Department Blog

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.

Gerome says “Welcome Aggies!”

September 24th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

On this, the first day of instruction of the fall quarter, Gerome says Welcome Aggies! This week he presents the publication titled, Welcome Aggies which served as an orientation handbook for new students. Published during the 1950s-1960s, it contained information about orientation week, housing, traditional activities, ASUCD, campus publications, musical organizations, sports, songs and yells, the Library, as well as traffic rules.




Gerome the gnome highlights a frosh dink for Aggie Traditions Day

April 8th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of Aggie Traditions Day today, Gerome has decided to highlight one of the past Aggie traditions, the frosh dink.

The frosh dink tradition, which featured members of the freshman class wearing caps known as dinks, dates back to at least 1923. According to the California Aggie Freshman Handbook that year, “Freshman must wear the Frosh hat at all times and should be proud to do so.” The dinks, which were blue with a gold button and had “Cal Aggie” lettered in gold across the front, were worn by all freshmen to classes and meetings. If the freshmen won the Frosh-Soph Brawl, which occurred during the first month of classes, they could stop wearing the dinks immediately. However, if the sophomores won the brawl, the freshmen had to wear the dinks until the Pajamarino Rally, which was held during Homecoming Weekend. This campus tradition went out of fashion in the 1960s.

Gerome the gnome with a frosh dink

Gerome the gnome with a frosh dink

Special Collections Wears Red!

February 6th, 2015 by Jenny Hodge

Today is the second annual UC Davis Wears Red Day to raise awareness of heart health and support the UC Davis Women’s Cardiovascular Medicine Program. While the rain may have dampened out enthusiasm to form a heart on Hutchison we were happy to make our own hearts in the Special Collections Reading Room. Happy National Heart Month!

Staff and Students in Special Collections

Staff and Students in Special Collections

“Hi Aggie” Spirit

December 30th, 2014 by Sara Gunasekara

You may have seen that UC Davis was recently named among the top twenty schools on a new list of colleges with the friendliest students. Friendliness has long been a tradition on the Davis campus and it is noted as far back as 1930. According to that year’s California Aggie Freshman Handbook: “The friendly attitude that you first noticed on campus is genuine. We mean it when we say “Hello.” Get the habit early. We are all Aggies and we all know each other; the sooner you fall in with this spirit, the more California Aggies will mean to you.”

The 1956-1957 Welcome Aggies publication defined the “Hello Spirit” as “the basis for our reputation as the friendly Davis campus. It begins your first days on campus. Each time you pass someone, whether you know him or not, say ‘Hello.’ This ‘Hello Spirit’ is evident in faculty-student relations and in town-campus relations as well.” By 1961 the tradition was known as “Hi Aggie” Spirit.

Do you remember the “Hi Aggie” spirit? If so, please share your memories in the comments.

Finding Aid Friday: Campus Songs and Song Books Collection

November 1st, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

This week’s installment of our Finding Aid Friday series is the Campus Songs and Song Books Collection. This small collection contains sheet music and song books for Davis campus songs and University of California songs including: Aggie Fight Song, Big C, California Aggies Hail, Hail to California, and Sons of California. While processing this collection we discovered the campus song, We’re California Aggies.

Can you name the first song written expressly for the Davis campus? If not, the article from 1965 that is found below will give you the answer.


Pajamarino is Here!

October 11th, 2013 by Jenny Hodge

Hope you plan on kicking off your Homecoming weekend by enjoying Pajamarino tonight. Get your pajamas on and get ready to party along with alumni and friends. Our Mr. Spud is dressed and ready to go! You can find more information on the festivities here.


We’re California Aggies

October 11th, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of Pajamarino and Homecoming, we thought that we’d share a song that we recently discovered while processing the Campus Songs and Song Books Collection. We’re California Aggies was a new song that was introduced at the University Meeting on Monday, September 30, 1957. The song’s words were by Burt King, Manager of the Memorial Union, with music by Charles Higgins, Professor of Geology. Do you remember singing this song at a campus event?

We’re California Aggies

Because we’re California Aggies
Because we love the Gold and Blue
We’ll give a cheer for all of the world to hear
And face the foe without any fear
And we’ll all go marching through

Because we’re loyal Aggie Mustangs
Because we hail the Gold and Blue
We’ll shout our cry, the symbol of victory
And raise our banner for all to see
And we’ll all be strong and true

We’ll fight for glory
Fight will all our might for victory
The score will tell the story
How we played and won for U.C.D

And when our college days are over
And yet we praise the Gold and Blue
The Davis days and memories dear to all
Our hearts with happiness will recall
And this we will know, too —-
That we’re Aggies through and through.

Welcome New Students!

September 26th, 2013 by Jenny Hodge

UC Davis is known for it’s friendly atmosphere and as such Special Collections would like to extend a “Spirited Hello” to all our new and returning students. You can see from the below image that saying “Hello” is a tradition that campus members actively promoted. Later this became known as the “Hi Aggie Spirit”. Friendliness is part of being an Aggie.

Taken from a page out of the 1939-1940 California Aggie Freshman Handbook.Hello Frosh Combo