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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Lime-Laden Frosh Paint Traditional ‘A’ Tomorrow

    September 23, 1955


    Arizona history’s largest freshman class will form bucket lines tomorrow on Sentinel Peak to celebrate the University’s 33rd annual “”A”” Day.

    Tonight sophomore Traditions Committee members burn the “”A”” to serve notice to townspeople that the UA is again in session. Students may witness the burning from the SU balcony during intermission of the Prexy Mixer, around 10 p.m.

    At latest count 1,973 frosh were expected to slosh whitewash on the 160-foot block letter “”A,”” said Traditions Committee President Buddy Davidson.

    One 1920 fire truck will make the rounds of dorms and halls to publicize “”A”” Day, then lead the procession up the mountain.

    On the mountain bucket lines will be formed on each side of the “”A.”” Traditions Committee members will supervise the painting and refreshments will be served by Spurs after the work is done.

    To complete the day’s activities UA’s Wildkitten football squad will meet the varsity of New Mexico Western College in Varsity Stadium at 8 p.m.

    “”This year we’re emphasizing safety while painting the ‘A,'”” said Davidson. “”Unnecessary horseplay with the lime can cause serious injury to the eyes.””

    An ambulance will be on hand in case of any serious injuries. Spurs, sophomore women’s honorary, will administer minor first aid. Davidson said no serious accidents have taken plave in recent years but warned students to drive slowly coming up and down the mountain. “”Last year the police department put ‘A’ Day on probation because students were driving too fast,”” he said.

    The history of “”A”” Day dates back 33 years. Enthusiasm boiled over the night of Saturday, Oct. 28, 1915. It started the moment a telegram announced the news, “”Arizona 7, Pomona 3, Great Game.””

    Attention, Frosh!

    Freshmen are to meet around Old Main at 12:30 p.m., tomorrow wearing green beanies, ribbons, socks and old clothes.

    A pep rally will be staged after which car caravans will procede by two routes toward “”A”” Mountain.

    A student body dance and bonfire couldn’t contain the undaunted spirit which soon spread across town and up the 23 degree slope of Sentinel Park.

    That was the night the “”A”” tradition was born. A group of students got an idea, gathered brushed, hired jitneys, borrowed lime and went to carry it out. The plan was to whitewash an “”A”” on the side of the peak.

    In the end the enthusiasm proved greater than the physical application. So the extra point was used up by plastering the local RR station with “”As”” and the score.

    Several days later the first “”A”” was built out of cheesecloth covering a wooden framework. But the idea didn’t end there. Committees of alums, faculty members, students and townspeople were appointed to undertake the project of building a permanent “”A”” on Sentinel Peak.

    Location for the symbol was chosen and staked out. Construction began, with the Engineering College handling the engineering and a committee of students the building. The location was cleared of shrubbery, trenches were dug to outline the “”A”” and serve as a foundation. Many difficulties and discouragements had to be overcome.

    A year later on the second “”A”” Day, March 4, 1916 the project was completed at a cost of $397. Six sacks of mortar, several large tanks of water and some 6,500-square feet of masonry went into the completed structure. All was hauled up the steep slope by six-horse teams.

    The “”A”” was built on 2,885-foot Sentinel Peak on the edge of the Tucson mountains, where travelers can see it plainly coming into town from either direction. Seventy feet wide and 160 feet high, it can be see plainly from Mt. Lemmon, 35 miles distant.

    About 100 gallons of oil placed in half gallon cans outlining the “”A”” will go into tonight’s burning. Last year more than a ton of lime was used.

    Tomorrow one string of cars will go from the flagpole down Third Street, turn left on 4 th Ave. to Congress and continue on Congress to “”A”” Mountain. The other route will go down 3 rd to Stone, turn left, then right again on Congress, where Traditions Committee members will take over.

    Traditions Committee chairmen of “”A”” Day are as follows: Keith Renkin, general chairman; Kent Orchard, burning; Phil Weeks, assembly; Jack Dancer, rally; Sam DeFrancesco, traffic; Ozzie Burton, control on mountain; Ron Adams, supplies; and Frank Kalil, publicity.

    After Game Dances Slated By Committee:

    After-game dances will be held this year following every home game, except Homecoming, said Dick Glassock, ASUA Social Life chairman.

    “”This year we are trying something new,”” stated Glassock. “”Every dance will have a name and feature some special type of dancing, such as mambo, bop, waltz, Western or jitterbug.”” 

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