'Streak' record set 4 decades ago today, in Athens - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

'Streak' record set 4 decades ago today, in Athens

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The Facebook/Twitter generation is likely to respond with: '???' to a short-lived phenomenon that was prevalent in the early 1970's. Young people, mostly college students would strip off their duds, and run naked through towns and campuses.

Wikipedia defines streaking as:  the act of running naked through a public place as a prank, a dare or an act of protest.

And on this date in 1974, the world record 'mass streak' was set on the campus of the University of Georgia, when an estimated 1,500+ streakers took off running in the buff in multiple 'streaks.'

A WALB eyewitness, though not a participant, says that one of the first was in the Myers Hall quadrangle, in the vicinity of several girls' dorms. Playboy even got in on the act, and brought in several 'Bunnies' to participate.

The most memorable was likely one that produced numerous arrests and tear gas from police in the high-rise dorms along Baxter Avenue.

Another  WALB eyewitness, also not a participant, says that Darton State, then Albany Junior College, got in on the streaking craze in a small way as well, with a couple of streakers, smacking professors with pies in the face for good measure.

The culprits ducked into a getaway car and made a clean escape before the law knew what was up.  They wore ski masks, but certain physical features led to widespread suspicion of one streaker's identity, and his connection to a powerful political family. 

Albany has another connection to the fad, with a hit record called 'The Streak' written and performed by Albany High alumnus Ray Stevens, then known as Ray Ragsdale. The song went to the top of the Billboard chart in 1974.

So stay classy Darton, and especially UGA;  your record still stands!

 

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