Scrapbook History: Donna Moran

21 02 2014

Think about life at MSU in the early 1950s. Is it easy to picture? Unless you are an avid historian it might be harder than you think. While scrapbooks may not tell us the entire story they certainly give us a wonderful glimpse into the past. Donna Moran was a student at Michigan State College from 1949-1954. She kept a detailed scrapbook of her freshman year as a co-ed at MSC.

Taken from the 1953 Wolverine yearbook. Donna is pictured with her hands on the pianist.

Taken from the 1953 Wolverine yearbook. Donna is pictured with her hands on the pianist.

Originally from Detroit, Donna was an avid theater goer and kept many programs from shows she attended on campus. She witnessed the Ballet Russe, University Concert Series and many other shows during her freshman year. Dances were especially popular during her time at MSC. She kept track of many of the dances she attended, who her dates were, and even the names of other couples she attended with.

Although Donna lived in the newly completed Elida Yakeley Women’s Dormitory, MSC was struggling to keep up with student housing needs. With too many students and not enough campus dormitories during the post World War II boom, MSC had to install temporary structures to accommodate them.  A campus map from 1949, found in Moran’s scrapbook shows the barrack-like Quonset Village in the bottom left hand corner.

MSC campus map, 1949

MSC campus map, 1949

Without the use of cellphones, most dorms and dorm rooms had their own land line phone to be shared.  To keep track of who was calling them and for what reason, Moran and her roommates kept a comprehensive record of their messages. Donna preserved this record in her scrapbook.

Donna's telephone list

Donna’s telephone list

Like many women in the early 1950s, Donna graduated with a degree in Education. Although there were women enrolled in almost every program at MSC during this period, the two most popular subjects for co-eds were Home Economics and Education.

Life at MSU over 60 years ago would have been quite different than it is today. Although many traditions and practices remain the same, clothes, activities, and even communication on campus would be unrecognizable to freshman classes in 2014.  Through Donna Moran’s scrapbook she allows us to take a small peek into her life at MSC in 1949.

Moran and her friends share some fun in East Yakeley Hall.

Moran and her friends share some fun in East Yakeley Hall.

Source: Donna Moran papers, UA 10.3.120, Scrapbook #317

Written by Caroline Voisine





MSU Archives Year in Review 2013

30 12 2013

The year is nearly at its end and, like many others, we’re in a reflective mood here at the Archives.  As such, we’d like to share some of our accomplishments and highlights of 2013.

First, we would like to thank our gracious donors!  We’ve received fantastic collections this year, as well as monetary donations, which help us better care for our materials.  Staff have arranged and described over 300 cubic feet of materials, on topics such as Lansing politics, the home video industry, nuclear testing, and international students at MSU.

Great strides have been made to increase the accessibility of our collections.  Over 1000 catalog records have been uploaded and/or updated in WorldCat, a global catalog of library collections.  Descriptions of over 2500 MSU Archives’ collections are also available through ArchiveGrid.  Collection guides on topics such as the American Civil War, and both World Wars, have been updated to better aid researchers.  Additionally, finding aids for nearly all of our collections are available online and are keyword searchable through a Google search box on our website.

Amazing progress has also been made to digitize our holdings and make them available online.  We have added 300 letters and photographs to our Civil War website and 4300 pages of letters have been digitized.  The website continues to be a popular resource for users throughout the United States.  Our National Endowment for the Humanities grant funded Vietnam Project Archive is progressing on schedule.  This year, nearly 30,000 pages have been digitized.  In the future, these documents will be available online, providing easy access to a significant resource to researchers worldwide.   There are a few other, smaller scale, digitization projects we have completed for our On the Banks of the Red Cedar website,  including MSU commencement programs from 1862 through 1962, Beside the Winding Cedar, and The Eagle.

Throughout the year MSU archivists have engaged the community in a variety of ways.  We have conducted two tours, hosted eight classes for introduction to archives sessions, wrote articles for the MSU Alumni magazine and the Insight newsletter, and created fun exhibits about MSU history in Conrad Hall.  We participated in many fantastic events, such as Autumn Fest, the Great Dairy Adventure, Grandparents University, and Alumni LENS.

