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1940 in Clemson History
The Class of 1940
Events in 1940
- New post office is constructed at the foot of Bowman Field below the YMCA, to a Works Projects Administration design. It will be purchased by the university in 1973 and named Mell Hall.
- New Field House is completed. Stone cast relief of the 1940 Cotton Bowl team by A. Wolfe Davidson decorates the exterior.
- Hugh H. McGarity graduates from the University of Georgia with a Bachelors of Music. In 1946 he will be hired by Clemson as he receives his Masters from Georgia to serve as associate professor of music.
- Clemson's official class ring design is adopted and was designed by a group of architecture students. The ring is copyrighted so that only Clemson alumni can wear it.
- January: An oil trade agreement between the United States and Japan expires and the U.S. declines to extend it. Japan has previously imported 80 percent of its oil supplies from the U.S. or U.S. territories.
- January 1: Clemson's first bowl appearance. The 8-1 Tigers, coached by Jess Neely, upset the favored Boston College Eagles in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, 6-3.
- January 10: Jess Neely resigns as athletic director and football coach to take head coach position at Rice University.
- January 11: Legendary Clemson Football coach Frank Howard takes over the reins.
- The Amphitheater is constructed, a gift of the Class of 1915. Additional funding from the Depression-era Works Projects Administration (WPA) helps complete the project.
- January 23: Temperatures in the Upstate fall below zero, the coldest temperatures since 1836, as far as records showed, and snow falls that remains for several days.
- February 18: The Intercollegiate Broadcasting System is founded at Brown University. WSBF will join the system in 1958.
- April 28: Clemson Life Trustee and former United States Senator A. Frank Lever dies at "Seven Oaks" in Lexington County, South Carolina.
- June 1: The Amphitheater is officially presented to the college by the Class of 1915.
- July 1: President Enoch Walter Sikes retires from the university and assumes the title of president emeritus, living in the Clemson community until his death on January 8, 1941.
- August 14: Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative is organized on this date. The cooperative starts operations with 1,680 customers inherited from the old South Carolina Rural Electrification Authority. At the time Blue Ridge was established, only 2 percent of South Carolina farms had central-station power, verses 100 percent today.
- Fall: College enrollment stands at 2,300 for the 1940-1941 year.
- September 1: Banks McFadden signs one-year contract with Brooklyn Dodgers professional football team and leads the NFL in yards per carry in the 1940 season, but preferring Clemson to Brooklyn he returns to South Carolina at the end of the contract. McFadden is also the highest NFL draft pick in Clemson history, number four in the 1940 bids. In 2007, Gaines Adams ties McFadden for draft pick position when Tampa Bay selects Adams fourth in the first round.
- September 21: For the fifth year in a row, the Presbyterian Blue Stockings are blanked for the Tigers, 38-0, in a roadtrip this season. Seven thousand fans watch the game, played at Johnson Field in Clinton, paying homage to Coach Walter Johnson's silver jubilee.
- September 27: Future Clemson President Archie Max Lennon is born in Columbus County, North Carolina. In Berlin, Germany, the Tripartite Pact is signed by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan, the Axis powers.
- September 28: First home game yields 26-0 win over Wofford.
- October 5: The Tigers play N.C. State in Charlotte, win, 26-7.
- October 6: The Gamma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega is founded at Clemson University (then Clemson College) in Holtzendorff Hall.
- October 12: Clemson shuts out Wake Forest, 39-0, on Riggs Field. The Demon Deacons never get closer to the Clemson goal than the 40-yard line.
- October 24: The 13th-ranked Tigers defeat South Carolina, 21-13, in Columbia for the 38th annual "State Fair Classic."
- November 2: Clemson takes its number 10 ranking to Tulane but loses both it, and the game, 0-13. Some 35,000 watch as Clemson's 13-game winning streak is snapped.
- November 9: Tigers road trip to the Tigers. Auburn wins their Homecoming game, 7-21.
- November 16: Clemson ties the Southwestern College Lynx, 12-12, in Memphis, Tennessee.
- November 23: The Tigers defeat the Furman Purple Hurricane, 13-7, in Sirrine Stadium in Greenville to wrap 6-2-1 season, 4-0 in Southern Conference, for first place.