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September 16, 1953 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1953-09-16

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I

AGE FOUR

THE MICHItAN DAILY

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1953

Past J-Hops Featured Riots, Raving Maniacs

Sue

Riggs

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7

Annual Dance
Dates Back
Many Years
J-Hop, the annual dance given
between semesters by the junior
class in honor of seniors, will mark
its 77th year when the Class of '55
takes the stand this year.
The dance featured two name
bands in a one-night stand begin-
ning with last year's dance. Be-
fore that time it was held on both
Friday and Saturday nights, with
couples having a choice of attend-
ing either night. On the alternate
evening a couple usually attended
one of the fraternity parties.
The Class of '55, said Jay Mar-
tin, chairman of the committee,
hopes to offer the dance again on
a two-night basis.
A long and bizarre history be-
gins way back on Feb. 17, 1877
when students trooped down to
Hank's Emporium on South Main
St. to attend the first "Junior
Hop."
It was the big social event of
the year, with an orchestra of two
violins and a piano providing the
music for-the 20 couples who at-
tended the dance.
The juniors had won the honor
of presenting the first hop, only
after a long, hard campus fight.
During the next four years the
juniors continued to sponsor the
annual dance, but then, abanidon-
ed by this group, the hop was tak-
en over by a group of fraternities,
which promptly dubbed it the "So-
ciety Hop."
Changing the name to "Junior
Social," the junior class -eappeared
on the scene in 1883 to sponsor
the event once again. However,
the confusion was not entirely
cleared up, for nearly a decade
after this the dance was given by
the juniors in some years and by
the fraternities in others.
By 1891, the J-Hop had taken
on characteristics more nearly like
those of today, when it became an
annual event requiring the music
of two bands and a new home,
"an old rink downtown."
For the next two years, Grang-
er's Dancing Academy was the
scene of the event and the admit-
tance price was raised to $1 per
couple.
Next, the Hop moved to Water-
man Gymnasium, where it was

ii
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is
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is
4Y
Y
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Tells Reason
For Activities
Frosh Weekend Led
To President's Post
In Michigan League
By JUDY SILVERMAN
"I had such a good time work-
ing on Frosh Weekend that I just
naturally continued to take part
in extra-curricular activities,"
states Sue Riggs, president of the
Women's League.
"The Women's League offers a
place for all types of talent and
interest," declared Miss Riggs.
"I'd like to urge all freshmen
women to be conscious of Frosh
Weekend as it is a good way to,
get started in League activities.
THE 20 - YEAR - OLD political
science major believes that activi-
ties are fundamental in develop-
ing the full potentialities of the
individual and in training him to
get along with people.
They also help prepare coeds
for life after graduation, Miss
Riggs feels.
During her three years at the!
Universityhshe has also been an
orientation leader and rushing
counselor, a member of the Inter-
viewing and Nominating Commit-
tee, and Judiciary Council, Stu-
dent Legislature's Administrative
Wing, and of Michifish.
SHE IS affiliated with Kappa
Kappa Gamma.
Although she is now from
Liberal, Kansas, Miss Riggs has
also lived in Grosse Pointe, Illi-
nois, Oklahoma and Missouri,
In keeping with her liking for
travel she spent the summer as a
counselor in a refugee camp in
France. After graduation she
hopes to work traveling into any
job she may hold.
She decided to come to Michi-
gan mainly because "I come from
a long line of Michigan graduates."
As heT objective while in office,
Miss Riggs hopes to see the com-
munity service projects of the
League expanded and to maintain
the standards of the class projects
such as Sophomore Cabaret and
Junior Girls Play.