Disaster struck in August, when heavy rains caused a water leak in Conrad Hall.  Thanks to a combination of disaster training, environmental monitoring, communication, and teamwork, we were able to quickly contain the situation.  Best of all, no archival materials were destroyed by the flood.

Finally, we have seen rapid growth in the number of people following us on Facebook and Twitter, as well as an increase in traffic on Flickr, our websites, and this blog.  Thank you to all who took the time to read our posts, view our photos, and share them with friends and family.  We appreciate all of the interesting questions and comments, and hope that you all continue to interact with us via social media in the coming year!





Spartan Rose Bowl History

11 12 2013

The 1954 Rose Bowl

The 1953-54 Michigan State College (M.S.C.) football season would prove to be an impressive Big Ten debut from the newly inducted Mid-Michigan team. Fighting through the regular season with only one loss to Purdue, the Michigan State Spartans were sure to show the Big Ten their worth in the conference. The Spartans’ successes led them to the 1954 Rose Bowl versus the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins in the first ever meeting between the two schools and first ever Rose Bowl appearance for the Spartans. Playing with the highest number of African Americans than any other Big Ten team, Coach “Biggie” Munn was eager to show Southern California his team’s Midwestern inclusiveness, granting press from all regions equal access to Spartan practices, allowing M.S.C. fans to meet the team in the days leading up to the game, and even saving Californians from a hotel fire! It was a beautiful day for a football game with clear skies and comfortable 70 degree weather. The Spartans were set to face off against the Bruins in the nation’s first broadcast program in color.

The Spartans started the game on the wrong leg, fumbling twice and throwing an interception and allowing U.C.L.A. to score 14 points. Only completing one pass and producing 56 yards of offense in the first half, compared to U.C.L.A.’s 154 yards, Michigan State sympathizers felt as if their roses were wilting. But with 4:45 remaining in the first half the tides turned. Spartan Ellis Duckett blocked and returned a punt for a touchdown giving his team the first points of the game. Duckett’s feat marked the first punt ever blocked under U.C.L.A.’s head coach Red Sanders and a major turning point for the Spartan squad. The green and white went into half-time hoping to monopolize on their momentum.

Munn approached the second half planning to utilize his weapons on offense better. Focusing on the productivity of his famous “Pony Backfield”, named for their atypically small four tailbacks averaging a mere 172 pounds each, Munn emphasized his team’s rushing abilities. Observing from film that U.CImage.L.A. was “likely to give up the 8, 4, and 5 hole”[1] he called a successful 14 straight run plays, each of which gained positive yardage. The 78-yard drive to the endzone concluded with a 1-yard run from LeRoy Bolden and a successful extra point conversion from kicker/fullback Evan Slonac, tying the game 14-14. Tacking on another seven points, and facing the Bruins with 21 unanswered points, was a 73-yard march down the field ending in a 2-yard touchdown run by Billy Wells. The Bruins recovered another Spartan fumble and scored to make the score 21-20. But their extra point kick failed. In response to U.C.L.A.’s attempts to compete, Billy Wells of Michigan State returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown with 4:51 left in the game, at the time, setting a Rose Bowl record for the longest punt recovery in bowl history. Wells’ trip to the endzone concluded the Spartans’ scoring and silenced U.C.L.A. with the game ending in a 28-20 score with Michigan State College the victors.

It was a team effort that day in Pasadena with 32 of the 44 of the Spartan football team seeing the field. The freshman Big Ten team was received warmly by national media. Bob Hunter of the Los Angeles Examiner reflects, “Never was anything crammed with more heart and hustle than those little green-shirted guys from Lansing, the newest dot on the Big Ten map.” Coach Biggie Munn was elated saying, “I’ve never been so proud of a game in my life. There are tears in my eyes, but I can’t help it.”[2] Michigan State College came away from the game crowned as the National Champions with tailback Billy Wells receiving the honors of the Rose Bowl Player of the Game. While this was Munn’s last year as head coach, Wells’ last year as a running back at M.S.C. (he goes on to be a lead rusher for the Steelers and Redskins, setting records that still stand at Washington), and Ralph Young’s last year as Athletic Director it also was the birth of a new Big Ten legacy, Duffy Daughtery’s head coaching career, and another Rose Bowl appearance soon to come.

