I had a very happy day today, largely spent in the back room of the Woodson quietly doing research. No emergencies whatsoever. Then, when I ran across something I enjoyed, I had enough time to go run it down just for fun. It was great.
I was looking through a scrapbook from the late 1940s and found a series of pictures of some sort of theatrical production. I couldn’t tell what it was but I was pretty confident from context that the images were made in 1947.
So I figured, what the heck–I’ll just go look at 1947 Threshers and see if I can figure it out. I realize that this might sound like a waste of time, but I’ve found over the years that it’s never a waste of time to read old newspapers. Something good always comes from it. You’ll just have to trust me on this.
So the story has a happy ending: I found an article in the December 4, 1947 Thresher about an Elizabeth Baldwin Literary Society production of a Tempe Howze, ’48, original work called “Purity Pursued.” Zoom in and take a look at the description and you’ll see that the photos match it exactly.
I was particularly interested to note the venue–the College Inn on Main Street. I didn’t know that this sort of thing went on there, although I guess I’m not especially surprised. The other thing I got a kick out of was this picture of the curtain. Lots of hijinks.
Bonus: I was alerted this morning that there was a discussion underway on the Rice sports message board about something that really gets under my skin. There’s not much that really aggravates me, but this “Rice Fight. Never Die.” business sure does. As the writer correctly points out, it was from the beginning “Rice Fight Never Dies.”
Thanks Melissa! I never understood the current usage and thought it just came about as a “new” slogan fairly recently. Makes much more sense now (and thanks for the message board heads up – I missed that thread.) [They are also thrilled that you follow the message board!]
Thanks for the College Inn photos. I’ve always been curious about that place. One of our staffers, now long retired, used to go there with her new husband when they were first married. There are a lot of Thresher archives on Google Books now, right? And, yes, it’s Rice Fight Never Dies. I don’t have a problem with the variant used in the song, though. Stand, cheer, drink more beer!
I’m with you, Melissa. It aggravated me, too. I remember it being ‘dies,’ rhyming with ‘skies,’ from back in the old days when I was in school.
I follow high school football, and ” Fight Never Dies” is actually quite commonly used around the state.
Accidentally tickled WP’s comment syntax. What I meant to say is:
” ‘something’ Fight Never Dies.” Where ‘something” is replaced by any one of several teams.
I’ve oft been accused of being a liberal, but I’m really a moderate traditionalist. It was always “Rice Fight Never Dies” when I was at Rice and it will thus be always. Barney L. McCoy, Hanszen 67
“Rice Fight Never Dies” dates back at least to 1925.
Here is a call to Rice fans printed on the front page of the Nov. 13, 1925, Thresher (https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/65146/thr19251113.pdf?sequence=1)… just prior to that season’s football game with A&M. (Traditionally, the Aggie Corps marched through downtown Houston prior to the game.)
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BEAT A AND M. —
If your whole heart and soul is set on our fighting Bible’s Aggies as they have never been fought before—
If you are going to aid in the great grueling battle that takes place on Rice field tomorrow—
If Rice’s honor means anything to you—
If you are willing to work as hard for victory as you ask the little blue team to do—
If you are willing to show the world that RICE FIGHT NEVER DIES—
And if you are a genuine, red-blooded member of Rice’s little family—
You will show it at the
PEP PARADE TONIGHT,
MAIN AND LAMAR, at
7:30 P. M.
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RICE SIGNS IN AGGIES PARADE
Slimes Bearing Owl Slogans Lead A. & M. March
Down the long avenue, between rows of high buildings, spreading far apart the crowds of eager people came the long Aggie parade.
“They’re coming to fight the Owls,” mothers told their little sons and daughters.
All in martial array; guns on shoulders, khaki suit, hungry looks and all. Awed by the spectacle Rice students’ watched in silence. Then they opened their mouths, winked their left eye and stared with all their ears.
For there, in the van of the marching Aggies, were two signs, two slogans obviously not supported by the cadets.
Two little newsboys bearing huge signs reading “Yea Rice” and “Rice Fight Never Dies” protected by a bodyguard of Rice students led the huge parade.
Rice students laughed at the discomfiture of the marching rows of boy scouts; by-standers roared at the thought, while A. and M. ex-students on the sidelines growled up their sleeves yet made no move to deprive the parade of its pro-Rice air.
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A photo in the 1926 Campanile (https://archive.org/stream/campanile1926rice/campanile1926rice_djvu.txt) is captioned "Sammy reappears at the A. & M. game to remind the gang that "Rice Fight Never Dies."
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An account of the 1925 parade also led an overview of Rice-A&M rivalry antics on page 7 of the November 14, 1962, Thresher (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth231219/m1/7/zoom/?q=fight) )
Upon further investigation, I learned that “Rice Fight Never Dies” was created by the Rally Club a little earlier in 1925 … in advance of the October 24 game in Austin against UT. (The slogan and the cards proclaiming it that Owl fans took to Austin were mentioned on pages 1, 2 & 4 of the Thresher after the game (October 30: https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/65144/thr19251030.pdf?sequence=1)
Alas, the Owls lost that game, too — 27-6. But according to the game story that appeared in the next day’s Galveston Daily News (https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/24089387/), “the Owls fought doggedly on and lived up to the slogan they had adopted for the struggle, ‘Rice Fight Never Dies.’ Thousands of cards bearing this challenge were … “(I couldn’t read the rest of this sentence.)
well, the rest of the sentence is awesome: “were dropped into the stadium from an airplane just before the game started.” !!!