Ladies of Leap Day

We all know that when you think of Leap Day, you think of this graphic that recently circulated on Facebook: 366 days

Here at the Special Collections and University Archives, we have another reaction:success kid

That’s right, another day of the year means another day of The Diamondback!

One hundred years ago today, the M.A.C. Weekly, a predecessor of The Diamondback student newspaper, was abuzz with gossip about an age-old Leap Year tradition. Customs rooted in British folklore held that Leap Day was the one day of the year when well-to-do women could propose to men. Today, a woman proposing to a man is not unheard of – but in 1916 it was taboo and still considered “unfeminine,” even on Leap Day. Please enjoy the ladies’ humorous take on Leap Day traditions, including a recipe for disaster and a poem proclaiming “Go to it girls! now’s your chance…”!

(right-click images to open in new tabs)

Ladies, do you plan to honor tradition and snatch up your men today like the female students from exactly a century ago? What do you think about this custom on campus? Let us know in the comments!

Graduate assistant Jen Wachtel stumbled upon these gems on microfilm in the Leap Day issue of the M.A.C. Weekly as part of the #digiDBK project. We’re looking forward to digitizing all issues of The Diamondback and making them searchable online, thanks to generous donors and our successful LaunchUMD campaign. This post is the third in a series of important and interesting stories from the Diamondback Digitization project. Check back twice a month for future installments!

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