“Buffet Lunches Will Be Served During Holiday.” The Tar Heel, November 27, 1919. https://goo.gl/ZRGZZR.

For this assignment, I chose a [Daily] Tar Heel article written on November 27th, 1919, titled, “Buffet Lunches will be Served During Holiday.” With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I was curious to see the contrast between current on-campus food traditions and those during 1900-1919 (Food and Social Reform in the Progressive Era).

This article describes the day-of Thanksgiving events for campus, including a Thanksgiving day football game versus the University of Virginia at Emerson field and supper at Swain Hall and the University Inn.1 While conducting research, I found that prior to the construction of Kenan Stadium in 1927, Emerson field was the football field located where the Pit currently stands.2 Despite the fact that there is no longer an Emerson field, Swain Hall can still be found on the upper quad at McCorkle Place. Built in 1913 and originally functioned as a dining hall from 1914 to 1940, Swain Hall had the ability to “accommodate between 460 and 500 at its fullest capacity.”3 Although there is no attendance documentation from the 1919 Thanksgiving meal, there was plenty of space for the students to come and go throughout the entirety of the day.

The [Daily] Tar Heel article describes the event as being an all-day extravaganza, “Buffet lunches and coffee will be served the entire day, to enable the filling of as many ways as possible.. ..and everyone will be charged for what they eat on Thanksgiving.”4 Although the students had to pay to participate, something not required today, I believe the article expresses the desire to engage in comradery with peers by remaining on campus for a meaningful holiday meal. Finally, this article helps us understand the food habits on UNC’s campus when accommodating students that stayed for the holidays.


Signed: Bethany Gass



[1] “1919 UNC Football Schedule.” Tar Heel Times. https://goo.gl/iz3Ea7.

[2] Graham, Nicholas. 2016. “A Brief History of the Pit.” History on the Hill. January 12, 2016. https://goo.gl/1UFRqr.

[3] Oliver, Kimberly. n.d. “Swain Hall.” Names in Brick and Stone: Histories from UNC’s Built Landscape. https://goo.gl/GBam6L.

[4] “Buffet Lunches Will Be Served During Holiday.” The Tar Heel, November 27, 1919. https://goo.gl/ZRGZZR.