The History of the Texas Homecoming Mum
We've already established that Homecoming Mums have gotten a little out of control, but how did we get here?
How did a single flower blossom into the Texas-sized mammoths that they are now?
It began with a corsage. A simple chrysanthemum, a hearty fall flower, backing and ribbons. At some point, the real flowers were replaced with silk so that the mums could be kept as a keepsake.
According to the film, the first gathering of alumni, or homecoming, has been traced back to 1909 at Baylor University. The Texas tradition began in the 40's as a fundraiser for a fraternity, and was a smash. It grew into a college tradition, that in the 1980's from college to high schools.
This documentary film explores the tradition of mums and the monstrosities that they have become today. You'll learn some mums and garters are produced by florists and some schools produce them as as fundraisers. Parents produce them, and sell them to raise money for the school. One school in the video made $31,000 in profit.
I'm amazed at how this tradition has grown, and yet it seems to be a Texas tradition. There is now a homecoming mum industry. There are stores that sell the wholesale supplies to make the mum, and it operates as a year-round business.
Jennifer Horst created this documentary in partial fulfillment for the Master of Fine Arts degree in Radio, Television and Film at the University of North Texas.
Video Credit: MUM-A-MIA! The History of a Texas Tradition (2007) from Jennifer Horst on Vimeo.