Winter Carnival, 1930s-1960s

Dartmouth College Winter Carnival 1930s-1960s: Selected Scenes

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A selection of scenes taken during winter carnival events from the 1930s to the 1960s. Winter Carnival dates back to 1911 and is the nation's oldest collegiate winter celebration. Still a major social and athletics event at Dartmouth College, the carnival is a celebration of winter activities, and each year features a large snow sculpture on the Dartmouth College Green in Hanover, New Hampshire. These selected scenes include ski-jumping, downhill and cross-country skiing, figure skating, snow sculptures, the Carnival Queen competition, the Dartmouth Glee Club singing, and other social and athletic events surrounding the Carnival weekend. See Library Catalog entry.



SPEAKER 1: Work on the statues has been completed. The judges consider the various sculptures for the Triple Prize, which consists of a keg of beer donated by the Dartmouth Outing Club, plus $50 with which to stage a celebration, and an entire month's supply of cigarettes for each man in the winning dormitory.




SPEAKER 1: Flowing into White River Junction from all directions come the dates, eager for the fun and beauty of the tradition-bound carnival which lies ahead. Into the crisp February air of our northern hills, they pour in droves, carefree to worry about the severity of the weather or about anything else. Winter Weekend is a time for relaxation and fun.

A fear of disaster rose just a few days before the carnival in the form of a freak premature thaw which threatened to ruin the hills and trails so carefully groomed for the occasion. The weather is always an important and unpredictable factor. The weather reverted to normal, however, in ample time to furnish the skiers with the best possible conditions.

Making the snow sculptures is a long and arduous enterprise, but a highly interesting one as well. Plans for the statues are made many weeks in advance of the carnival. And by the time construction is ready to begin, the designs have been drafted with care and infinite detail.

While considerable skill is required in planning the sculptures and the sculpturing itself, anyone and everyone, regardless of artistic tendencies, is welcome to work on the project. A keen interest in the undertaking quickly develops. The spirit of competition is enlivened as the workmen go about their task with the day of judgment in mind.


SPEAKER 2: Dartmouth Winter Carnival is the social event of the year. It's a huge party with hundreds of girls, two dozen or more dances, Christmas lights on Main Street, and professional newsmen crouching behind speed graphics and newsreel cameras.

Behind the glitter lie long hours of work. Mixing the snow to be molded onto the frame of the center campus statue is only one task of the carnival committee. It must also take charge of the publicity, competition, the ice show, entertainment, and many other responsibilities accompanying such a huge production.


SPEAKER 2: The hard core of Carnival, the kernel from which it grew, is the Winter Sports Competition. Competitive stating on Okam Pond, downhill racing on Moose Mountain, the arduous cross-country race, slalom on Oak Hill, and keen competition of the 40-meter jump are the events which draw some of the best collegiate contestants to Hanover each winter.


SPEAKER 3: But while various exams are being given, work gets underway outside on the campus for the two days of Winter Carnival which come every year. When Carnival first came into being back in 1911, its purpose was to get students out of the dorms and classrooms.

Fred Harris thought that the thrill of winter sports should also be experienced by every student. The first carnival was a local affair with no intercollegiate competition. Now it becomes a focal point of winter sports and activities for college students throughout the nation.

It is traditional for carnivals to have reigning queens. The Outing Club crowned its first queen back in 1928. The lucky dates chosen to compete for the honor run the gamut of judges, spectators, and photographers. The winner is in for a social whirl which will leave her breathless by the end of the weekend.

Beauty and personality conquer all. Even the other contestants and last year's winner, who presents the crown.

The cross-country race is as grueling a test as any sport has ever devised. The runner never fails to come home perspiring. The downhill race, with its torturous course through tree-lined trails, bring important points for the winning team.

SPEAKER 4: Welcome to the Dartmouth Winter Carnival. Each year here, they have a theme for the carnival, and this year it's a Swiss holiday. And the reason for this large gentleman behind me, who was Hanz, who's a rather congenial Swiss mountaineer, along with this rather large Saint Bernard dog here, Brandy. And Hanz stands 24 feet up in the air.

SPEAKER 5: And now it's my privilege and pleasure to present to you the Carnival Queen of the 1960 Dartmouth Winter Carnival, Ms. Suzanne Horney of Atherton, California, a freshman at Stanford University. Congratulations, Suzanne. And let me put this crown on your head.


SPEAKER 5: Is it on there? Congratulations.


SPEAKER 5: First Winter Carnival?


SPEAKER 5: I hope it won't be your last.

SUZANNE HORNEY: Oh, thank you.


Ho, a song by the fire, pass the pipes, pass the bowl. Ho, a song by the fire with a skoal, with a skoal. Ho, a song. Ho, a song. By the fire. By the fire. Pass the pipes. Pass the pipes with a skoal.

For the wolf-wind is wailing at the doorways, and the snow drifts deep along the road. And the ice gnomes are marching from their Norways. And the great white cold walks abroad.

Zum, zum, zum, zum, zum, zum, zum, zum. But here, by the fire, we defy frost and storm. Ha, ha, we are warm, and we have our heart's—

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