Other Fake Penn State Holidays

HippieWell… just one more fake holiday. Steve already covered the similarity between our State Patty’s Day and the University of Illinois’ Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day. This other Penn State “holiday” has no parallel.

The Collegian ran an article today about Gentle Thursday. This holiday from the 70s was created for more peaceful, less alcohol-related reasons than State Patty’s Day. Tom Benson, a rhetoric professor at Penn State, said:

“Gentle Thursday was a wonderful experience with all sorts of balloons and flags. It was a generalized protest and also a demonstration of the way students in those days cared.” “The idea was to create a gathering that would be a celebration of peacefulness.”

Mayor Bill Walsh recalls:

“It was a reason for students to get together on the HUB lawn and listen to music…I remember one time I was walking down College Ave. and equal parts of dust and marijuana smoke were blowing across the street.”

The holiday was started by a CAS 100 “Counter-Political” class and held on a Thursday in late April (What did the students do that had class on Fridays?). Gentle Thursday was celebrated annually for ten years until the University canceled it in 1981 due to the drugs and alcohol.  State Patty’s Day is totally student-organized and off-campus, so don’t think the University will have any power over it any time soon.

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Eli Glazier

Eli is a junior majoring in International Politics. He enjoys paninis and books.

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