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University of Minnesota

Kathryn A. Martin Library

The Bulldog’s Tail: Earning its pedigree since 1933

A history of the University of Minnesota Duluth mascot

Using the Archives during COVID-19

The UMD Archives is currently closed, but we can answer questions by email and phone, and provide a limited number of scans of requested research materials. Please let us know if you are a current UMD student, staff, or faculty member who needs archival materials for a class or work related project as we will prioritize those requests. 

During June 2021, the UMD Archives will be unable to respond to most research requests because the staff will be focusing on a collections maintenance project. We are sorry for the inconvenience to researchers and look forward to working with you again soon. 

Questions? Contact us at libarchives@d.umn.edu or 218-726-8526.

Please contribute to the Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archive Project.

The Green and the Gold

Lyrics to "The Green and The Gold." Text reads: "Now to Duluth State Teachers College, / To our teams we sing; / May they bring us greater fame, / May their praises ever ring / U-Rah! Rah! / For they are fighting, driving, ever-striving / For D. S. T. C. / Here's to the Green and the Gold, / Here's to Victory!" Lyrics are credited to Robert Johnson and Robert Thompson.

 

 

When intercollegiate athletics began at Duluth State Teachers College in 1929, the athletes were simply referred to as the Green and Gold or the Green Wave after the original college colors. The teams were also informally nicknamed the Peds, short for pedagogues, an antiquated term for teachers.

Right: “The Green and The Gold,” written by Robert Johnson and Robert Thompso

The Peds

Newspaper headline that reads "Duluth Peds Score Victory Over St. Cloud"Newspaper headline that reads: "Zenith City Peds To Wind Up Cage Season Against Winona Quint. Last Home Game of Season Lost To Moorhead Teachers By 47-31 Count."Newspaper headline that reads: "Duluth Peds Maintain Cage Supremacy Over Junior College Quint. Sharpshooting of Mike Enrico Gives Teachers 29-24 Triumph."

These headlines from the February 21, 1933, Fortnightly Chronicle (predecessor to the Statesman) refer to the DSTC basketball team as the Peds.

John “Jack” O’Hehir

Newspaper article titled "Will Lead Peds" with photograph of Jack O'Hehir

 

 

Legend says UMD’s current athletic nickname arose because football players thought their teammate, John “Jack” O’Hehir, resembled a bulldog. One issue of the Fortnightly Chronicle called him Jawhn, a nod to his bulldoggish head. The spring football team decided to officially call themselves the Bulldogs, a name that first appeared in the Fortnightly Chronicle on May 3, 1933.

 

Left: Jowly Jack O’Hehir inspired our canine monicker. This photo is from an undated Duluth News-Tribune article.

The Bulldog Faces a Challenge

Some students wanted to send the UMD Bulldog to the pound in 1956. They seemingly grew tired of the nickname and sought one with a stronger connection to northeast Minnesota. Falcons, Norsemen, Voyageurs, and Zeniths were other suggestions. The secretary of the Rocky Mountain Siberian Husky Breeders Association somehow got wind of the situation and wrote a letter to the editor of the Statesman in support of calling UMD athletic teams the Huskies. He even offered to send a Siberian husky as a mascot. However, students overwhelmingly voted to retain the Bulldog in 1957.

Contact Us:

Email: libarchives@d.umn.edu

Phone: (218) 726-8526

Location: Kathryn A. Martin Library
Library Annex 202 (see map)