Who Really Did Invent Homecoming?

In time for Northern Illinois University’s 116th Homecoming, learn the history behind one of the nation’s longest-running alumni gatherings in the country.

Mike Korcek, NIU’s sports information director emeritus, not only will touch on the legacy of the Huskies’ homecoming, but such celebrations nationally, at 12 p.m. on Sunday, September 24 at the Glidden Homestead, 921 W. Lincoln Highway in DeKalb.
Joseph F. Glidden notably donated 64 acres of his own land in the 1890s for the building of the Northern Illinois State Normal School, now known as NIU.

Korcek started investigating this topic when he learned that the University of Illinois-
Urbana Champaign claimed to have invented homecoming on a national basis in 1910, even though NIU’s version began seven years earlier. His homecoming topic was a two-decade crusade. He will share the stories, research, background, and personal irony behind “Who Really Did Invent Homecoming?” He will also cite the seven schools in America with the oldest homecomings.

Korcek, 75, has covered sports for over 50 years with stops at the Mount Prospect News (1965-67), The Northern Star (1966-69), European Stars & Stripes (1971-73), and as a columnist at the DeKalb Daily Chronicle (2008-21). A 1970 NIU journalism grad and a U.S. Army vet, Korcek spent nearly four decades in the NIU office of sports information (1969-70, 1973-2009), with 22 as director. The Mount Prospect, IL, native was inducted into the media wing of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (1999) and NIU Athletics Hall of Fame (2003). In 1998, Korcek was honored as the Donald R. Grubb NIU Journalism Alumnus of the Year.

Admission to the program is $5, and free for Homestead members. Admission includes a tour of the Glidden Homestead and blacksmithing demonstrations. Proceeds from the program support the Homestead.

The Glidden Homestead is open every Sunday from 12-4 PM for tours of the historic homestead where Joseph F. Glidden created “The Winner” barbed wire, one of the most widely-used types of barbed wire that helped change the history of the American West, and the world. The Phineas Vaughan Blacksmith Shop will provide demonstrations of the blacksmithing craft to visitors.
The J.F. Glidden Homestead & Historical Center in DeKalb is a not-for-profit organization working to preserve the home and barn, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places, while providing educational opportunities to the public. For more information, call 815-756-7904, visit www.gliddenhomestead.org or visit J.F. Glidden Homestead & Historical Center on Facebook.

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