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August 13, 1938 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1938-08-13

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T H:'


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rowdyism Of Dad's

Time Is Now In The Decadent Past


Old Memories
Recorded By
Myron Slater
Greased Poles, Battle Of
'Laws' and 'Lits', Theatre
Riots, Are Remembered
Forty students on a greased tele-
graph pole, struggling to keep out of
the reach of barrel staves swinging
beneath . . . A mob of rioting stu-
dents ripping the piano of a local
theatre apart, leaving the theatre in
ruins . The "laws" and the "lits"
battling to the finish in the grimy
mud that was State Street.
These are the memories of Ann
Arbor of a half century ago, called
forth by the sight of many an old
grad slapping another on the back
and starting a story "Do you remem-
ber the time .. ."
These are the memories of a man
who has seen classes since '99 pass in
and out of Ann Arbor, Myron E.
Those were the days when State
Street was a two-way dirt drive, when
seniors wore high plug hats, when the
cigar store had a wooden Indian in
front, recalls Mr. Slater,
Demolish Star Theatre
Among the more dramatic episodes
in the spotty history of Michigan's
undergraduates is the memorable
time when students demolished the
old Star Theatre, which stood on
Washington street between Main and
"'Twas a stormy day," recalls Mr.
Slater, in a metaphorical way. "A
pugnacious underclassman, sitting in
the theatre one afternoon with his
feet in the aisle, had tle misfortune
of 'tripping the manager, who was
unpopular with the students. The
manager called the burly watchman
and together they threw the offend-
ing student peatly between the doors
and onto the street.
But revenge was not long in com-
ing. The student, his dignity offend-
ed, told his story to the rest of the
campus, and that evening from 500
to 1,000 young men, armed with eggs,
jars of bad fruit, bad apples, and of-
fended dignities stormed the theatre,
tore up the seats, tied a rope around
the piano and hauled it into the
street, where they dissected it. They
would have been content, they said,
to hive left the theatre otherwise
peacebly except that the manager
called the police and fire depart-

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Map Of The Campus And Immediate Vicinity
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Front View Of Angell Hall, Literary College Center


A section of the front of Angell Hall is shown above. Classrooms, departmental offices and faculty offices
are housed in this building.
An Architect's Drawing Of Complete 'Music Center'

Beginning Of A Riot
This really marked the beginning
of a riot. The policemen, some stout
and not as fleet as the students, fared
badly. They lost their helmets, their
coats, and a moral conflict. The
firemen fared worse. Bringing out
their powerful hose to play upon the
rioting students, the firemen were so
unfortunate as to lose the control
of their weapon, which was seized
by the. students and used with telling
effect upon the outwitted fire-fight-
ers. The hose finally was cut and
the pieces carted home for souvenirs.
"But the settlement was bitter,"
reminisces Mr. Slater. "Members of
the student body circulated among
faculty and business men with col-
lection pails to gather enough money
to keep the arrested undergraduates
from prison."
Football scores from the away
games were shouted out to the mob
of students from a second story win-
dow of the State Street bookshop, Mr.
Sdater particularly remembers be-
cause it was he who had to run with
the telegrams from the telegraph of-
fice to the bookshop.
Studentshin those days had to go
down to the postoffice to gets their
mail each day, and each day there
was a riot all oer again just before
the distribution began.
'Old Doc' Remembered
Many of the old alumni back in
town will remember "Old Doc" Nag-
ley, thinks Mr. Slater. 1Ie was fa-
mous among students for his job
which was to. carry the cadavers in
the medical school downstairs to the
pickling vat. In those days, the
medical laboratory was located about
where the new engineering building
now stands.
Fraternities in those days were
feeble frame structures, made over
from rooming houses and private
residences, and only a small percent-
age of the more affluent students
were members according to Mr.
The album from which Mr. Slater
secured the old pictures of the cam-
pus was collected by his grandmother,
Mrs. Martha Sheehan, who was the
donor of the rock which stands on
the northwest corner of the campus
as a memorial to the class of 1862.
It was hauled, according to a news-
paper report, from the backyard of
Mrs. Sheehan's home by a team of
16 white horses, and was installed
in its present location in an impres-
sive ceremony in which President

Above is shown the north section of the Law Quadrangle facing South
University St. It was the gift of William W. Cook, who also gave the
Martha Cook women's dormitory. Construction was paid for with one of
the largest single gifts ever received by an educational institution.

The new musical center, which is now being planned, with Hill Auditorium to the left and the Baird Carrilon and the new quarters of the School
of Music in the center and to"the right are shown. Here all University musical activities will be centered.
Aerial View Of Hospital, Observatory And Surroundings

University Of Michigan Intramural Sports Building

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