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1939 in Clemson History

The Class of 1939

Notable Alumni

Events in 1939

  • Clemson Spineless Okra, a hybridized variety, is developed at the main station of the South Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station and subsequently virtually replaces the spiny types.
  • Construction of Sirrine Hall begins.
  • Barracks No. 8 is completed.
  • After five years in existence, IPTAY abandons the secret ritual aspect of the organization's character and becomes an open operation.
  • Led by All-American player Banks McFadden, Clemson wins its first conference basketball championship.
  • Company C of the Fourth Regiment is founded at Clemson University by the authority of National Headquarters, Pershing Rifles.
  • The Country Gentleman begins roaming the football sidelines, a nickname conferred on the Tigers by Greenville News sports writer and editor Carter "Scoop" Latimer.
  • "Under the stimulus of the stepped-up flying program, the Clemson Flying Cadets were organized in 1939. Only juniors and seniors holding private pilot licenses are eligible for membership. This club was the first of its kind on the campus. The boys have interesting twice-monthly meetings." (TAPS, 1943, page 389.)
  • January 31: The newly constructed Oconee County Hospital in Seneca admits its first patient. ("The Heritage of Oconee County, Vol. 1, 1868-1995, The Blue Ridge Arts Council, Seneca, South Carolina, 1995, Library of Congress card number 95-61417, page 23.)
  • March 28: Clemson Agricultural College Business Manager J. C. Littlejohn writes to David J. Watson, spokesman for the Class of 1915, to inform him that the Board of Trustees has approved their proposal to erect a bandstand on campus with funds collected by the class, the design and location to be approved by the board.
  • May 4: Governor Olin D. Johnston signs the South Carolina Rural Electric Cooperative Act, 1939 (41) 240, Title No. 173, into law, advancing the electrification of rural South Carolina.
  • Czech artist Alfons Maria Mucha, born July 24, 1860, passes away July 14, 1939). One of his graphics of a damsel with a mug of beer will be acid-etched into the windows of the future Study Hall. Works by this artist are not yet in the public domain, and are protected by international copyright law until 70 years after the creator's death, so this website cannot upload an image of the windows at this time. Whether the Study Hall requested permission to use the image for their logo remains unknown at this time.
  • September 1: Germany invades Poland, beginning the Second World War (although the 1931 invasion of Manchuria and the start of the second Sino-Japanese war in 1937 are cited as alternate start dates.)
  • September 23: For the fourth straight year, Clemson opens the home football season by denying Presbyterian any points. This year, it is a 16-0 outcome.
  • September 30: Banks McFadden sets Clemson punting record in a 6-7 loss to Tulane in New Orleans, with six kicks over 50 yards. Tulane will go 8-1-1.
  • October 7: In a match played in Charlotte, North Carolina, Clemson defeats N.C. State, 25-6.
  • October 19: The Tigers blank the Gamecocks, 27-0, in Columbia.
  • October 28: Clemson defeats Navy, 15-7, on the road.
  • November 3: In a night game played in Washington, D.C., the Tigers defeat George Washington, 13-6.
  • November 11: The Tigers beat Wake Forest on Riggs Field, 20-7.
  • November 13: Clemson appears in the Associated Press football rankings for the first time after defeating Wake Forest 20-7, upping the season record to 6-1.
  • November 18: The 16th-ranked Tigers defeat the Southwestern College Lynx, 21-6, in a road game at Memphis, Tennessee.
  • November 25: 15th-ranked Clemson wraps up 9-1 regular season with a 14-3 win over Furman in Sirrine Stadium in Greenville. Tigers are 4-0 in the Southern Conference, for 2nd place.
  • December: Construction begins on the outdoor theatre.
  • December 8: Clemson's 1939 Football Team accepts its first postseason bowl bid to appear in the Cotton Bowl on New Years Day, 1940.
  • December 9: The Department of Agriculture and Clemson Agricultural College entered into a cooperative and license agreement for lands in the Clemson Experimental Forest.
  • December 11: Clemson ranked twelfth in the final Associated Press poll, the Tigers' first ever appearance in a post-regular season AP ranking.
  • December 15: Banks McFadden named first team All-American by Associated Press and third team selection by United Press. He is the first Clemson player honored by the AP. He also repeats his 1938 basketball All-American status.

1938 The 1930's 1940