When Homecoming Gets Weird

Homecoming always has its festive traditions, from harmless pranks to crowning a queen to playing a football game in front of an entire community.

But the celebration isn't always predictable.

Sometimes, the bizarre unfolds during homecoming when you least expect it. Here are a few of the more unusual homecoming moments in the long and storied history of the event.

How Now, Homecoming Queen?

Her name was Maudine Ormsby, and for one weekend in 1926, she was the most popular girl at Ohio State University.

Nominated for homecoming queen by the school's College of Agriculture, Maudine benefited from disqualified candidates and an overall strange election process to be named Ohio State's queen that year.

The hitch? Maudine Ormsby was a cow.

Yes, OSU's distinguished list of royalty includes a Holstein cow that's now a charming part of homecoming lore (the only cow ever elected homecoming queen, according to OSU). According to The Ohio State Football Encyclopedia, More than 13,000 votes were cast for homecoming queen that year despite an enrollment of only 9,300 students. Members of the election committee were unable to unravel the mess and declared Maudine the winner.

As queens often do, Maudine the Cow was the centerpiece of Ohio State's homecoming parade that year. However, her fun ended there. As the OSU student newspaper The Latern later reported, "Eventually Maudine was barred from attending the dance because of her large size. Instead of bumping and grinding with the boys, Maudine was banished, spending her time in a barn."

According to the Encyclopedia, Maudine beat out human candidate Rosiland Morrison Strapp, who for years afterward joked about the unusual defeat. She even quipped that her epitaph should read "But for Maudine, here lies a queen."

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