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Students declared a holiday when Mike I arrived at the Ole War Skule

Posted in Special Collections

October 21, 80 years ago, Mike I arrived on the LSU campus to much fanfare and revelry.  Students declared a holiday, and buglers who were stationed around campus sounded reveille at 5:45 a.m.

Mike the Tiger and Trainer

Mike in his temporary cage with W.G. “Hickey” Higginbotham, one of the students who led the fundraising effort

Roadblocks were set up, and professors and students who were carrying books were barred from campus. At 6:00 a.m., a parade led by the Cadet Band began through campus and lasted most of the morning.  At noon, students entered the stadium to get their first glimpse of Mike.  The festivities ended at 9:30 p.m. with a dance held at the Gym-Armory (now the Cox Academic Center for Athletes).

1937 - No Profs No School (002)

A group of students at one of the roadblocks

Mike was purchased from the Little Rock, Arkansas Zoo for $750, which was raised through student contributions.  He was named for athletic trainer Mike Donohue, who had helped facilitate the tiger’s purchase.

For more information on Mike I and his successors, see Mike the Tiger: The Roar of LSU by David Baker.  Dr. Baker has been the primary veterinarian for Mike the Tiger since 1996.



Information sources:  The Reveille; Mike and Higginbotham, LSU Photograph Collection; students at roadblock, Gumbo 1937.    

Posted in Special Collections
2 comments on “Students declared a holiday when Mike I arrived at the Ole War Skule
  1. carol ann thompson says:

    I am enjoying seeing all the pictures of Baton Rouge, LSU and Mike the Tiger.

  2. Lucia Butler says:

    My mother was an LSU student at that time. I grew up hearing about the arrival of Mike and the campus being closed down.

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