Blogs > Cliopatria > The Innocent Birth of the Spring Bacchanal

Mar 20, 2006 8:15 pm

The Innocent Birth of the Spring Bacchanal

SPRING break now sprawls across international borders, with students either welcomed as free-spenders or shunned for being little more than drunken mobs.

It seems to have started out innocently enough. The Colgate University swim coach worried that his 1934-35 team might get out of shape during Christmas break. A student’s father, who lived in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., suggested the team train at a big new pool in the city.

So they did. As the first Northerners to swim there, the group was warmly welcomed. Word started to spread among college students that the city was great to visit in winter and, eventually, spring.

Decades of cultural upheaval later, with unruly hordes numbering in the hundreds of thousands, the popularity of “Fort Liquordale” had become a huge annual headache.

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