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The 1956 Rose Bowl

Spartan Rose Bowl hopefuls only had to wait two years to be in Pasadena yet again. This time around would prove to be even more exciting. The stage was set for another great game – U.C.L.A., the defending national champions, entered the game on the 2nd of January undefeated. Michigan State looked almost as daunting of an opponent, recording only one loss to its rival University of Michigan. Coach Daugherty was worried about the outcome of the game; his roster riddled with injury, facing a single-wing offense that revealed all of his defense’s weaknesses, and parading his new plays for the Rose Bowl in front of the press, he had genuine reason for concern. It would turn out to be quite the competition with the Spartans’ proximity to Los Angeles inspiring a Hollywood-esque ending to their ultimate victory over the Bruins.

It was also a historic game. Both teams had two of the most integrated teams in all of college athletics. It was the same year when African American player Bobby Grier was almost not allowed to compete in the Sugar Bowl in Georgia. Questions of race were being highlighted all around the country, one month before the Rose Bowl of 1956 in fact, was when Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery. All of these factors combined to make the 42nd Rose Bowl one of the most watched bowl games in American history, with 41.1% of Americans owning televisions tuning in to watch the match as well as “the largest peace-time, non-military point-to-point mass movement by train in history.”[3]

       Image

The Spartans departed from the Kellogg Center in East Lansing on December 16th to be prepared for the game. Their opening drive, however, did not reflect their weeks of preparation. The Spartans opened their offensive play by throwing an interception to the hands of U.C.L.A.’s Jim Decker. U.C.L.A. scored early on with a 2-yard rush. Converting the extra point the Bruins sat with a 7 point lead over their adversaries. It was not until halfway through the second quarter that the Spartans could muster up a response. After 11 plays Michigan State concluded their 80-yard drive with a 13-yard connection between Earl Morrall and Clarence Peaks. The game went without a score from either party during the 3rd quarter. The second play of the fourth quarter, though, ended this silence. Spartan QB Peaks threw the ball 17 yards to John Lewis who caught the ball on the 50 and took it the distance. The Spartans lead was short-lived and was met with a decisive 56-yard drive from the Bruins. Eventually, Michigan State received the opportunity to take the lead but Planutis missed his 41-yard field-goal attempt. Tensions mounting, U.C.L.A. received the ball only to be called with three straight penalties within the last few minutes of the 4th quarter. The Bruins’ punt gave the Spartans the ball at the UCLA 40-yard line. After a few more penalties on both sides, Dave Kaiser of Michigan State was called in, replacing Gerald Planutis. This was Kaiser’s third ever field goal attempt in his college career, and it was to decide the Rose Bowl. Kaiser, who left his subscription contacts in the locker room, approached the placeholder with tentative confidence. While he was warming up his leg the placeholder snapped the ball. He hopped back surprised, and in a matter of seconds, lined up, and booted the 41-yard long kick. With seven seconds remaining in the game the ball soared through the uprights and the Spartans were the victors of their second Rose Bowl appearance.

The Planitus-Kaiser substitution was so surprising that announcers and reporters initially credited the game-winning field goal to Planutis. The combination of Kaiser’s poor eyesight, lack of preparedness on field, and little practice as a kicker makes his kick a true Hollywood moment for the Spartans. Bill Corum, a distinguished sports analyst for the International News Service says, “It was as good a football game, college or pro, as a fan could wish to see. A story-book finish that even Hollywood could not have duplicated with a script.” Without a script, equipped with only talent and fate, the Spartans were honored with another national championship and Rose Bowl Player of the Game (Walt Kowalczyk). There recent successes were to end until their next trip to Pasadena in another 10 years.

The 1966 Rose Bowl

The Michigan State University Spartans came into their third meeting with the Bruins with the utmost confidence. Ranked number one in the country, boasting a defense that was mistaken for the Green Bay Packers’, undefeated, and having beaten the Bruins that same season 13-3, it was the general consensus that the Spartans would be relatively unfazed by any tricks that U.C.L.A. may have in store for them.

