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From the Argives: Massive Water Fight Strikes Clark Hall 50 Years Ago Tonight

“The Argus was also cited as a possible instigator for suggesting to one freshman early in the evening that a riot would be useful for filling up extra space in its pages.”

If you’re in Clark tonight, take a minute and pour out a water bottle on the north stairwell. Maybe pour out a whole handle of water. It’s the least you can do to commemorate the ferocious water fight that raged in the dorm on the night of Sunday, September 30, 1962—50 years ago tonight.

According to a story on the front page of the October 2 Argus, the commotion began around 10:30, shortly after President Kennedy’s address concluded on television, when “hoots and gobbles flung from the upper floors of Clark were met with blasts from record players and sirens.” Twenty minutes later, about 75 freshmen banded together and began the historic Siege of Clark as upperclassmen cheered from the library terrace. (Note that Clark only years later became an all-frosh dorm.) Meanwhile, a dean of students “watched grimly as Jim Dooney ’63 tried to comfort him with remarks to the effect that ‘it can’t last much longer,’ as water, wastebaskets, soggy toilet paper, and foul screams continued to rock the sandstone walls of Clark Hall.”