The history of Homecoming

It’s that time of year again. All buildings are decorated, leadership is getting ready for rallies and all anybody can talk about is the game. Homecoming is an age-old tradition that takes place a few weeks after school starts. It traditionally consists of rallies, parades, crowning of royalty, a dance and of course, the ever-known home football game. This timeless tradition came to be in the early 1900s.

In 1910, American football was in trouble. There had been 18 injury-related deaths due to football and there was talk of ending it completely. There was a dire need for change.

It was then that the University of Missouri had their first homecoming. In 1911, the Director of Athletics Chester Brewer, wanted to make the school’s football games more exciting , as well as increase hometown patriotism. Brewer had the idea to invite past alumni of the school to their first home football game. His plan for festivities included a parade, a rally and, of course, the football game, and thus, the ageless ritual of homecoming came to be.

However, the University of Illinois argues that they created the first homecoming. Two university seniors led them into their first homecoming game. That night was legendary, as 5,000 additional seats were needed to accompany the crowd. As 12,000 alumni watched, the University of Illinois won their first home game. That night provided the hope, happiness and excitement that is typically celebrated with homecoming.

With the tradition established in colleges, it spread to high schools. Homecoming is now considered a “rite of passage” for any teenager entering high school or college. Today, DVHS homecoming isn’t very different from those first homecomings in the 1900s. Every year, we take a break from studying for one night to watch a football game and the crown our homecoming royalty. The next day we enjoy a night of music and fun at our homecoming dance as DVHS does its part to keep the historical custom of homecoming alive. It’s safe to say that this is a tradition that will never die.