David Pryor, the then-future U.S. senator, as he looked in the 1957 Razorback yearbook. Pryor's first race for office on the UA campus was nonpartisan, so to speak.
Casanova's Big Night
Among the many contests cooked up by The Traveler over the years, perhaps the most culturally insignificant in its entire history was the Campus Casanova contest, a competition sponsored in cooperation with Bob Hope to publicize his latest movie, “Casanova’s Big Night.”
Male students on campus were nominated by residential groups for the title of Campus Casanova, and women on campus voted for their favorite. The Traveler reported that Ladies Day voting gave the bragging rights to a young fraternity member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon:
This boy has got all Arkansas gals getting out their track shoes and practicing the 100 yd. dash. To even have a class with him the weaker sex would schedule six 8 o’clocks and a four o’clock on Friday afternoon.
Let’s face it men. This boy has got you outclassed. He won by a slight margin of double his nearest opponent.”
The boy, in this case, was David Pryor, elected easily from a field of 13 candidates. Pryor, who later wrote some analysis and editorials for The Traveler, published the Ouachita County Citizen after graduation, although journalism would not be his lifelong calling.
By coincidence, Hodding Carter III was editing a newspaper in Greenville, Mississippi, in the late 1950s. He later recalled talking to a good friend, Richard Arnold, who was going to run for the state House of Representatives across the river in Arkansas.
Carter asked Arnold if he had any competition in the race. Arnold replied that that was why he had called: the only other person seeking the office was some weekly editor from Camden. Carter and Arnold had a good laugh at the idea, but the unknown competitor had the last laugh.
The weekly editor was Pryor, who won the House seat and began a long political career in Arkansas, during which he also served as governor and U.S. senator. Today, Pryor is dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.
The Arkansas Traveler, March 25, 1954.
Hodding Carter III. Conversation during dinner April 7, 2005, at Fayetteville, Ark., after Carter gave the Roy Reed Lecture at the UA Alumni House.