Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies News

From the Archives Photo Challenge Part 3

April 23rd, 2017

Throughout the history of Purdue, its students have created and participated in many long-running traditions. What tradition is shown in this photo, and where did this activity occur?


On May 1, 1913, Purdue held its first May Day festivities as part of Gala Week, a celebration of spring and the end of the academic year.  Young female students and children from the community wore sandals and white dresses as they danced for crowds on the Oval, the open area of campus now known as Memorial Mall.  The May Day performances emphasized the arrival of springtime, so most included elaborate floral arrangements and may poles.  Here are a few more views of the 1913 festivities:

May Day celebrations occurred annually at Purdue until the 1920s, but Gala Week lived on until the 21st century.

Congratulations to all who figured out what was happening in the picture!  Check back for our next From the Archives photo on May 8!