Office of Oral History

Bob Olson
Bob Olson, during his oral history interview, South Caroliniana Library, 2011

Olson 1926
Bob Olson (right), riding with his older brother, George, Jr., at their childhood home (now Lieber College), 1927

Bob Olson Oral History Interview

Robert S. "Bob" Olson, born July 29, 1925, recalls childhood memories of the USC campus in the 1930s and 1940s. He grew up in faculty housing on the historic Horseshoe --- what is now Lieber College. His father, George E. Olson, became Dean of the School of Commerce in 1920.

In the interview he describes football traditions at USC, including a story of the USC-Clemson rivalry; the physical buildings and layout of the campus; his father's establishment of the first uniformed band at USC and instrument storage in their home; Bob's childhood experiences on campus; the chapel story; University High School; the Popeye and Olive Oyl story; the Carolina Clemson story; the night watchman story; pigeons, rabbits and a goldfish pond on campus; WWII, Navy, and ROTC program; V6 and V12 naval programs; Columbia Product Peanut Company; rabbit tobacco; the Great Depression story; McMaster School; and the Professor Jackson story.