Dandelion Day – the great day where students take a break from their work and celebrate the beautiful spring weather.

This day is shrouded in the haze of time, as there’s nobody left on campus who really remembers the first one which began in the slow return to normalcy of the post-World War II years.

After the war, college students were able to look at the world a little less seriously, and extracurricular activities and field days were remembered as one of the best parts of college before the war. In turn, these days were reinstated, and actually became a bigger part of campus life than they had ever been before.

In 1951, UR jumped on this bandwagon and officially instated Dandelion Day. In 1954, the event was extended to the Women’s College. Events at the first D-Days included the freshman-sophomore tug of war, boating races, an awards assembly, an awards dinner and a Dandelion Dance in the Palestra – for which the girls’ curfews were extended to midnight for the only time in the year.

Originally, the event was the first Wednesday in May. Over time, the date became a surprise, being called on an unscheduled nice day in the middle of the week near the end of the year. Then, in the 1970s the event was scheduled for the weekend and became more of a festival atmosphere. Today’s standards, such as carnival rides, were incorporated in this period.

A party atmosphere accompanied this change, and in the 1980s, D-Day was ranked by “Newsweek” as one of the “15 best college parties” in the United States.

Although the university does not encourage it, drinking has become a larger part of the day’s events over time. Several students are sent to the hospital for drinking problems every year.

Two serious injuries have occurred from falls – a student fell from a second-floor window of Gilbert Hall in 1993, and an alumnus fell off the roof of Alpha Delta Phi house in 1990. Every year, the event has been called into question, and slight changes have been made. However, the current event still looks much like any in the last 20 years.

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