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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


From the Archive: Mom and Dad Watched Polo On 1929 Day

The Arizona Daily Wildcat pulled this article from its archives to show the changes the UA has gone through since the original “”Mom and Dad’s Day.”” This article was published on Oct. 11, 1963.


Mom and Dad’s Day has changed in many ways since 1929 when it was originated by Mortar Board, senior women’s honorary, and Bobcats, a senior men’s honorary.

Parents coming this year look forward to the Arizona football game, but in 1929, the traditional polo game between the varsity and alumni teams vied with football for popularity. Polo was a feature of Mom and Dad’s Day until the war years.

The 400 parents who came for the first Mom and Dad’s Day received free tickets to the football game. Halftime entertainment was provided, as it is now, but then it was by the University girls’ marching squad.

Parents who had sons on the 1929 football team were allowed to sit on the bench during the game. At the time, “”Pop”” McKale, football coach, said the arrangements would “”arouse the enthusiasm of the squad and result in a winning game.”” The Wildcats won 28-0 over New Mexico State.

Mothers and fathers who registered in the lobby of the Agricultural Building in 1929 came from 31 Arizona towns and 8 states. The first award given to the parents who traveled the greatest distance to be with their children went to a woman from Detroit. Last year, when 4,000 parents came to the campus, Mrs. Emilio Yu won an “”A”” blanket for traveling 7,695 miles from Hong Kong.

Loving cups honoring parents with the most children in school were given for the first time in 1933. One year, a mother registered 14 children. Investigation proved she had had 14 children in the University, but not all at the same time. In 1946, the practice of giving “”A”” blankets for the award began.

Mom and Dad’s Day was cancelled two weeks before the scheduled date in 1942 because the administration decided not to sponsor any activities which encouraged travel during World War II. The University had no football team during the next two years. Mom and Dad’s Day was resumed in 1945, when more than 600 parents attended.

During the 1946 Mom and Dad’s Day football game, James C. Shackleford, Sr.,  turned himself in at the press box after wandering though the football crowd for his wife and college son. The announcer asked the Shackleford family to identify their whereabouts, the wandering father was finally returned to his family.

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