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Special Collections

Flashback to Pajamarino on October 13, 1916

October 14th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of the annual Pajamarino tradition which occurs tonight, here’s a flashback to how the event looked 100 years ago in 1916.

The University Farm Agricola provided the following account of the October 13, 1916 rally:

“As for the rally program itself, it was entertaining, pleasing and hilariously enjoyed by all. Some 400 pajama clad youths paraded through Davis about 8 o’clock, led by yell leaders, Swift, Kydd, and Hazen. They gave rousing cheers for that wonderfully pleasing Davis-University Farm publicity structure, the [Davis] arch, and then listened to a short but characteristically eloquent speech by Attorney F.A. Plant, who explained the true significance of the noble edifice, now almost finished. Then back to the pavilion where many speeches by President Steward and former “Prex” Street of U.C., Prof. Crocheron, Journal Editor Ryerson, Mr. Voorhies, Mr. Titus, and Pres. Heron were heard. Music by the public-spirited 25-piece Davis band, Allan’s good orchestra, etc., following and lastly coming two 3-round boxing matches.”

The poster and photograph from the 1916 event below are from the Harry Hazen Papers on the University Farm.

Visit the Cal Aggie Alumni Association website for information about this year’s Pajamarino.


Pajamarino, 1916

Pajamarino, 1916


Flashback to the tank rush on September 23, 1916

September 23rd, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

Today, we flashback to the tank rush held one hundred years ago on September 23, 1916. The photos of the event below are from the scrapbook in the Harry Hazen Papers.

The tank rush tradition dates back to at least 1913 when a class “fight” took place at the swimming tank. In subsequent years, a tank rush was formalized and the freshmen and upperclassmen battled to push each other into the tank.

The 1917 Farm Rodeo yearbook offers the following description of the 1916 event:

“At the given signal, the Seniors jumped on the Fresh with a loud cry, and for five or ten minutes the action was fast and furious. During this time as many, if not more, upper classmen than Freshmen went into the tank with a loud splash and many bubbles. But soon experience and team work began to show itself.

The upper classmen broke up into bunches of six or seven, and then it was just a procession, the ‘veterans’ carrying the Fresh up one by one and dumping them in.”

In later years, the tank rush tradition evolved into the Frosh-Soph Brawl. At different times, the Brawl, which was held during the first month of classes, consisted of the following events between the freshmen and sophomores: a tug-of-war, obstacle race, jousting, a haystacking contest, and the tank rush.

Stay tuned for our next installment from the Harry Hazen Papers.

Tank rush, September 23, 1916

Tank rush, September 23, 1916.

Tank rush, September 23, 1916.

Tank rush, September 23, 1916.

Throwback to the University Farm Agricola on September 22, 1916

September 22nd, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of the California Aggie‘s return to a weekly print edition which launched today, here is a throwback to the Weekly Agricola issue from September 22, 1916.

Publication of the Weekly Agricola, a four page student newspaper, began on September 29, 1915.  The September 22, 1916, issue debuted the new title of University Farm Agricola. In November 1992, the newspaper became the California Aggie.

Front page of the September 22, 1916 University Farm Agricola

Front page of the September 22, 1916 University Farm Agricola


50 Features of Special Collections: Harry Hazen Papers on the University Farm

September 21st, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara



As today marks the first day of instruction for the 2016 Fall Quarter, we’ve chosen to highlight the collection of Harry Hazen, a student who enrolled at the University Farm (now UC Davis) exactly one hundred years ago in the Fall of 1916.

The Harry Hazen Papers on the University Farm document student life during the earliest years of the Davis campus. The collection, which includes a scrapbook of photographs and memorabilia from 1916-1918, the booklet “Harry and I on the University Farm,” Hazen’s 1918 diploma, two family photographs, as well as booklets on apiculture, was donated in April 2016 by Hazen’s granddaughter.

Harry Edward Hazen was born in 1897 in Los Angeles, California to Reverend E.A. and Eleanor Hazen. He attended Los Angeles Polytechnic High School, graduated in 1915, and attended the University of California beginning in the fall of 1916. In 1918, Hazen was awarded his diploma from the University of California Farm, College of Agriculture. He then moved to Modesto, California, and became a commercial beekeeper. In 1920, Hazen married Ethel Thamer Blackburn; their daughter Lorraine was born in 1923. Later that year, the Hazen family returned to Los Angeles, where Harry founded the Hazen Hardwood Flooring Company in North Hollywood. Harry Hazen remained in Los Angeles until his death in 1953.

The photo shown below is found on one of the first pages of the scrapbook. Taken on September 19, 1916 it shows the student body in front of West Hall, a dormitory which was located where the Memorial Union now stands.

Stay tuned throughout the year as we’ll be posting other items from Harry’s scrapbook while we look back at campus one hundred years ago.

First Day of School, September 19, 1916.

First Day of School, September 19, 1916.

