Today@Sam: April Fool at the 'Normal' - 1885

When students at what was then Sam Houston Normal Institute decided to have a little fun with the faculty on April 1, 1885, they planned a smashing "April fool."

But when it came to having fun back then, the Normal students were a bit timid--the result perhaps of strict standards of conduct. Dancing, drinking, and card playing were all grounds for suspension.

The April fool incident, and other details of campus life, are described by Ty Cashion in a soon-to-be-completed history of Sam Houston State University, being written for this year's celebration of the university's 125th birthday.

Cashion, associate professor of history, uncovered the April fool story in letters written by J. J. Rushing, a student from the Shelby County community of Tomday on the Sabine River in deepest East Texas.

Rushing wrote that "almost every student in school"--which was about 300 most semesters--decided that when they marched out of morning chapel services that April 1 they would "march on home" instead of going to class.

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