Fact or Fiction?

Fact or Fiction:

Winthrop Students were not always permitted to go home for the Christmas Holidays.

Christmas Tree Lighting on Winthrop's Campus - ca. 1958
Christmas Tree Lighting on Winthrop’s Campus – ca. 1958

Fact:

From 1895 to 1907 students were given just one day for Christmas break and were only allowed to go home if there was a death in the family. This policy was in place to save parents extra railroad fare and “to prevent the serious demoralization of the College work always consequent upon the breaking up of the school within three months after the opening of sessions.” Winthrop students resented this restriction and in 1906 petitioned the Board of Trustees with pleading letters from parents, but were turned down as Benjamin Tillman, a prominent board member, adamantly opposed it. The Winthrop students then appealed to the state legislature and despite Benjamin Tillman’s continued opposition, the state legislature passed a bill 20 to 17 in 1907 that stated all state college students must have at least ten days holiday.

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