Flashback to the tank rush on September 23, 1916

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.