In 1926, Ohio State University's homecoming queen was a real cow.
No, seriously, she was. Maudine Ormsby was a Holstein cow, nominated for homecoming queen by students in the university's College of Agriculture. Due to voting improprieties, the other, presumably human, candidates were disqualified from the contest, and the cow was declared the winner. According to OSU's website, as queen, Maudine participated in the homecoming parade but stayed in her barn during the dance.
Although now synonymous with scarlet and gray, did you know that OSU's original colors were to be orange and black? Upon learning that Princeton had already chosen those colors, however, the student committee in charge of the decision selected scarlet and gray in 1878.
Alice Townshend said later that the colors didn't signify anything. She said that she and the other committee members were merely looking for a nice combination not in use by another college.
Established in 1965, the OSU Archives serves as the university's official memory, identifying, preserving and making available those items -- meeting minutes, speeches, football program covers, oral histories and much more -- that document its history.
Located in the Library Book Depository building at 2700 Kenny Road, the physical archive facility is a treasure trove of manuscripts, photographs and memorabilia. Online, you can find lots of the same information, plus factoids -- like Maudine's cow-who-would-be-queen story, which you can read for yourself on the frequently asked questions page.
If you're interested in all things OSU, don't miss the Worthington Libraries program, during which archivists Tamar Chute and Kevlin Haire will share stories and memorabilia. Rumor has it that the life-size cutout of Woody Hayes -- usually found in the archive's lobby -- will be in attendance.
"Hidden Gems of the OSU Archives" will start at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at Old Worthington Library.
Hillary Kline is communications specialist for Worthington Libraries.