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1924 in Clemson History
Events that occurred in 1924:
- Memorial Chapel on the Main Building is enlarged, raising seating capacity to 1,850.
- The Brotherhood of Tigers is organized in 1924 and all cadets given membership. The organization proves to be too large and cumbersome to accomplish anything and slowly falls apart. Tiger Brotherhood will be founded in 1928, replacing the first organization.
- January 22: The campus is stunned to learn that popular President Walter Merritt Riggs has died in Washington, D.C. while on a trip to attend a meeting of land-grant college officials. He had not complained that he had severe chest pain for several weeks and he suffers a coughing and choking fit which he does not survive.
- January 24: President Riggs funeral services held at Clemson. After services in Memorial Chapel, the entire cadet corps marches in a procession to the grave site on Cemetery Hill.
- March 21: Annual dance given by the School Improvement Association in the College Gym (ground floor of the present Sikes Hall). Document from the event is preserved in the scrapbook of Cadet John Murphy Cook of Fort Mill, South Carolina, class of 1924, in the Special Collections at the Strom Thurmond Institute.
- April 24: The cornerstone for the new Clemson Methodist Church is laid in a Thursday afternoon ceremony. Chief speaker at the ceremonies is Bishop Collins Denny of Richmond, Virginia. The three-story structure is expected to be completed and ready for occupation by September 1, 1924. (The Tiger, "Cornerstone Laid For New Church", Wednesday, 30 April 1924, Volume XX, Number 2, page 6.)
- April 30: The worst tornado to ever hit Anderson leaves eight dead, hundreds homeless, and an untold number of injured. At least 100 homes and two cotton mills are destroyed, with damages running to $1,500,000. This was one of at least 26 significant tornados that struck Southern and Southeastern states on 29-30 April.
- May 2: Junior-Senior Banquet held. (Program preserved in the Special Collections, Strom Thurmond Institute.)
- May 16: Junior-Senior Ball 1924 is held in the College Gym (ground floor of the present Sikes Hall), from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. An invitation to the event is preserved in the scrapbook of Cadet John Murphy Cook of Fort Mill, South Carolina, class of 1924, in the Special Collections at the Strom Thurmond Institute.
- July 11: Examinations given for the award of the regular four-year agricultural and textile scholarships and for entrance into the Freshman class of Clemson Agricultural College.
- September 23: Life Trustee Milton Lafayette Donaldson dies. He is buried in Springwood Cemetery, Greenville, South Carolina.
- September 27: Clemson opens football season with 60-0 shut-out of Elon on Riggs Field.
- October 4: Clemson travels to Alabama where Alabama Polytechnic College (later Auburn) defeats them, 0-13.
- October 11: Presbyterian is defeated by the Tigers on Riggs Field, 14-0.
- October 11-October 14: The last and largest student walk-out in Clemson history, and the greatest challenge of acting President Samuel Broadus Earle's tenure. Student gripes about the quality of food in the mess spiral out of control when the cadet emissary sent to the commandant, Colonel Otis R. Cole, to ask permission for a student meeting is accused of having "liquor on his breath". He is hauled immediately before the discipline committee and suspended for a year. Outraged cadets are refused permission to meet regarding the expelled, a popular student who is senior class president and captain of the football team, but they meet on Riggs Field anyway and draft a petition demanding better food, the dismissal of mess officer J. D. Harcombe, and reinstatement of their dismissed classmate. When Earle refuses their demands, promising only to continue investigating the mess allegations, 500 cadets leave campus on the evening of October 14 in protest. The walk-out results in twenty-three dismissals and 112 suspensions, as well as sixty-five honorable discharges from various classes, and the withdrawal from school of thirty-six students who are unwilling to face the punishments awaiting them when they return to campus. Although the board of trustees commends Earle for not relinquishing his authority to student demands, the toll on the school is a lingering discontent and unwanted bad publicity.
- October 23: Clemson is defeated by South Carolina, 0-3, in Columbia.
- November 1: In home game on Riggs Field, VPI embarrasses the Tigers, 6-50.
- November 8: Clemson loses to Davidson, 0-7, in a match played in Charlotte, North Carolina.
- November 15: In a game played in Anderson, South Carolina at the new Memorial Athletic Field, Clemson loses to the Citadel, 0-20. The new field, constructed by the W. A. Hudgens Post of the American Legion in memory of their comrades who gave their lives in France, is dedicated in ceremonies beginning at 2:30 p.m., just before the football game.
- November 25: The Sloan Brothers Store catches fire right around midnight Tuesday and the wooden structure burns completely, consuming all stock, but near-by buildings are saved by the efforts of cadets, who were awakened by the screeching of the power whistle and the ringing of bells.
- November 27: Clemson concludes 2-6 season by losing to Furman, 0-3, on Riggs Field.
- December 25: One-time only post-season football game sponsored by the Los Angeles Christmas Festival pits Southern Cal against Missouri in the Los Angeles Coliseum, with 47,000 watching USC win, 20-7. (ESPN College Football Encyclopedia, ESPN Books, New York, New York, 2005, ISBN 1-4013-3703-1, page 1608.)