Homecoming Decs the Depression: Tradition Outlasts Great Depression (1929-1940)

Project Editor:Stephanie Demers, History 470: Digital History, Spring 2008

Table of Contents

In the Beginning
Rules & Judging
Significance of the Great Depression
1930s Decoration Winners

Tracing the history of homecoming traditions at universities is a bit unclear, as many schools claim to have held the first homeomcing celebration. Homecoming traditions began in order to unite alumni and students, creating a bond through school pride. By the 1920s, universities across the United States brought alumni back with homecoming celebration. The main focus of homecoming was the football game. Additional events, such as a parades, dances, and pep rallies ignited school spirit on campuses and communities across the nation.

Homecoming traditions at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) date back to 1912. Over 500 alumni returned to their Alma Mater for the celebration. (DN 10-29-51) Homecoming traditions at UNL are well established and resonate pride in alumni. The Greek system and its members play a special role in homecoming festivities and hold an important significance in the history of homecoming, especially during the Great Depression. Unfortunately, consecutive homecoming committees (1932-1934) cancelled the well-known and loved house decoration competition due to tight budgets. (DN 10-9-32, 10-10-33, 10-17-34) By 1936, the Innocents Society had rallied enough support to encourage houses to decorate for homecoming once again.