Picture or sketch

No. 19 Memorial Stadium

   To get the desired three by four inch view of Nebraska's stadium a photographer might walk around it seven times and his pursuit would still be in vain, for it ovals away from him endlessly. One could get a pointblank shot at it from the air but empty seats, even people enmasse, bundled in blankets, aren't as attractive as arched windows, which lend beauty to the mammoth structure. In the foreground of this picture is the military department's reviewing stand, Which furnished not only requisite proportions but perspective suitable to the times war now having put college athletics in the background with no gentle hand.

   The stadium, which holds 30,000 without the bleachers, is a memorial to U. of N. men who have died in the nation's wars. The half million dollar cost was defrayed by students, faculty, alumni and friends. Many a tonsil shredding joust has taken place within the stadium's great arms. The following from the helpful typewriter of Walter Dobbins give details:

   "The first game played on stadium sod was with the Oklahoma Sooners, Oct 13, 1923, just a week before dedication of the bowl. With its building Nebraska became a 'big time' football school. Games were scheduled with top flight teams from north, south, east and west. The largest crowd ever packed into the home field witnessed Nebraska's 7 to 0 victory over Indiana Oct 20, 1937.

   "Some of Nebraska's gridiron triumphs have been recorded at the stadium, including the amazing 14 to 7 victory over Notre Dame's Four Horsemen in 1923; the 17 to 0 win over Rockne's eleven in 1924 and the last of the 11 game series with the Fighting Irish. New York U.'s national title hopes were blasted on the same field in 1926 and 1927. Greatest of all victories, however, are later ones--the 14 to 9 defeat of Minnesota in 1937 and the 6-0 win over the Gophers in 1939."

Picture or sketch

No. 20 University Hall

   This decapitated building may look ready for the scrap heap, but sentimental Nebraskans would indignantly refuse to have it scraped, for it in the remains of the original campus building. Once it housed the university entire, even offering sleeping room on the two upper stories for men students.

   First recollection invoked is of "Miss Bishop," Bess Streeter Aldrich's filmed story of primitive university life, which had its premiere in Lincoln. Another is Oscar Wilde's visit to the university in the eighties. There, garbed in his eccentric finery, he walked unhappy as a strange cat, distressed by the uncouthness of Nebraska and its university and especially by the ugly cast-iron stove which heated the premises. After expressing this distress, along with his regular lecture, Wilde, in knee breeches, buckled slippers and velvet coat, shuddered his way back to the Arlington hotel, 841 Q. and was soon lost to this region forever. Nobody was depressed over his disapproval and irrepressible Journal reporters put him and the castiron stove into facetious rhyme.

   The cornerstone for U hall was laid Sept. 23, 1869, with ceremonies--Masonic ceremonies, in fact. An Omaha brass band led a procession and a thousand people banqueted--which must have more than depopulated residential Lincoln--then danced until 4 in the morning.

   Lumber for the building was shipped from Chicago to Nebraska City and thence came slowly over the hills in wagons. Brick was burned in a kiln on Little Salt creek. On Jan. 6, 1871, the doors swung open and in walked ninety young men and women. Rumors that the building was unsafe continued off and on for fifty years. Every now and then some propping was done. Finally the two top floors and belltower were taken off, but classes are still held on the remaining first floor.

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© 2000, 2001 by Kathie Harrison, Ted & Carole Miller