Exhibit for April: Diamond Jubilee of the Shields Library Building: 1940-2015

March 28th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

The year 2015 marked 75 years since the building, now known as the Peter J. Shields Library, opened.

Now through April 2016, Special Collections presents an expanded version of our previous exhibit, Diamond Jubilee of the Shields Library Building: 1940-2015. The exhibit, located in the cases in front of Special Collections, features highlights of the main library building drawing on materials from several University Archives collections including the University Archives Photographs.

Do you know which Sacramento buildings were designed by the same architects as the north wing of the Library? What happened to the Library during World War II? How long was the construction of the west wing? Stop by the exhibit to find out the answers to these questions and more!

North wing of the Library, circa 1940

North wing of the Library, circa 1940


On This Day: Planting the Centennial Tree on March 28, 1968

March 28th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

Today’s On This Day post take us to March 28, 1968 and the dedication of the centennial tree. In the image below from the University Archives Photographs, Chancellor Emil Mrak and Vera Mrak planted a magnolia tree at Howard Way and Russell Boulevard to commemorate the centennial of the founding of the University of California and the 63rd anniversary of the act of the Legislature establishing the University Farm.

Planting the centennial tree, March 28, 1968

Planting the centennial tree, March 28, 1968




New online exhibit: Celebrating A Century of the Biological & Agricultural Engineering Department

March 10th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

The Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department celebrated its centennial with a gala dinner held at Shields Library on October 3, 2015. As part of the celebration, Special Collections created an exhibit with highlights from the department’s first century. That exhibit is now presented online.

Agricultural Engineering class in Irrigation Machinery lab, undated.

Agricultural Engineering class in Irrigation Machinery lab, undated.


On This Day: From the March 8, 1916 Weekly Agricola

March 8th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

Today’s On This Day post features an article from the March 8, 1916 Weekly Agricola newspaper which announced the formation of a Fire Department for the University Farm.

You can find more information about the history of the UC Davis Fire Department on their website.


March 8, 1916 Weekly Agricola

March 8, 1916 Weekly Agricola

On This Day: February 2, 1916

February 2nd, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

Today’s On This Day post takes us back one hundred years to February 2, 1916 when the article, “Beautiful Snow Again In Davis,” ran in the Weekly Agricola.

The snow, which fell off and on during Thursday, January 27, 1916, remained on the ground until late the next day. As the article notes, the weather provided the students with the ammunition necessary for a snowball fight to take place between the residents of the North, South, and West Hall dormitories.

1916 wasn’t the only time that Davis has seen snow. Another storm in 1973 was captured in this image from our University Archives Photograph Collection.

Here’s hoping we see snow in Davis again!


From the February 2, 1916 Weekly Agricola

Third group of materials digitized by CAVPP now online

October 8th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

We are excited to announce that the next group of audiovisual materials digitized through our participation in the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP) are now online at the Internet Archive. The recordings include a panoramic view of the UC Davis campus from nearly sixty years ago, early footage of the UC Blackwelder tomato harvester, and audio recordings from a number of the UC Davis oral history interviews that were conducted with faculty and community members in the 1970s.

Here is the list of items with links to the digitized versions:


Audiovisual Collection

Panoramic View of the UC Davis Campus


Roy Bainer Papers

Windrow Loader at George Wilson’s Place, Clarksburg, Calif.


Blackwelder Manufacturing Company Records

Almond Harvest

Fordson Cultivator

Harvesting Operation with the University of California; Johnson, Hume, FMC

UC Blackwelder Tomato Harvester


UC Davis Oral History Office Records

The College Cowboy–Reuben Albaugh: Interviews

The Engineering of Abundance: An Oral History Memoir of Roy Bainer

Adventurer in Animal Science–Harold H. Cole: Interviews

Earl Coke Oral History: Reminiscences on people and change in California Agriculture

Chemical Weed Control Researcher, Alden S. Crafts

James P. Fairbank: Engineer on the Land

An Old Professor Ruminates: Interviews With Max Kleiber

William J. “Bill” Kuhrt, Dean of California Marketing Programs

Ben A. Madson, Pioneer in Agricultural Education

John O. Rowe:  Johnnie Shorthorn: Interviews

The World is My Campus: Interviews with Knowles A. Ryerson

Henry Schacht and the Art of Agricultural Communication: Interviews

Bernie Sisk in the House: An Oral History

An Heir To a Land Grant: Julius Trescony

C. John Tupper

Henry A. Weinland:  Recollections of Forty Years Work with California Farmers as County Farm Advisor


From Interviews With Persons Involved in the Development of the Mechanical Tomato Harvester:

Gordie C. Hanna

Coby Lorenzen

Eugene Winters

Mel Zoble

From Selected Recollections of the Founding & Early Years of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine:

Ronald Bolstad

Donald R. Cordy

Donald E. Jasper

Logan M. Julian

Stewart H. Madin

Margaret Meyer & Paul D. DeLay