Thundering Horde

Vanderbilt Special Collections and University Archives

 

Back in 1938, homecoming was a citywide affair. At the Saturday morning homecoming parade in downtown Nashville, floats passed by the judges’ stand on Sixth Avenue, all “built on the theme of the inevitable downfall of Georgia Tech’s football team and the inevitable victory of Vanderbilt’s Commodores,” reported The Vanderbilt Alumnus. Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity took first prize in the float competition for its entry featuring a huge spray gun aimed at the Tech Yellowjackets. Bands from area high schools and prep schools competed for prizes.

Students welcomed alumni back with a “Gay Nineties” theme, decreeing that no gas-driven machines would be allowed on campus for the event. Students rode bicycles built for two, sporting checkered trousers and derby hats. “Miss Elaine Ewald, a coed from Baltimore, showed how horrible the old-time bathing suits looked,” according to the Alumnus. “It was a bloomer affair with skirt to the knees, high black stockings, and beach shoes. She posed on the lawn but nobody was heard to say anything about ‘the good, old days.’”