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It was a 65 degree and sunny day. The two teams donned their equipment and readied for what was supposed to be a straightforward win for Michigan State. The undersized Bruins managed to stave off the Spartans from the endzone for the first quarter. The second quarter answered to the stalemate and gave U.C.L.A. two scores. The first was a recovery of a muffed punt that only required two plays spanning 6 yards to score 6. Then the Bruin’s head coach Tommy Prothro selected an unexpected onside kick. It worked to their favor and caught the green and white off guard with Bruin Dallas Grinder falling on the ball. With the ball in their possession U.C.L.A. managed to score again in a short 5 play drive to the big house. The 3rd quarter was another scoreless quarter in which the Spartans slowly wore down their Californian opponents. Finally, midway through the 4th quarter, Michigan State scored a touchdown on a 38-yard run but, unfortunately, failed their 2 point conversion. Receiving the ball after a defensive stop Michigan State managed another successful drive to the redzone, eventually scoring on a 1-yard run. Now trailing 14–12 the Spartans were forced to attempt another 2-point conversion. All of the fans in the stands held their breath to see if a tie was in the near future. To the dismay of all persons rooting for the Big Ten’s Spartans, Apisa was stopped short of the endzone (despite knocking one of his tacklers unconscious), marring the Spartan’s undefeated record against the Bruins.

The 1966 Rose Bowl left all of Spartan Nation with a bitter taste in their mouths. Michigan State fought back with conviction and could have tied the game if they had not gone for the two-point conversion initially. But, the plays had been called and the game decided. It was time to wait for the fall where the boys could get back on the field and try to prove themselves.

The 1988 Rose Bowl

The 1987-88 season was a prosperous one for the Spartans. Led by ex-Steelers coach George Perles, the Spartans arrived at Pasadena the best team in the Big Ten. The last Rose Bowl to be aired on NBC before their 37-year contract expired with the NCAA as well as the last appearance that Michigan State would have in the Rose Bowl until 2014 was projected to be an amazing game.

The Spartans were slated to play the University of Southern California Trojans. The Greek and Roman warriors had already met that year in their season opener that resulted in a Spartan victory, 27-13. The Trojans, equipped with weapons like Rodney Peete, were projected to win in the Rose Bowl despite the Spartan’s game opener victory. The game was a defensive marvel, with Percy Snow, the Rose Bowl Player of the Game that year, earning 17 unassisted tackles, and 4 turnovers. The first quarter contained a completed field goal from the Trojans and a Spartan response with a touchdown and a successful extra-point conversion. The Spartans maintained their lead in the second quarter after an 80-yard drive that ended in a 3-yard rushing touchdown by Lorenzo White, his second touchdown of the game. U.S.C. decreased their deficit in the 3rd quarter, finding Ken henry in the endzone.  M.S.U. widened the gap with their first field goal of the game. The score was 17-10 with the Spartans winning until Peete threw to Ken Henry for a touchdown. Henry came down with the ball in an impressive display of athleticism, bobbling it while contested by a Spartan corner. The game, now tied, proved to be more competitive than many analysts had predicted.  M.S.U. expediently completed their game-winning field goal. Given a little over 4 minutes to come back U.S.C. had time to try to come back. Peete brought his team down the field only to fumble the snap, giving Michigan State the ball so that they could run out the clock.

The Spartans earned their 3rd Rose Bowl victory in Pasadena that January. The only team to beat Ohio State, University of Michigan, and U.S.C. twice all in one season, capping it off with a Rose Bowl victory, made for an impressive year. The Spartans would not experience major bowl success for some time to come. But the time is upon East Lansing once again. This New Year’s Day the Spartans will be facing another Californian team in their fifth Rose Bowl appearance. The Spartans have impressive weapons within their coaching staff, offense, and defense and should make for a good game against Stanford University. Go Green!!

