The naked history of National Outdoor Intercourse Day

Wanna make your professor blush? If they’ve been at EWU for more than 20 years, chances are an inquiry into their experience with National Outdoor Intercourse Day (NOID) might do the trick.

Known by many as the original Mayfest, NOID was an annual celebration which took place May 8 at various universities across the nation until the 1970s gave way to the ’80s.

Trying to track down any solid evidence of NOID’s origins is difficult at best, as most of those with first-hand information prove to be understandably tight lipped about their experiences.

One thing’s for sure – NOID sprung up sometime in the early ’60s, when inhibitions were low and there was still an easily defined “man” to stick it to. Professor of journalism Bill Stimpson, who graduated from EWU in 1969, said the event was taken about as seriously as April Fool’s Day by most people.

“My basic memory is that pretending there was actually such a day was a way to twit the establishment,” Stimpson said in an e-mail. “You have to remember that the average Eastern student in that era was 15-years-old, mentally. And the establishment was easier to twit. Also, in those days there was an establishment to twit.”

Another professor, who asked not to be named but who was a student at EWU in the late ’60s, spoke of the event in more reverent, albeit coy, terms. “Me and my buddies used to take our girlfriends and go out with a blanket and a picnic to shoot ground squirrels. Whatever happened, happened,” he said.

Dana Elder, Eastern professor and director of the honors program, said NOID was celebrated in a different fashion at the University of Washington, where he was an undergrad in the early 1970s. “This event may have been honored by some of a generation marching in the streets suggesting Americans ‘make love and not war,'” Elder said in an e-mail. “I have no knowledge of EWU students of that era.”

A quick Internet search reveals the “holiday” likely originated in the state of Washington, and at least one hazy source credits WSU’s Delta Tau Delta fraternity with furnishing the idea in 1960.

Dan Westley, a Delta Tau Delta member at WSU before graduating in 2005, said he’d unfortunately never heard of NOID. “I wish I would have known about this,” he said. “We could have really capitalized.”

Dave Hawthorne, WSU Delta Tau Delta member class of ’79, was unable to confirm or deny the rumor. “Not sure if we originated the tradition at the fraternity, but we certainly perpetuated it through the ’70s,” he said in an e-mail.

Hawthorne also offered up the cheer usually associated with NOID: “Hooray, Hooray for the 8th of May.”

Many of those asked about NOID said they thought it might be a modern-day take on an ancient Pagan ritual. In her book, “Ostara; Customs, Spells and Rituals for the Rites of Spring,” Edain McCoy notes, somewhat clinically, “This impulse to carouse in the spring is another of those genetic traits we inherited that especially affects the young of any species.”

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Easterner on May 6, or read it online.

About Mike Childress

Mike Childress currently serves the IT Application & Web Development team as a front-end developer specializing in UI/UX design, HTML5, CSS3 and the WordPress platform. More on Mike...

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