In the early part of the 20th century, a mid-semester visit home from college, even for an important holiday, may have been out of the question for many students. Transportation options were fewer, and the cost could be prohibitive for families already struggling to pay school fees.
So what to do for the students who remained on campus? At Farmington State Normal School–now the University of Maine, Farmington–it was a yearly tradition for students unable to go home for the Thanksgiving holiday to dress up as children and have a party.
Read much more about the early days of UMF–which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2014–in this exhibit from university staff and students, We Used to Be “Normal”: A History of Farmington State Normal School.