Thursday, October 18, 2007

Postcard: UND in the 1920s

UND in the Roaring Twenties

Here's another vintage postcard that I really like. The card shows five scenes from UND during the 1920s. According to the UND website,

The 1920's were an exuberant time in UND's history. Greek life was flourishing, events like the Flickertail Follies became yearly highlights, and the football and basketball teams gained national prominence. Faculty were very concerned about student morals. In 1920, there was a ban on cheek-to-cheek dancing and "unnecessary clinging" or cuddling on the dance floor. A committee of secret observers was detailed to report any violations on the ban. But soon, the increased availability of automobiles and the proximity of the States Ballroom in East Grand Forks, with the scandalous Charleston and Black Bottom dance contests, made it nearly impossible to control off-campus behavior.

Parties were elaborate -- and expensive -- affairs. They had names like Spinster Skip, Junior Prom, Senior Prom, Military Ball, and Winter Wonderland. For example, the Shadow Ball used the entire Armory, in which all the walls were covered with black and white, with an archway concealing the orchestra. Invitations were sent to just 150 co-eds, selected on the basis of popularity. During this time, the campus variety show, "Flickertail Follies," began. In 1950, they attracted national attention and were featured in LIFE magazine

18 comments:

Szymanski's Designated Driver said...

Ralph Engelstad hated Native Americans back then too.

So were these "scandalous Charleston and Black Bottom dance contests" comparable to ecstasy popping techno raves of the present?

Anonymous said...

SDDS: I take it you knew Ralph Englestad personally?

Szymanski's Designated Driver said...

"SDDS"? i don't know where the last S is coming from...but it was a joke, guy. FYI: Ralph wasn't even alive in the 20's...and this was before the rise of Hitler so Ralph couldn't throw parties celebrating Hitler's birthday yet either.

GrandForksGuy said...

"it was a joke"

Not an overly funny joke...

Anonymous said...

Wasn't UND still the "Flickertails" back then (I think until 1930)? Now thats a tradition. And aren't UND's school colors black, green, and pink? Where's the pink these days? Damn them new fangled names and color schemes.

ec99 said...

The school colors are white green and pink, the colors of the stae flower, the prairie rose. Pink was elimianted from the sport uniforms. Black was added to make the players look bad.

Anonymous said...

"it was a joke"

Not an overly funny joke...


...My sentiments, exactly. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You all are no fun.

Szymanski's Designated Driver said...

seriously!

for those interested in reading about Mr. Engelstad's Nazi escapades.. I shall point you here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Engelstad

Matthew said...

The school's official colors are pink and green according to the Office of University Relations. Sports teams use green and white (not black) because pink wasn't mean enough looking.

-----
Campus Dakota - for North Dakota students, not the universities

Anonymous said...

Szymanski-whatever,

Your attempt at humor is, at best, boring. Perhaps you're attempting to replace Greenglass as an irritant.

Tom Szymanski deserves a lot better than your brand of wit. In addition, it is surprising that you're so critical of Ralph Englestad, as his lack of judgement in flaunting his collection of Nazi memorbilia at one of his parties cost him dearly; at least he was man enough to admit he'd erred.

So far, you've not come close to making a contribution in the scale of either of the individuals you seem to delight in mocking.

Boooring!

ec99 said...

"his lack of judgement in flaunting his collection of Nazi memorbilia at one of his parties"

As I recall, it wasn't the memorabilia, but rather the Hitler birthday parties, complete with brown shirts and swastika armbands, and a particular painting which got him into hot water.

Anonymous said...

all of which were sanctioned by his employees, not by him

ec99 said...

"all of which were sanctioned by his employees, not by him"

Nice try to exculpate him...but a control freak like Ralph wouldn't let any employee come up with a Hitler birthday party withoput his consent. And you was responsible for the painting?

ec99 said...

that should have read "and who..."

MattFacingSouth said...

I think pink fades quite quickly, as well.

Szymanski's Designated Driver said...

God forbid I make fun of such holy figures like Tom Szymanski and Ralph Engelstad, you make it sound like I'm ripping on the Dalai Lama and the Pope. Oh yeah Ralph was such a man, he admitted he erred by showing off his Nazi memorabilia... so that makes it okay? Please... A man who openly celebrated Hitler's birthday clearly shows more than just an interest in the Nazi movement. The man had a painting of himself in a Nazi uniform with the caption "to Adolf from Ralphie"!

If we can't make fun of drunks and Hitler lovers, then we live in a sad sad world.

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