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
UNL and the Great Depression
1930s Decoration Winners

Reminiscing of homecomings past, some alumni relive each football play; others remember bon fires and pep rallies, while some cherish memories of building homecoming decoration displays and winning homecoming activities. The homecoming displays began as a way to strike interest in students on campus and out of town guests in the homecoming game. (DN 10-28-36) Sadly, there is a period of time students will not recall the homecoming decorations.

The Great Depression during the 1930s brought economic hardships for the entire nation, including the Greek houses on UNL's campus. This led to the canceling of homecoming decoration competitons from 1932-1934. (DN 10-9-32,DN 10-10-33,DN 10-17-34) During the 1933-34 school year, on average, students cost for school and living was $440.00, and some pinched pennies so much they only spent $200.00. (Sawyer, Centennial History of the University of Nebraska (Volume 2)) One can imagine, while eveyone spent as little as possible to make it by, spending $25 to create homcoing decorations would not be justifiable.

While the Great Depression may have hindered the homecoming decorations competition for a few years, it wouldn't take long for the colorful tradition to make it's way back into the homecoming ritual. Meanwhile though, the Innocents Society did their best to keep up the Cornhusker pride with dances, bon fires and alumni banquets.