INDIA ART SHOP

- IMPORTERS

330 MAYNARD STREET

PERSIAN PRINTS
t BED SPREADS

f1 W ALL HANGINGS
k' JEWELRY
' GIFTS

DRAPES

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III

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READ AND USE DAILY CLASSIFIEDS

*

JUNIOR HOP-The 1952 J-Hop crowd takes time out from dancing to watch one of Johnny Long's
featured numbers. Dating back 76 years, this annual dance has a long and bizarre history that
remains as a University tradition. From the firs t Hop with an orchestra of two violins and a piano
providing the music for 20 couples, the dance has grown to an affair staged on two evenings to

accommodate the couples.

known as the "Annual Ball" and
presented by nine literary college
fraternities.
The following year was when the
trouble began to. brew, with the
remaining four of the 13 campus
fraternities demanding the right
to present the dance. The older
fraternities refused their request,
and the feud began, resulting in
two J-Hops that year.
The four outcasts, succeeding in
renting Waterman t Gymnasium
after 30 independents had agreed
to attend, sponsored "The First
Annual Promenade," The older
fraternities moved to Toledo to
present the "Twentieth Annual
Ball of the Palladium Fraterni-
ties."
Both dances were great suc-
cesses, but the Regents stepped in
to smooth out the fracas, ruling
that in the future, fraternities and
independents would have equal
representation on the planning
committee for one big dance.
In "the good old days" custom
dictated that guests were received

while concert music played be-
tween 9 and 10 p.m. Then the
committee chairman and his date
would circle the floor in a grand
march until the line was three
couples deep and a block "M" was
formed, which was followed by
regular dancing.
In 1900 the J-Hop, attended by
250 couples, boasted the unique
feature of having a "large number
of coeds present-more than at
any previous hop."
This was unusual because of the
fact that coeds were extremely un-
popular dates in those days. If a
man had no hometown girl to ask
he usually stayed home from the
J-Hop in preference to being sub-
jected to the torture of an evening
with a "coed."
Early hops, as well as those of
today, were the signal for a week-
end of gaiety, which included such
events as a play by the Comedy
Club, fraternity house parties and
concerts.
Another reason for the liveli-
ness of the weekend was because

1' * *

of the county sheriff, who operat-
ed his own detective agency. For
a $5 fee he would shadow hop
guests and report their activities
to parents or neglected girl friends.
In 1913 the practice of letting
spectators sit in the gallery came
to a "riotous" issue. The J-Hop
committee had decided to discon-
tinue the precedent, but instead
of succeeding in their venture,
they caused a mild riot.
At midnight, 50 "toqued" (tip-
sy) students and townspeople led
the riot, gaining entrance by ram-
ming the door with a gas pipe.
They were met by a janitor,
wielding a pair of Indian clubs,
and the battle ensued with stones
and fire extinguishers, resulting in
$25 damage to the gym and dis-
missal of an intern accused of
hitting the janitor.
That same year saw the first in-
jury to a guest in the history of
the hop, although it was not caus-
ed by the riot. During a more "live-
ly" dance number, a male student
slipped on the slick floor and broke
his ankle.
During World War I, many stu-
dents had waited in vain for tick-
ets for several days and moved by
their protests, the committee de-
cided to present a miniature hop
in the Union. However, the crowd
refused, demanding "all or noth-
ing."
In 1920 came the raving maniac,
said to have been caused by the
dresses worn at the dance, for that
was the year when women's danc-
ing attire hit the "apex of the
daring."
The Daily, from which all these
reports are taken, stated that
"practically every gown had nar-
row shoulder straps, tight bod-
ices and fairly short skirts, nar-
row at the bottom." As a result,
The Daily continued, "one medi-
cal student was reported to have
gone raving mad and to have torn
around the floor crying: " 'Mod-
esty, where is thy sting.'"
With this colorful 76-year-old
history behind them, the J-Hop
committee, elected by juniors in
the all-campus elections, are mak-
ing plans for their dance between
semesters this year.
Productions
Every class as it attends the
University for four years presents
a production each year it is on
campus. Frosh Weekend is spon-
sored by the freshmen, Sopho-
more Cabaret, by the sophomores,
Junior Girls' Play by juniors, and
Senior Night, where excerpts of
the previous three productions are
re-performed for the graduating
coeds.

We welcome you as a Newcomer to MICH IGAN!
We hope we will have the pleasure of serving you
for your needs in
FINE JEWELRY
SILVERWARE...WATCHES *0@ CLOCKS
GIFT ITEMS
Stop in, browse around, and get acquainted.
JEWELERS - 308 SOUTH STATE STREET - Since 1904

n

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utzels .

for our college coed's

pet classics . . . and

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fashions

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