History of the Hoosier


For well over a century and a half, the people of Indiana have been called Hoosiers. It is one of the oldest of state nicknames! You may have heard of an Indian Hoosier, but what exactly is a Hoosier and where did it come from? Hoosier defined is the official resident of the U.S. state of Indiana. The origin of the term remains a matter of debate within the state, but "Hoosier" was in general use by the 1840s, been popularized by Richmond resident John Finley's 1833 poem "The Hoosier's Nest". The definition of a Hoosier may broaden when you start thinking about Indiana University.

The mascots are ever-changing at IU and may still not be settled. In the 1920s, a Hoosier was a navy Billy Goat. In the 1930s, it was a collie dog. In the late 1950s, it was a bulldog, and in 1958, it was Theta Chi’s Bulldog Ox. Again, changing in October of 1965 by the student senate in which was a Bison to be IU’s new mascot, but as you can see this is not IU’s present-day mascot.

There were many hopes and ideas for the Bison to symbolize IU. Unfortunately, with challenges of creating an engaging image along with complications from the actual mascot costume, the Bison was laid to rest in 1969. The next attempt for a mascot was in 1979 “Mr. Hoosier pride”. The mascot consisted of a man with a red beard and a large cowboy hat. Mr. Hoosier Pride was retired after one season of football. At this point, many people began to request for the Bison to make a comeback. The debate is that the Bison symbolizes a Bison and not a Hoosier. Some say the tradition of not having a mascot allows us to take pride in our school. We are now and will always be Hoosier’s!

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