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Hats off to Stanford: An exhibit on the Junior Plug Ugly

Hats of to Stanford: An Exhibit on the Junior Plug Ugly

Hats off to Stanford: An exhibit on the Junior Plug Ugly, will be on display this summer in Green Library's Bender Room.

The exhibit explores the rise and fall of one of the university's earliest lost traditions: the Junior Plug Ugly. Named after the "Plug Uglies," a ruthless gang operating along the Atlantic seaboard around the time of the American Civil War, the Plug Ugly was an annual satirical performance started in 1898 that showcased the hand-painted top hats uniformly worn by members of the Junior Class during this period. The performance devolved over the course of two decades into a bloody interclass brawl, until the Administration finally banned the event from ever again taking place on the Stanford campus.

This exhibit features reproductions of photographs and other archival materials from the University Archives, as well as a large selection of original hand-painted plug hats from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, perhaps the largest such selection ever publicly displayed at Stanford.

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