Homecoming, 1950

From a box of old slides, the Rice Homecoming Parade, September 30, 1950. This would have been before the first game (against Santa Clara) in the new stadium. It was a very big production:

Parade Homecoming 1950 1


The Homecoming Queen:

Parade 3

Definitely not the Homecoming Queen:

Parade 4

That’s President Houston in the back seat at right. I don’t know who the others are.

And the Rally Club proposed an alternate Homecoming Queen:

Parade 5

Parade 6


Bonus: A small act of kindness really brightened my day. Phil Brooks in the Chemistry Department brought me a little rolling stool so I wouldn’t have to kneel on the floor to go through several boxes of old papers. I’m so very grateful.


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25 Responses to Homecoming, 1950

  1. George Webb says:

    Rally Rally!

    • b. says:

      Our football team was taken to that game. I sat on the upper deck,the last seat.It looked like watching midgets play,the players were so small from that distance..

  2. Helen L.-Toombs '79 says:

    Where was the parade?! The low, brick building seems familiar, but not such a small Weingarten’s store. And I don’t see enough of the church to place it.

  3. Melinda Clark says:

    I am wondering where the Phillips 66 sign was and the building that it was on. That seems to be a major clue as to the location.

  4. Richard Schafer says:

    The church is almost certainly 1st Methodist. The windows appear to match exactly the tower portion of the church. I would bet the parade was going down Main Street.

  5. effegee says:

    Isn’t that the Baptist Bookstore next to the church? I can make out B-A-P-T at the bottom of the BOOKS sign? I thought it was further downtown in the vicinity of Richmond/Wheeler (Sears).

    • effegee says:

      Hmmm… meant uptown instead of downtown. Found a great picture of 1st UMC at Houston Architecture; surely a match. Baptist Bookstore was even further downtown than I remembered.

  6. mjthannisch says:

    Back when the Rice Owls were Houston’s football team.

  7. almadenmike says:

    The Poole Piano Company was located at 1426 Main Street.

  8. Deborah Gronke Bennett (BSEE Hanszen 1982) says:

    In the beginning of the book Jurassic Park, a character is described as the Homecoming Queen at Rice as though it was a great honor and she was beautiful like at many other schools. The book is set around 1980, which was during my time at Rice. In that era, Homecoming Queen was treated as a good joke, and that may have been the year that the Creature from the Black Lagoon won as Homecoming King.

  9. almadenmike says:

    Here’s a link to a photo of the same part of Main Street — the caption says it is from the 1950s, but I suspect it was earlier. The “Baptist Book Store” sign is different. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/74239093832066710/

  10. almadenmike says:

    The advertising sign directly below the Phillips 66 one appears to say “Glenmore’s.” In that era,. Glenmore Kentucky Bourbon used the same font (http://thumbs1.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mtX6kZkS3kwnES-HUe5RVEQ.jpg), but without the possessive “‘s”. In 1950 (and next few years) Glenmore did use the possesive, however, in promoting the “Glenmore’s Old Thompson” brand … “A finer blend from Old Kentucky” http://thumbs4.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mQZAh1f__DAOxG5WKANs7DQ.jpg). If we could see the billboard beneath the “Glenmore’s”, then possibly with see an Old Thompson ad.

  11. mjthannisch says:

    When I was growing up, the Humble Building was what is now the Exxon Mobile Building, tallest in Houston from 1963 until 1984.

  12. Grungy says:

    There are at least three bands in these photos.
    The blue unis would appear to be the Rice Band.
    The very short twirler in the first photo intrigues me.

    • Melissa Kean says:

      There were a lot of bands here. Do you want to see more?

      • almadenmike says:

        The front page story in the Sept. 22, 1950, Thresher began: “One of the biggest parades ever witnessed by Houstonians will ride down the city streets at 10:00 Saturday morning,
        Sept. 30.”

        Further down: “… the twenty-two-block-long procession will be led by the Rice band, which will be followed by approximately thirty-eight high school bands, plus a number of high school pep-squads and drum-and-bugle corps. Rice students have been asked to
        assemble twenty-five ‘filler units,’ consisting of ten floats, and numerous decorated cars.”

        Then there was this: “The day of the game has been declared a holiday by Mayor Oscar Holcombe, who will ride in the parade, but it will not be a legal holiday for the students. Anyone who actually works on the parade will be exempt from classes Saturday morning. Juniors and seniors must tell their individual instructors that they have permission for absence. Freshmen and sophomores must turn in their names to the organizations on whose floats they are working in time to enable a complete list of workers to be compiled and sent to each instructor.”

        I checked a few other Threshers, but didn’t see any delineation of the route, but I think it’s safe to guess that much of it was on Main Street.

  13. Is that the “pineapple” building at Main and Anita? I thought it was but I am less sure. It’s been refaced pretty significantly if so. I think it might have been a similarly decorated building. Wasn’t Houston relatively dry in 1950? Or did that not apply to liquor sales? I do remember as a kid growing up in mostly dry Brazoria County how surprised I was to see liquor billboards in Houston.

    • effegee says:

      There were multitudes of beer and liquor signs in Houston through the 1950s. There were liquor stores of some kind. Can’t recall if they were called “package stores” as was common in other parts of the South. You couldn’t buy a mixed drink outside of a “private club” until much later.

    • mjthannisch says:

      Bert Wheeler’s was going from 1937. I don’t remember Houston being dry, but parts of surrounding counties were (some still might be).

  14. almadenmike says:

    The Apache Belles performed at the game’s halftime show (according to the Sept. 22 Thresher), so they might be the cowgirl-costumed ladies in formation behind the Houston-Holcombe car.

  15. almadenmike says:

    I just found the September 29, 1950, “Special Stadium Edition” of the Thresher (https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/65965/thr19500929.pdf?sequence=1). It contains the parade route and in-order list of the parade’s participants.

    The parade started at Main & Bell, proceeded north on Main to Prairie, east to Fannin, then south on Fannin to Polk.

    The Rice Band followed a color guard and dignitaries’ cars. Next were the Apache Belles. So the blue-clad band seen behind the Houston-Holcombe car is surely the Rice Band and the Belles are behind them (to the left). The blue-and-white uniformed band with the tiny twirler is probably one of the many high school bands that marched that day.

  16. almadenmike says:

    “Special Stadium Issue” … (not “Edition”). Mea culpa.

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