The History of Homecoming

By Mirabella Booth

Homecoming is an American tradition. Plastered throughout our media and along the halls, one might ask: How did homecoming come to be?

Homecoming started on college campuses as a celebration of the first football game of the season. During which, alumni would return to their alma maters for the game. Early homecomings date back to the turn of the century. The origin of the first homecoming is unknown but a few schools have claimed to have started homecoming.

The University of Missouri claims to be the inventor of homecoming in 1911 after Director of Athletics Chester L. Brewer decided to invite alumni back to the annual game against their rivals, the University of Kansas. To build up hype, he decided to include a parade and spirit rally, a now integral part of homecoming celebrations.

Baylor University also claims to have held the first homecoming in 1909. Jeopardy recognizes Mizzou as homecoming’s progenitor. The University of Illinois dates it’s festivities back to 1910.

Homecoming eventually spread into high schools. Since integrating into high schools, new traditions have become a part of homecoming festivities such as a parade with floats, the football game, a dance, and the election of a homecoming queen.

The festivities of homecoming are ever changing but the purpose of homecoming will always remain concrete: bringing people back together.