Competing Claims Cloud Stakes for First Homecoming
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Spirit-filled students and reminiscing alumni by the thousands will descend on Missouri in October to celebrate the first collegiate homecoming 100 years ago. Sort of.
Tigers faithful have spent decades claiming the campus tradition began with former football coach Chester Brewer's invitation for graduates to "come home" back in 1911.
But Illinois began its annual alumni event one year earlier, in 1910. And Baylor held its first homecoming in 1909, although it would take six years for the event's return.
Other schools held homecoming-like events even earlier but without the traditional rivalry football game, bonfires, parades and other homecoming hallmarks.
Harvard and Yale boast the oldest college football rivalry. But the Boston-area school's first homecoming didn't happen until 2009.