BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Dozens of half-naked US Naval Academy freshmen, known as plebs, gathered around a 21-foot-tall obelisk covered in lard in Annapolis on Monday. Her goal: climb the slippery monument and put a hat on it to mark the end of her first year at the institution.
The Herndon Climb is a Naval Academy tradition dating back to the 1950’s. The memorial is named for Commander William Lewis Herndon, who lost his ship in a hurricane in 1857.
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The plebeians work together to remove the “Dixie Cup” hat from the top of the obelisk and replace it with an upper class hat. But 200 pounds of lard makes the climb a bit difficult.
That’s a nail biter! The Herndon Monument Climb is a tradition for the People’s Year at the Naval Academy
— Cristina Mendez (@CrisMendezTV) May 23, 2022
The fastest recorded Herndon Climb time was one minute and 30 seconds in 1972 when no grease was used. The longest recorded time was in 1998 in four hours and five minutes when the Dixie cup was glued and taped.
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This class took three hours and 27 minutes to reach their destination.
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Fourth-class midshipman Nick McGowan of Iowa was the 20-year-old who eventually put the upperclassman’s hat on the memorial. His family congratulated him on this achievement.
https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/05/23/u-s-naval-academy-plebes-cap-first-year-with-herndon-climb/ US Naval Academy Plebes crowns first year with Herndon Climb – CBS Baltimore