a college tradition dating to the 1840's on the campus
of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. originally part of a "canon scrap" ritual
in which freshmen were
charged with firing the small canon and sophomores
with foiling the effort, the canon has fallen into obscurity and legend within the last century.
the scrap exercise ended in 1916 for safety concerns, reemerged for one year in 1923 and appeared finished when
the canon was filled
with lead and mounted to a pedestal between South College and the campus chapel
on College Row.
26 years later, though, on the night of march 12, 1957, students stole the canon from its pedestal and began
the canon's long journey around the world. it was presented to the Soviet Union as a symbol of peace, to President Richard Nixon
in DC as a protest
to the Vietnam War and to the managing editor of Life Magazine in New York in 1967. all efforts were clandestine
and unauthorized by the university, at least in word.
since, the canon has made a series of brief appearances on campus
, usually related to presidential inaugurations or significant reunions. more
often, however, it travels the world in the hands
of a secret society (or, perhaps, several
secret societies) which tell of the canon's adventures
through cryptic letters, postcards and pictures.
the Douglas Canon's current whereabouts