Dartmouth College Winter Carnival c.1954

This weekend the students at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire celebrate the 99th annual Winter Carnival. According to Wikipedia, the event was founded way back in 1911 by the Dartmouth Outing Club (which you may remember from an earlier post) to promote winter sports. (Although I think Winter Carnival was just a ploy to get girls to visit the then all boys school.) This little film seems appropriate right now with the winter Olympics in gear and the weather in NYC. Not to mention the style similarities between this video from 1954 and now. Many thanks to reader Chris for sending on the link.

Comments on “Dartmouth College Winter Carnival c.1954

    nick on February 14, 2010 1:39 PM:

    The worst sex I’ve ever had occurred at this event some years ago.

    Peter on February 14, 2010 3:29 PM:

    Great video. Love that Mel Allen does the narration as well. The Voice of The Yankees just adds to the retro appeal.

    bork on February 14, 2010 3:49 PM:

    I would love to get a sweater like the old Dartmouth ones. However, my college has nice cardigans and rugby shirts, but lousy sweaters.

    Does anyone know where I could get a large felt collegiate-style letter to sew onto a sweater?

    tom on February 14, 2010 3:50 PM:

    haha ‘no country cookies on this flight’

    Andrea on February 14, 2010 5:31 PM:

    Oh my. My dad belonged to the Dartmouth outing club at about this time, and just last Thanksgiving told me a story about his blind date for the carnival. Turned out to be the sister of some guy named Cormac McCarthy.

    I love the guy wearing his dad’s coonskin coat. Such an Ivy kind of thing to do.

    Bill Miles on February 14, 2010 6:56 PM:

    Greetings all–This is “Freddy” (in the red cap) I have wondered if I would ever get to see that clip of film again. It speaks of a more innocent age and it is embarassing to be caught being such a dork from the 50’s. But what a kick! “Eddy” is Bob Black and we were undergraduate classmates in the Class 1956 at Dartmouth. The “girls were pros from NEW YORK CITY. Bud Schulberg was involved in this little production and it actually played at the Radio City Music Hall which is the only time I’d seen it before today. Thanks.

    Bill Miles D’56 Carmel California

    Michael Williams on February 14, 2010 6:58 PM:

    Bill — that is just amazing. How did you find the video here?

    Bill Miles on February 14, 2010 7:05 PM:

    Hi Michael– Forwarded routinely by a Classmate who writes a great monthly newsletter. (One never leaves the Dartmouth affiliation!) Have no idea where he got it but … we have our ways. All in good fun. –Bill Miles

    H Flint Ranney '56 on February 14, 2010 8:51 PM:

    Came across this by accident. I write the Great Dartmouth Class of 1956 newsletter, and am always looking for things Dartmouth ’56. Winter Carnival 1954 happened while we were at Dartmouth. The Whaleracci snow statue shown in the clip was in front of my fraternity, Phi Sigma Kappa, and I was in charge of the lighted candelabra on the snow piano, which turned out to be very difficult to keep lighted. It was cold in those days.

    Preppy 101 on February 14, 2010 9:07 PM:

    Lovely video. Thank you for sharing this. I’m partial to anything from the ’50’s :-).
    Wonder what Hayes Jenkins would think of Johnny Weir.

    art zich on February 14, 2010 9:31 PM:

    what prompted this film? it’s a perfectly silly rendition of the carnival we knew, but any remembrance awakens memory slots that remind us of how it really was. good on’ya, flint!

    i see bill miles, but the guy beside him is wearing a white sweater with a green D. that’s a three-sport athlete. who is he?


    Bill Miles on February 14, 2010 9:52 PM:

    Art– It’s Bob Black

    Walker Peterson on February 14, 2010 9:59 PM:

    I remember the ’54 Carnival because my girlfriend came all the way from the University of Wisconsin in Madison to attend. Never saw this film before or ever heard of it, but it’s fun to watch. Winter Carnival was Dartmouth’s premiere house party weekend and I presume it still is. Also a kind of mini Winter Olympics with hockey games, and ski jumping, but no sliding sports.

    ATrueGolfer on February 14, 2010 10:33 PM:

    I’ve told numerous friends about your prior post regarding the Dartmouth Outing Club. Love the follow up. Btw, Nick, your comment is hilarious.

    Russell Cooper-Mead on February 14, 2010 10:55 PM:

    “Dartmouth Undying” is the most beautiful college song ever written. And if only we had some of that innocence (or was it ignorance?) back.

    Chris '10 on February 14, 2010 11:33 PM:

    Carnival just happened this past weekend. Great time. Finally got to do the polar bear swim. No more ski jump though, I think it has been deemed too dangerous.

    Andrew 06 on February 15, 2010 2:50 AM:

    Warms my heart to see this post almost completely dominated by Dartmouth alumni!

    abe '56 on February 15, 2010 8:56 AM:

    It is great to be reminded of those dear old days. There is much pleasure also in the continuing fellowship that it spawned, as well as the great contributions to scholarship, education, and local-to-global community for which Dartmouth is currently providing leadership. The Glee Club brought tears. Thanks, Flint.

    abe '56 on February 15, 2010 9:07 AM:

    After posting my comment, I bounced around the ACL website for a bit, and it made me wonder what governed the choice of that venue to park the Carnival clip. It uses Flickr I noticed and apparently is a production of GQ.

    Tim Fohl '56 on February 15, 2010 9:46 AM:

    Dartmouth was fun then. I hope it still is. I helped put on those ski events. There weren’t any helicopters to haul snow, just DOC slaves AND the ski team.

