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Wearing of the Green and Purple

Meet an Irishman who was a big supporter of the Purple in the late 19th century

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March 15, 2010 | by Pat Vaughan Tremmel

Slide show produced by Kevin Leonard, University Archives

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Happy wearing of the green! Meet William O'Flaherty, an ardent supporter of the Purple, especially of Northwestern's athletic teams, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

"O," as he was known to friends and acquaintances, was the proprietor of a succession of Evanston restaurants that became popular student hangouts and the sites of raucous celebrations of Northwestern victories. During an era of unregulated wagering on athletic contests, O also achieved a reputation as a bookie of the first order. Despite his fondness for Northwestern, he didn't hesitate to place bets against the home team, taking advantage of bettors too passionate about the Purple to do the same.

To see more stories from Northwestern's past, visit the University Archives Web site: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives/news/