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On this day in 1898, a medical student at the University of Minnesota became the first cheerleader. College teams had pep clubs and fight songs prior to 1898, but after his school’s football team had suffered a three-game losing streak, Johnny Campbell took the radical step of grabbing a megaphone and running down onto the field. Once there, he turned to the crowd and led them in a rousing cheer: “Rah, Rah, Rah! Ski-U-Mah! Hoo-Rah! Hoo-Rah! Varsity! Varsity! Minn-e-so-ta!” Minnesota won the game, and thus began the tradition of on-field cheerleading.
Interestingly, cheerleading remained primarily a male endeavor until the 1940s. As college students, U.S. Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush led cheers at their respective schools. Only when the male student body became depleted because of World War II did cheerleading squads become primarily female (1).
Today’s Challenge: Pep Talk
What single motivational quotation do you find the most uplifting and encouraging? Why is the quotation so motivating? Just as cheerleaders use pre-packaged cheers to motivate the crowd, writers often integrate quotations from other writers into their work. Write a brief pep talk based on the motivational quotation that you find the most uplifting and encouraging. Go beyond just the writer’s quotation by explaining why you find it so motivational and how you are encouraged by the quotation. (Common Core Writing 2 – Expository)
1-Being a Cheerleader – History of Cheerleading. Varsity.com. 20 Oct. 2014. http://www.varsity.com/event/1261/being-a-cheerleader-history.