From Woody's Couch

Our Playbook on OSU History

Category: Departments (page 1 of 16)

Happy Thanksgiving from the Archives

Written and assembled by Olivia Wood

Happy Thanksgiving!  To celebrate the most delicious time of the year, we’ve decided to post some pictures commemorating different types of feasts here at Ohio State ranging from the late 19th century up until the 21st century.  Enjoy!


A Food and Nutrition class in Hayes Hall preparing a meal, circa 1900.


A Food and Nutrition course holding a meal, 1950.


An Ohio State home economics class preparing a meal, 1895.


Two students sharing dessert, circa 1930.


A group of students sharing a snack of celery, crackers, and cigarettes…yum? Circa 1940.


Students and chefs with a dessert spread of cake and cookies, 1942.


Student-employee appreciation event hosted in the Oval with a feast of pizza and cake, 2000.


The International Party hosted by the Mother’s Club, 1954.


Two students toasting to each other, circa 1930.


An ox roast held at Ohio State, circa May 1916. An ox roast really isn’t actually roasted ox–it’s roast beef!

Observing National Armed Forces Day

Today is National Armed Forces Day. National Armed Forces Day was first created in 1949 by then Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson. Rather than maintaining three separate holidays for each of the branches of the military, Johnson decided to create a single holiday honoring the entire military. Although the first Armed Forces Day was in 1950, it was not made into an official Federal holiday until President John F. Kennedy in 1962.[1]

School of Military Aeronautics Squadron F in
August of 1917.

Here at the Ohio State University, we have a longstanding history of involvement with and support of the United States Military. The Morrill Act (1862) gave states script for federal land which the states could then sell for purposes of creating an endowment to fund an agricultural and mechanical college.[2] This act stated that the newly constructed school would be used to train students in the sciences of agriculture, mechanical arts, and military tactics.[3] The Department of Military Science and Tactics was created several years after the Ohio Agricultural, Military, and Mechanical College (the predecessor of today’s Ohio State University) and was staffed by active military personnel from the United States Army.[4]

The program continued to grow and transform in the twentieth century. Four important figures at the Ohio State University, including University President William Oxley Thompson, played crucial roles in the drafting of the National Defense Act, which established the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) in 1916. President Thompson was also responsible for the creation of the School of Military Aeronautics which would train students in the developing field of aircraft.[5] Students from both programs could be found participation in the numerous conflicts of the twentieth century.

Ohio State University students shooting at the rifle
range in 1918.

More information and resources about the Ohio State University’s role in the United States Military and the university’s founding can be found at the Ohio State University Archives. Manuscripts, documents, photographs, and other resources can be found there and are open to the public.

Written by John Hooton

[1] “Armed Forces Day,” National Day Calendar, accessed May 13, 2017.

[2] “Born in Adversity,” the Ohio State University Archives, accessed May 13, 2017.

[3] Jack L. Gumbert, Forward to the Ohio State University Army ROTC History presentation, April 16, 2003, manuscript, from the Ohio State University Archives.

[4] Gumbert, Ohio State University ROTC History.

[5] Gumbert, Ohio State University ROTC History.

100 years in the making…Centennial Histories now online

As part of our ongoing effort to digitize highly used material, the departmental Centennial Histories have recently been uploaded to the Knowledge Bank for public use.  To access the histories visit our website, where they are organized alphabetically.

The University celebrated its Centennial in 1970 with a slew of events and ceremonies.  One of the longest lasting legacies of this celebration is the departmental histories, which preserve individual, detail accounts of the emergence Cent.Histand growth of departments.  The centennial histories followed the general theme of the Centennial project:  “to assess [the] first 100 years and utilize this heritage as a foundation for building an even greater institution.”  Before this period of time, little information was collected about the history of departments.

The idea stemmed from secretary of the  Board of Trustees, Edward Moulton and was coordinated by John T. Mount.  The plan was for departments to compile their own histories following prescribed guidelines.  Once finished these histories would sit in both the University Archives and in the general library collection.

To preserve important knowledge, departments had an outline that needed to fulfill four major pillars: Founding and Early Development, the Mature Years (progress within department), Current Status and Future Plans, and Appendix (includes lists of deans, chairs, and publications).  Along with the outline, departments received a page of sources to consult during this process.  These sources included both primary sources, such as the minutes from the Board of Trustees and annual reports, and secondary cake1970sources, including histories of the University in general.

The centennial history writers were current departmental staff, faculty or emeritus faculty.  The writers had an original deadline of July 1, 1969, but it was later extended to late December 1969.  The final product was submitted to the then-University Archivist, William Vollmar.

More than 130 histories were submitted and are in use today.  They range in size from a few pages to hundreds of pages.  Centennial histories are a highly useful research tool for information about departmental formation, faculty members, deans and even prominent students.  The histories collectively combine primary sources into a single source for research.

View the requirements for departments and the selected bibliography.

To see photos from our first 100 years, visit our Flickr page.

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