The first issue ever of The Gamecock came out on Jan. 30, 1908. Theodore Roosevelt was president, Oklahoma had just joined the union, and the Ford Model T was about to debut. The paper was just four pages, and was largely devoted to the happenings of the large fraternities on campus, although it also contained a fair amount of poetry.
Since then, the paper has gone from monthly to weekly to daily, and back down to twice weekly — and lost the poetry, for better or worse. At the same time, the university has gone from less than 400 students to over 30,000. But while it’s been 109 years, the headlines are surprisingly similar — the top stories in that first publication were about the football team and a resigning professor. Other early headlines, such as ones about racial tensions, are unfortunately still all too relevant.
As I look through our archives, the history of the university is interspersed with national and international events, chronicling the participation of USC students in both world wars. Other articles, such as the election of the first African-American student body president, are small parts of larger stories. It's strange to think of the large legacy of the editors before me, who faced the same difficulties of choosing what to publish and balancing the paper with academics. They dealt with everything from tragedies on campus and student protests to record-breaking sports teams.
So as the paper celebrates another year and we look at how far we’ve come, I wonder what is published under my time that people will look back at as significant. I hope that The Daily Gamecock will have another 109 years to come, although it will undoubtedly look completely different from what it does today.
And as a last note, here's an acrostic poem that was published in that first issue. It's certainly still relatable.