The Millersville University we’ve all grown to love is actually nowhere close to the Millersville that students in the 1920s attended. Of course, there were updates in technology and staffing since then, but the fundamental structure of the university has changed over time too. Initially, Millersville was known as the Lancaster County Normal School; only five years later is was renamed the Millersville State Normal School.
The Snapper made its debut in 1925. Also in 1925, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald was published, Mussolini became dictator of Italy, and New York City became the largest city in the world. Two years later, Millersville became a teaching university, and remained that way until 1959.
During The Snapper’s first 20 years, it went through many changes. The Snapper change from a pamphlet format to something resembling a current newspaper. The logo changed various times, and even something as fundamental of its name has been changed (albeit only once) since its inception. The Snapper was originally called The Tipster.
The 1920s to the 1940s were known as “The Silent Generation,” due to the fact that fewer children were conceived during these times. Millersville University only had one president change during this time period–Charles H. Gordinier left in 1929, and Landis Tanger succeeded him. The Great Depression occurred in the late 1920s, and it’s on record that President Tanger fought hard to make sure that Millersville didn’t go under during the depression. While many schools and businesses had lost everything they had, Millersville managed to stay afloat.
The look of The Snapper in its early years appeared to be dependent upon who was editor in chief at the time. Some years had section editors, while some years had only the editor in chief, business manager and assistant editor listed, filing the rest under “editorial staff,” “staff writers” and “business staff.” Some years had the students pay for a subscription, while some offered it for free. In addition, some years had papers distributed weekly, while some were distributed monthly.
One thing is for sure, The Snapper had evolved a lot in that short span of time. In the first 20 years, The Snapper saw a vast rotation of staff, two university presidents, a school name change, several format changes and the adoption of the name The Snapper. Without the actions of those crafty and thoughtful individuals, The Snapper would not have reached its 90th anniversary.