    The reason there is no ski jumping is not because of danger. It actually was the safest of the four events. As I understand it the UNH coach sucker punched the jumping community by getting the NCAA to drop it as a sport. He was tired of paying Norwegians to bolster his team. It amazes me that the US even has ski jumpers let alone such good ones.

    don sokol on February 15, 2010 9:50 AM:

    Brings back fond memories. Believe it or not I ski better now then I skied in 1954!! Due to advanced years I ski for free at most ski resorts.now!!
    Don Sokol Classs of 1956.

    dart54 on February 15, 2010 11:08 AM:

    Interesting film, but for the record, it is not the 1954 Winter Carnival. Check ther Aegis.

    Bill Miles on February 15, 2010 11:23 AM:

    It’s probably 1955.But that’s close enough for c.1954

    Josiah Stevenson on February 15, 2010 11:34 AM:

    My wife of 52 years and I were there. What great nostalgia. Two points re: the skiing: 1) Chick Igaya ’57, Olympic medal winner, was not an “exchange student,” as Mel Allen says, but a full time student. Dartmouth gave him an honoray degree a couple of years ago on top of the A.B. he earned in ’57; and 2) Note the slight improvement in ski technique in our 2010 Gold Medal winner, Hannah Kearney, who hails from Norwich VT, right across the river from Dartmouth and graduated from Hanover HS. Joe’57

    Jessica T on February 16, 2010 2:47 AM:

    This is fantastic! Is there anywhere I can download this from? I am a recent D grad and want to hang onto this for the nostalgia. It’s really strange to see the same buildings I know and love surrounded by young women in 50’s haircuts….

    Bill Crate '56 on February 16, 2010 10:52 AM:

    Dartmouth Undying brought a tear. Looking back we seemed so innocent then and Miles you probably are still a dork :)

    Jerry Greenfield on February 18, 2010 2:56 PM:

    I recall having one of those blind dates. After a day, I sold her to a friend for $20.

    My wife (then girlfriend) wouldn’t come for Winter Carnival from Los Angeles. Her mother actually encouraged her to come. We were married a couple of years later, and finally came to Winter Carnival when I was a student at Tuck and we lived at Sachem Village.

    Those were great times!

    Excellent Joe on February 19, 2010 1:27 AM:

    As an 1988 Dartmouth graduate, I always got the sense that Winter Carnival was another way to muster up a little fun during the bleak winter months in New Hampshire. My fraternity would hold a now defunct keg jumping on ice competition for charity. It was amazing how much entertainment could be extracted from a dozen empty kegs and a few guys in hockey skates fueled by several pints of liquid courage.

    Frank Gado on February 19, 2010 11:06 AM:

    The fact checker obviously was asleep when it came to identifying the figure on the Inn sign. No resemblance to any portrait of Eleazor I’ve ever seen.

    Hey Nick, like bad pizza, bad sex was better than no sex at all. My date, imported from NJ, wouldn’t even give me a kiss.

    If you have just watched the Olympics figure skating: Doesn’t Hayes Jenkins’ spin look anemic?

    Anna '06 on February 19, 2010 12:14 PM:

    This clip is wonderful. When I was at Dartmouth the whole film was shown once in Dartmouth Hall during Winter Carnival weekend. I love Dartmouth and Winter Carnival!

    Amy on February 19, 2010 5:42 PM:

    This video is really nice, and it’s great to see that Winter Carnival was so much fun. I’m a current student, and unfortunately, most students find Winter Carnival to the most underwhelming big weekend. Green Key seems to be the most exciting by far. At lot of students use the long weekend off to travel home, or to see friends.

    Stuart Clark, '58 on February 20, 2010 1:38 PM:

    This is pretty corny but sure brings back memories. Just to dispel any doubt, this is definitely 1955. I hapen to have a ’55 Aegis and on page 17 is a photo of Nanook on the whale. I happen to be one of the figures silhouetted in the foreground in this picture. The other is my date from Smith, a very sophisticated young woman who was not amused by my nerdiness. Not a great time in that regard.

    John Sconzo '81 on February 21, 2010 12:52 PM:

    I was just back at Winter Carnival visiting my son, who is a student there now. Alas, Carnival is but a shell of its former self. Last year’s was no better. The only sculpture was an anemic one in the middle of the green. Of course, a lack of snow didn’t help, but that didn’t hinder us in 1980. Some old traditions may fail and we are none the worse. Not so for this one, too bad. It is nice to see again what WC was once like, albeit highly romanticized.

    John Rogers on February 23, 2010 11:01 AM:

    Wonderful to see. Lots of pix of Oak Hill (largely unchanged when I was there) and (I think) the ski way without the lodge. Notice that the girls wear high heels. The glee club serenading the girls in Mass. hall (I think). Bittersweet because it reminds me of my age. For at least the first couple of years, the Dartmouth in the newsreel was practically identical when I was there in 1961-65. Imagine the shock when I moved to Greenwich Village, flower power, LSD, early Bob Dylan and so on just a couple of years later!

    Bill Grigsby '56 on March 6, 2010 10:13 PM:

    I see Bill Webb (an SAE and ’56) in several views of the Glee Club with his plaid jacket and as tall as he was (and is) he looms above most of the singers in many of the shots. I also think Noel Sankey was on the far right end of the front line of the Glee Club shot. Many nice memories from those times.

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