From Woody's Couch

Our Playbook on OSU History

Stop the World- I Want to Get Off!

The year is 1966. Novice Gail Fawcett is President of the University. Two brand new residence halls have just opened on campus: Archer House and Morrill Tower. October will be a big month for Ohio State with the groundbreaking for the Newark Branch Campus and Marion Branch Campus on October 27th and 28th respectively.  Then on November 1st  members of the Ohio State University Touring Company departed Columbus for Thule Air force Base in Greenland.brochure

The Ohio State University Touring Company partnered with the United Service Organization (USO) and the American Educational Theatre Association (AETA) to perform the musical “Stop the World – I Want to Get Off” for troops in the Northeast Area. The students performed in front of troops as part of the North Atlantic Command Tour, which visited: Greenland, Labrador, Newfoundland, Iceland.  Ohio State was given this opportunity to perform abroad by applying to the USO directly and was one of a select few universities to be chosen.

George Crepeau

George Crepeau

The musical comedy centers around the life of a character named Littlechap “whose ambition and good luck lead him to…success”[1]. Ted Pettit played the main character and was supported by Bev Pettit.  Dr. Crepeau, director of the musical, managed to help his cast perform a difficult musical to a well deserving audience outside of the United States.  Because of the demands of the musical, students were required to continue rehearsals abroad.

This was one of many trips that Dr. Crepeau would take his students on during his tenure at OSU. In 1984 Dr. Crepeau would take his other students to Berlin and Moscow to see several different musicals and plays as part of a larger effort to introduce students to different types of theatre.

According to the financial statements, the tour cost $935.24 to produce. $384.61 was spent on costumes, $204.47 on lighting, $55.86 on shipping charges, $194.07 on Hardware and misc., $15 on make-up, $10.39 on music, and $70.84 on publicity.

AETAOverall, the tour was a great experience for the students to perform at venues and for diverse audiences which would not have been possible without the USO and AETA. Most importantly thought, it gave the University a chance to give back to U.S. troops stationed abroad during a time when many other students across the country began protesting the Vietnam War and those serving in the military.

Information for this blog was provided by the newly accessioned materials from the Department of Theatre.

[1] Fenton, Charles G. “‘Stop the World’ Triumphs in U – Hall.” OSU Lantern [Columbus] 1 Dec. 1965: n. pag. Print.

Charlie Comes to the Archives

As part of Archives Month we would like to honor some special guests who visited us last August to learn acharlie and his project little bit more about Jesse Owens and see his collection.  Charlie May and his grandparents, Honey and
Chuck Goldberg came from Denver to our Archives to see firsthand the artifacts, documents and photographs we have.

charlie and tamarLast year for a biography project at his elementary school, Charlie chose to do research on Jesse Owens.  He dressed up as Jesse and presented a project about his life and accomplishments.  The Goldbergs have a tradition of taking each grandchild to see the papers and artifacts of the individual the grandchild chose for their biography project.  Charlie is the Goldberg’s fourth and youngest grandchild.  They planned a trip he was sure to enjoy!

First stop was to Columbus.  Here at the Archives, Charlie and his grandparents met with University Archivist, Tamar Chute, who introduced them to Jesse Owens’ artifacts and papers from the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  Charlie got to see the camera Jesse took to the Olympics, his sweater, his diary entries and most importantly, Jesse’s gold medals.  The visit concluded with a tour of the stacks, where all the boxes are kept.

Jesse_CharlieAfter their trip to the Archives, Charlie and his grandparents went to see the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium complete with a photo next to Jesse’s statue and a run on the track! Charlie took the starting position, just as Jesse had on Ohio Stadium.  They also visited with Brutus in the Union and took a trip to the Orton Geological Museum where Charlie got a tour from Museum Manager Dale Gnidovec.

dale and charlie

Charlie’s trip did not end there. Next stop was Chicago where they were able to meet with Marlene Owens Rankin, Jesse’s daughter, and her husband Stuart Rankin.  It must have been a memorable meeting for them both.

the rankins

Charlie gave us a wonderful thank you note that thankyoureminded us about the importance of keeping and preserving the historical document for future generations.  We would like to thank Charlie and his grandparents, Honey and Chuck, for their interest in our Jesse Owens Collection.

How a world record holding Holstein became homecoming queen

Homecoming queens have a long tradition here at The Ohio State University.  The first homecoming queen was elected in 1921, over 90 years ago.  No election was as memorable as that of 1926, when Maudine Ormsby was declared the official homecoming queen.

(Photo Location: 99-1920's)

Nothing seems strange about Maudine Ormsby winning that year, until you learn that she was a cow.  But to say she was just a cow would be unfair, Maudine was an award winning Holstein.  In her heyday, she was able to produce 743.5 pounds of milk and 28.7 pounds of butter fat during a 7 day test, which won her a world record.

Because of her unique capability, the agricultural school students were quite fond of her.  They decided they should even nominate her for homecoming queen.  To Maudine’s dismay she was officially disqualified because she was not in the student directory, but more likely because she was a cow.  The Ag students then grudgingly nominated co-ed Margerey Rutledge.

1926 Homecoming Queen Election

Election Day came and with it a boatload of tampering and corruption.  Officials printed 3,000 ballots, but when counting them they found over 12,000.  Not only were people voting multiple times, but ballot boxes were stolen and some students were even voting for dead alumni.  Because of the wide-spread voting corruption, the Election Committee was not able to count the ballots accurately.

Cue Maudine, who was busy winning her own awards.  The Committee decided that since no human winner could be determined that Maudine would step in.  Of course Maudine did receive some valid votes, but not nearly enough to win.

Sadly, Maudine’s handlers did not allow her to attend any of the homecoming events for fear that the

(Photo Location: 99-1940's)

excitement would curdle her milk.  She was a world record milk producer first and a queen second.

Although Maudine achieved great fame and success, her life was cut short.  At the age of 7, eight years sooner than most cows, Maudine had to be put down after contracting brucellosis, a highly contagious disease.

To learn more about the extraordinary life of Maudine, check out these Lantern Articles written about her:

“Maudine Ormsby” to Reign as Queen for Homecoming

Here Lies One More Shattered Record!

“Maudine” Barred From Coronation as Queen Friday

Maudine, Campus Queen of 1926, Set World Record

The Lantern is completely digitized and text searchable.  You can always go to to look for articles.

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