Cal Lore and Traditions

Check back for weekly updates to learn more about Cal Spirit History, coming to you soon!

FACTS OF THE WEEK:
9/20:   During an archaeological excavation of the Zeta Psi fraternity grounds, artifacts from 1900’s frat life were recovered. One such item was a syringe filled with mercury used to treat syphilis!
FUN BLURBS:
1. South Hall, one of the original two buildings constructed on campus, is still standing today! It was completed in 1873, the same year Blue and Gold were chosen as the University’s colors. They have remained ever since.
2. The rivalry between Cal and $tanfurd is one of the oldest in the country. The two teems first played in 1892.
3. The University of California has always been a home to international students. By 1930, Cal enrolled 10% of all international students in the country!
4. Rugby was the first official sport at Berkeley. It was first created in 1882.
5. In 1923, students and faculty worked together to fend off a fire which threatened to destroy campus.
6. The Cal song Palms of Victory is only sung after Cal has won a competition. Singing it before or during a game, or at any other occasion, is considered bad luck.
7. Athletes from Cal won an Olympic medal for the first time in 1928, for Men’s Crew. It was gold!
8. The Campanile is the third largest bell-and-clock tower in the world! It was designed by esteemed architect John Galen Howard, and is in the National Registrar of Historic Places. It has a beautiful carillon of 61 bells. However, the bells have not always been playing. In 1943, the chimes fell silent for the first time due to World War II budget cuts. Luckily, Alumni raised enough money to keep the beautiful chimes operating. At the end of the war in 1945, the chimes played for two straight hours!
9. In 1947, the Campanile (in blue and gold) and President Robert Gordon Sproul appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine!
10. John Galen Howard, architect who designed California Memorial Stadium, advised against its location upon building. It turned out, he was right to be cautious! Today, The Hayward Fault runs directly through the stadium, nearly from goal post to goal post! This hazard called for a renovation of the historic stadium in 2010 which lasted until 2012.
11. Vitamin E and Vitamin K were both discovered at UC Berkeley. Unfortunately, the first manuscript announcing the discovery of Vitamin K was mistakenly rejected by Science magazine at first, allowing for others to publish its findings before the Berkeley scientists.
12. Berkeley’s library houses the largest collection of Mark Twain’s writings, scrapbooks, photos, and personal tomes from his library. You can go sit with Mr. Twain in the entrance to Doe Library- I’m sure he’ll be happy to see you.