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[1] f. 57 b. 131 Rose Bowl Scouting Reports on UCLA 1953

[2] AP, Des Moines Register

[3] AP, Bob Voges





Holiday Hours 2013

2 12 2013

Due to the fast approaching holiday season, we have a few modifications to our Reading Room hours.

 

Monday, December 23, 2013                                                           By appointment only

Tuesday-Wednesday, December 24-25, 2013                                 Closed

Thursday-Friday, December 26-27, 2013                                        By appointment only

Monday, December 30, 2013                                                           By appointment only

Tuesday-Wednesday, December 31, 2013 – January 1, 2014           Closed

 

For persons wishing to make appointments, please contact the University Archives at 517-355-2330 or email archives@msu.edu.

We will resume our normal Reading Room hours on Thursday, January 2, 2014.

Happy Holidays!





The Mystery of the Statue in Dr. Kedzie’s Chemistry Lab

19 11 2013
Robert Kedzie lectures on gasoline, 1892

Robert Kedzie lectures on gasoline, 1892

Close up of the Statue

Close up of the statue

A University Archives researcher recently brought to our attention a mysterious statue located on a door jamb in Dr. Robert Kedzie’s organic chemistry laboratory, as seen in the above 1892 photo of the professor delivering a lecture on gasoline. Did the statue have some significance to Dr. Kedzie?  Was it some kind of muse?

Cataloger Susan O’Brien thought the statue looked familiar, and unearthed its possible identity as a “Statue of Hope.” Commonly used in the Victorian era, these female figures typically were represented with one hand resting on or holding an anchor, and the figure’s other hand could be resting on her heart, symbolizing faith. (For more information, see the Wikipedia listing) Perhaps the statue was mounted in the chemistry lab to offer hope and inspiration to the students. Or perhaps Dr. Kedzie had a personal reason for keeping her close.

Statue of Hope in the Wilson Family Graveyard, Friendship, Indiana (source: Wikimedia Commons)

Statue of Hope in the Wilson Family Graveyard, Friendship, Indiana (source: Wikimedia Commons)

Dr. Robert Clark Kedzie was a Professor of Chemistry at Michigan Agricultural College from 1863 to 1902. Trained as an M.D., he joined the 12th Michigan Infantry as a surgeon following the outbreak of the Civil War and was captured by the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh. His son, Frank Stewart Kedzie, was president of M.A.C. from 1915 to 1921.





Upcoming Event – Copyright Issues for Digital Archives [DAS] course

6 11 2013

The Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections is hosting a Society of American Archivists course.

 

Copyright Issues for Digital Archives [DAS]

Monday, December 2, 2013

Michigan State University – East Lansing, MI – Register here

http://saa.archivists.org/events/copyright-issues-for-digital-archives-1463/455/

This course covers copyright legal issues specific to archives of digital material. You’ll examine the impact of electronic technologies on the long-held law and tenets of copyright, including digital rights management, and acquiring and advising on the use of rights in records. You’ll look at the basic text of relevant federal statutes and significant case law, as well as examining case studies. While participants should be familiar with basic copyright law, a very brief review of copyright essentials will be provided to ground the discussion. The focus of the day will be on how to think through and identify options for resolving the most commonly-encountered copyright legal issues around electronic records.

Upon completion of this course you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize and discuss common legal issues relating to copyright issues in general and for digital archives in particular;
  • Interpret these issues from an archivist’s perspective;
  • Realize when ingested records pose possible copyright legal issues;
  • Identify, employ, analyze and compare the ramifications of a variety of legal steps that you might take to prevent or address one of the legal issues; and,
  • Communicate and work more effectively with your legal counsel and administration.

Who should attend?  Archivists and others who need to address copyright legal issues relating to the digital archives of their institutions.

What should you know?  You should have intermediate to advanced knowledge of archival practices and basic knowledge of copyright law and application in archives, including an understanding of the basic copyright terms typically found in donor or deed of gift agreements.

 

This course is one of the Tactical & Strategic Courses in the Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Curriculum and Certificate Program and builds on others including Basic Electronic Records and Providing Access to Digital Archives. If you intend to pursue the Certificate, you’ll need to pass the examination for this course. Please follow Option 1 to access exam information.

Attendance is limited to 35.





