Chronicling/An ongoing series highlighting University of Pittsburgh History

Issue Date: 
October 15, 2007

Oct. 13, 1952—Oakland erupted in chaos after students walked out of classrooms, blocking traffic and banging on pots and pans to make noise.
Was it a political demonstration? No. Students were happily (but noisily) celebrating the Pitt Panthers’ 22-19 victory over Notre Dame two days earlier. It was the first time the football team had defeated the “Fighting Irish” since 1937.

University officials asked students to limit the Monday-morning celebration to just one hour, but jubilant underclassmen had a hard time containing themselves, according to The New York Times. “More than 1,000 swarmed over the campus, organizing impromptu bands with trays and cutlery borrowed from the school cafeteria, and snake-danced into the Oakland district,” the Times reported. “Later the crowds bottled up traffic in Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle.”

Though hardly dignified, the crowds behaved themselves, and no injuries or arrests were reported. It would be exactly eight more Octobers before the next impromptu celebration in Pittsburgh, when crowds swarmed the streets after the Pirates defeated the Yankees in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.