Homecoming: History through the pages

As Homecoming Weekend begins, we took a look through our archives to find the top headlines from the last six decades.

Alumni gathered for the first event of Homecoming Weekend, a formal dinner on the Main Quad, on Thursday evening. (KATIE BRIGHAM/The Stanford Daily)

Class of ‘52

“Roses, ratios and raids,” read a headline in the May 30, 1952, issue of The Daily. Indeed, that year’s Stanford football team went to the Rose Bowl for the first time in more than a decade (before getting drubbed by the University of Illinois).

And as for raids, it seems the Class of 1952’s senior year was not without scandal. “Raids” refers to the “contagious fever of the ‘panty raids’…unorganized, spasmodic invasions of Roble, Branner and Hurlburt [House] that resulted in $700 worth of damage.”

Class of ‘62

The University passed the famous “liquor petition” to reverse a ban on alcohol on campus during the Class of 1962’s senior year. In the “largest vote in history,” the Liquor Referendum passed easily, with 2,716 for and 741 against. The class’s activism was “not initiated by a core group of 25 people,” read an editorial in The Daily (“Apathy; students the only victims,” June 1). “It was started by students from every segment of campus, from every University division, from every kind of living group.”

Class of ‘72

1972 was a year characterized by protests. Three students disrupted controversial physics professor William Shockley’s class, accusing him of advocating genocide. President Lyman went to Washington, D.C., to protest the war in Vietnam, and 41 professors planned to protest Marine recruiting at a placement center. In fact, the University recommended that classes on May 12 be rescheduled precisely so students could “engage in political canvassing and peaceful protest of the latest actions of President Nixon in Indochina,” according to an article in The Daily (“Class rescheduling urged today,” May 12).

Class of ‘82

Sandra Day O’Connor ‘50 spoke at Commencement in Frost Amphitheater, but new wave music, senior pub nights at the “O” and frozen yogurt might all be equally memorable. Frozen yogurt, or “froyo,” was described in The Daily’s 1982 Commencement edition as “the recent campus taste sensation.” Thirty years later, the fad has become beloved tradition.

Class of ‘92

Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s historic words—“The Cold War is behind us”—were uttered in Memorial Auditorium the Class of 1992’s sophomore spring. Two years later, for the class time capsule, ‘92 chose, among other items, Hobee’s coffee cake coupons, a Wells Fargo bank card and The Daily’s coverage of the “Condom Rating Contest”: a day in February when 2,000 packs of condoms were handed out in White Plaza.

Class of ‘02

The Arrillaga Alumni Center, a brand-new building designed specifically for the needs for visiting alumni, was opened. 2001-02 was a year of unrest and mourning on campus; the controversial former prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, spoke at Memorial Auditorium amid protests, and five months after students returned to campus in the shadow of Sept. 11, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl ‘85 was kidnapped and killed in Pakistan.

- Edward Ngai and Alice Phillips