Answers to the American Archives Month 2013 Trivia Contest

5 11 2013

AAM_poster_2013

Our 2013 Trivia Contest featured questions about athletics at Michigan State University.  Twenty-eight people entered and two people answered all eight questions correctly.  We will be contacting the winners soon.

The staff at the University Archives & Historical Collections would like to thank everyone for playing and we hope that you will participate in our contest again next year!

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1. What was the first year the Michigan State football team played in the Big Ten Conference?

b. 1953

Michigan State was officially admitted into the Big Ten Conference in 1949.  Since the football schedules are set years in advance, the Spartans had to wait until 1953 to play their first Big Ten football game.

2. Which Michigan State boxer was undefeated in every college bout he fought?

d. Chuck Davey

Chuck Davey (center)

Chuck Davey (center)

Boxer Chuck Davey went undefeated in every college bout he fought, was 3 times voted the NCAA’s outstanding boxer, and fought at the 1948 Olympics.

The other three boxers listed as choices in the contest also had notable accomplishments. John Horne won three consecutive NCAA titles between 1958 and 1960, was a two-time All-American, and competed without a regular coach, program or sparring partner.  Herb Odom (1952-1955) was back-to-back NCAA Champion at 147 pounds (1954-1955), led MSU to a 1955 team National Championship, was a two-time All-American (1954-1955), and compiled a 29-5-2 career record.  Choken Maekawa of Hawaii won the 1956 NCAA individual title and was awarded the John S. LaRowe Trophy (outstanding boxer of the tournament).  He was chosen for the 1956 U.S. Olympic team, but did not make weight at the official weigh-in and was disqualified from competition.

Note: According to the U.S. Social Security Death Index, his last name was spelled Maekawa.  In some sources, his last name is spelled Mackawa, hence the misspelling in the trivia contest.

Women's Basketball article from February 1, 1898 issue of the MAC Record

Women’s Basketball article from February 1, 1898 issue of the MAC Record

3. What year did women form their first basketball team at Michigan State?

b. 1898

The first women’s basketball team at Michigan State played against teams such as Lansing High School, the teachers from the Flint School for the Deaf, and the Michigan State Normal School (now known as Eastern Michigan University).

4. Prior to being “The Spartans,” what was Michigan State’s nickname?

d. Aggies

Being an agricultural school, Michigan State’s original nickname was the Aggies. After the 1925 name change from Michigan Agricultural College to Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science, a contest was held to pick a new nickname.  Dissatisfied with the winning choice of “Staters,” LSJ sports writer George S. Alderton looked through the other entries and picked “Spartans.”  Unfortunately, it is unknown who submitted the entry.

Gideon Smith

Gideon Smith

5. What year did Michigan State’s first African American athlete, Gideon Smith, begin playing?

c. 1913

Gideon “Charlie” Smith helped the Michigan State football team score their first win against the University of Michigan in 1913.  He played until 1915, leaving with a 17-3 record.  For more about Gideon Smith, please read Steve Grinczel’s article on MSUSpartans.com 

6. In 1895 Shoichi Yabina was the first Michigan State student to participate in which sport?

Shoichi Yebina (front, right side)

Shoichi Yebina (front, right side)

a. Fencing

Shoichi Yabina (class of 1895) participated in the first fencing match at the 1895 MIAA field day.  He defeated his opponent, Mr. Swift, from the Michigan State Normal School (EMU).  The sport was revived in 1924 by French professor Omar M. Lebel, and Joseph Waffa, an Egyptian student.

Note: His last name may have been spelled Yebina.

7. In May 1910 Michigan State faculty approved regulations for student athletes.  Which of these were included?

d. All of the above

The faculty regulations stated that students must compete under their own names, could not be compensated for playing and freshmen were not allowed to play intercollegiate sports.  Additionally, student’s eligibility was limited to three years, the football team could not practice until the school year started, they could only play teams from other colleges, and the number of games played was limited (9 for football, 16 for baseball and basketball).

8. What was the name of the first baseball club formed at Michigan State in 1865?

c. Stars

The Stars baseball club played against teams in the surrounding community.








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