Legend has it that the tradition of the Panty Raid began on the night of March 21, 1952 at the University of Michigan, when about 600 male students stormed the women’s dormitory confiscating their lingerie.
Soon male college students across the country began to participate in this custom. After achieving their goal, the raiders would parade around the entrance of the dormitory boastfully holding up the “stolen goods.” Some students went to extremes to accomplish their mission.
One group, from the University of Miami, actually tore down a large wire fence to access the women’s dormitory. It was not uncommon for women to exact their revenge. