program coordinator, at 502-564-1792, ext. 4474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.