One of the most well-known pranks in University of Wisconsin-Madison history began early on the morning of September 4, 1979. The Pail and Shovel Party, which ran UW's student government at the time, planted 1,008 plastic pink flamingos on Bascom Hill in front of the dean’s office and in doing so made the pink flamingo a legend in the Madison area. This photograph shows student Joan O’Donnell taking a snack break on Bascom Hill on that very morning.
Since the initial appearance of the pink flamingos, they have become a point of pride in the Madison area. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has used them as a way to motivate alumni gifts through their annual Share the Wonderful Campaign and the Madison City Council has even designated the plastic pink flamingo as the official city bird. It may not fly or be native to the area, but this plastic pink bird has definitely made a home in Madison.
Don’t miss this and other interesting historical moments in the hardcover book, Madison in Focus.