Whitney Hale

By

College: Libraries

Sesquicentennial Series: The Charge of the Broom Brigade

Published: Aug 31, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 31, 2012) In celebration of the University of Kentucky's upcoming sesquicentennial in 2015, the 21st of 150 weekly installments on the university remembers the institution's own broom brigade.    

 

Broom brigades were women’s organizations that spread throughout the United States during the 1880s. Mark Twain observed in his 1883 book "Life on the Mississippi" that "in the West and South they have a new institution — the Broom Brigade. It is composed of young ladies who dress in a uniform costume, and go through the infantry drill, with broom in place of musket." He described the broom brigade of New Orleans: "I saw them go through their complex manual with grace, spirit, and admirable precision. I saw them do everything which a human being can possibly do with a broom, except sweep."

 

The institution's broom brigade would drill with brooms as the cadets did with guns. In the post-Civil War era, military drill was a popular form of exercise, and judged drill competitions between rival college battalions was entertainment. It is speculated that in many broom brigades across the country, that it wasn’t the chance to play with guns that inspired the coeds as much as to get some exercise — and to be able to do the same thing that men were doing.

 

In an ad for The Broom Drill, Broom Brigade Tactics, for Exhibitions, Roller Rinks, Social Clubs and Church Entertainments the phenomenon is described as the most "novel, attractive and entertaining exhibition of graceful military movements, performed by young ladies….Easy to learn, and a profitable exercise."

 

Both domestic in nature, in their choice of using brooms, but also an expression of equality the broom brigades were an indication of the changing role of women in society.

 

This story on UK's history is presented by UK Special Collections. Special Collections is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press and the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center. The mission of Special Collections is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716 or whitney.hale@uky.edu

1888_broom_brigade.jpg
April
 
 
 
 
 
1
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Last day to withdraw from the University or reduce course load. Students can withdraw or reduce course load after this date only for “urgent non-academic reasons.”
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Last Day to Withdraw or Reduce Course Load
Fri
2
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Sat
3
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Book of Mormon Trip
Sun
4
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Edible Garden Workday
Stop and See The Sexperts
Graduate Student Congress Meeting (April)
Mon
5
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Tye Dye Tuesday
Use of Urban Forests to Improve Water Quality
Women of the World: Abby Wambach
Tue
6
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Stop and See The Sexperts
Free HIV Screenings
Ag Awareness Day: Horticulture Club Sale
Wed
7
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Last day for candidates for a May 2016 degree to schedule a final examination in the Graduate School
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Horticulture Club Cabin Fever Sale
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn - Letting Go of the Reins
Symposium of Food Systems Studies
Thu
8
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Deadline for applying for admission to the Graduate School for the 2016 Four-Week Summer Session
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Horticulture Club Cabin Fever Sale
Holi
Fri
9
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Volunteering 101
House Party
Sat
10
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Sun
11
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Innovation Seminar: Sustainable Transportation
Mon
12
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Kick Butts Day
Periscope with a Bike Mechanic (morning)
Periscope with a Bike Mechanic (afternoon)
Tye Dye And Papa Johns with Fusion
Tue
13
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
4th Annual Bike to Campus Day & On-the-Spot Safety Checks
Stop and See The Sexperts
Fusion Blitz Week Service Day
Wed
14
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Get Your DIY On! Fix-It Station Demonstrations
Fusion Game Night
Tour de Downtown Art
Thu
15
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
High Elevation Archaeological Research in the Northern Wind River Range, Wyoming
Fri
16
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Donut Tour on Two Wheels
PharmD Open House
PharmD Open House
UK Spring Family Reunion
Sat
17
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Sprint for Scholarships 5K
Sun
18
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Stop and See The Sexperts
Mon
19
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Creason Lecture
Tue
20
One + One
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Ping Pong Ball Drop
Wed
21
One + One
Last day for candidates for a May 2016 degree to sit for a final examination
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Wildcat Wrap-Up
Go 'Inside the Hit Factory' With Author, New Yorker Writer John Seabrook
Soup & Substance / Trending Topics
UK RSA Block Party
Thu
22
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Fri
23
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
UK Dance Ensemble Spring Concert
Sat
24
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
UK Dance Ensemble Spring Concert
Sun
25
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
Mon
26
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
Four-Week Intersession registration and add/drop continue for students enrolled in the 2016 Spring Semester
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Building a Rain Garden
Tue
27
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars
Wed
28
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Paws for Stress Relief
Some Intersections of Art and Science - A Public Lecture by Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek
Thu
29
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Last Day of Classes
Fri
30
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Oral Cancer Awareness 5K
ARBOR DAY at The Arboretum
Sat

Repeats every day on March, April, May every Sunday and every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday until Sun May 22 2016 .
Sun, 05/01/2016

Mon, 05/02/2016 - Fri, 05/06/2016

Mon, 05/02/2016

Repeats every day on March, April, May every Sunday and every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday until Sun May 22 2016 .
Tue, 05/03/2016

Repeats every day on March, April, May every Sunday and every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday until Sun May 22 2016 .
Wed, 05/04/2016

Reset Page