The CCC Marathon
Every year, the Campus Community Carnival drew upon the pent-up energies of students, as they faced the closing weeks of the academic year and final exams. It also raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity over four decades.
By 1960, the event was "the third largest carnival of its type in the United States, and the largest on the eastern seaboard," reported The Connecticut Daily Campus, as UConn's student newspaper was known at that time.
WHUS joined in after moving to the new Student Union Building in 1952, with an annual marathon that attracted pledges from students. In 1953, the marathon ran nearly 45 hours and raised $423.29; in 1961, the pledges, ranging from 25 cents to $25, amounted to $1,375 from an 81-hour marathon.
Dave Millson and Terry Miller at the 1961 CCC Marathon.
By the early 1960s, the Marathon worked this way: student disc jockeys played an annoying record called The Gong Gong Song (you're listening to it now) for its use of off-key bangs and gongs in the chorus. Students would phone in to get that song off the air and have their request played instead, all for a pledge toward the carnival charities. When there were no pledges, the Gong Gong Song was played over and over (like it is now), with the DJs urging listeners to make a pledge and get the song off the air. (You can do it by clicking the stop or pause button on the bottom of this page)
Robert J doing his Afternoon Soiree from the north lounge of the Student Union at 4:57PM on April 28,1964 during a CCC Marathon.
The 1964 CCC Marathon ran from April 27 to April 30 for eighty (not eight) and one-half hours
Stunts like this were an integral part of CCC Marathons in the early 60s
The radio marathon and the carnival may have been victims of their own success, as well as of changing student attitudes. The 1972 event raised a record $19,000 that year, well above the goal of $12,000. The total was fueled by a record $8,669 from the WHUS marathon, which ran for 85 hours. By that year, the carnival had raised more than $165,000 for charity since it began. The next year, only $16,227 of a $20,000 goal was raised and interest in the annual event began to wane. By 1978, only the WHUS radio marathon was held and in 1979, a walkathon raised about $1,000. After more than 40 years, the Campus Community Carnival slipped into history.