The Victory Bell Tradition

Since the first football game on Thanksgiving day of 1888 (we won 16-0), there has been a fierce football rivalry between Duke and UNC. Duke was the dominant team during the Wallace Wade and Bill Murray years, while UNC led in the days of Charlie “Choo-Choo” Justice and in recent years.

The rivalry has not always been civil. In order to foster friendly relations and to eliminate vandalism between the two, Duke and UNC student governments created the victory bell tradition in 1948. That same year, Duke introduced a new fight song, “Fight, Fight Blue Devils,” which includes the refrain, “Carolina Goodnight.”

The problem persisted and, in 1954, Duke and UNC agreed to expel any vandals found on either campus in response to graffiti painted on the Duke campus by UNC students.

The UNC mascot, Ramses, has also been a favorite target of Duke students. In 1977, the bighorn ram was kidnapped and the following note left in his place: “Please understand that this action was consummated in the healthy atmosphere of intercollegiate competition and rivalry and was undertaken with the principles of sportsmanship in mind.”

The rivalry and cooperation between the Duke and UNC is well documented in the University Archives. Tomorrow’s game will add another chapter to our history of friendly competition!

Post contributed by Tim Pyatt, University Archivist and Associate Director of the RBMSCL




Related posts:

2 thoughts on “The Victory Bell Tradition”

Comments are closed.