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In 1904, Purdue University seniors began a tradition of wearing — and later elaborately decorating — yellow corduroy pants, a practice that lasted for more than 60 years.

According to information from Purdue Libraries Archives and Special Collections, in the fall of 1904, some Purdue seniors noticed a bolt of corn colored corduroy fabric displayed in the window of Taylor Steffen Co., a tailor on Main Street in Lafayette.

The tradition evolved to include decorating the cords with lettering and drawings symbolizing the seniors’ fraternities, sororities, clubs, majors, home states, and other aspects of their lives. The original tradition is believed to have lasted until at least the early 1970s.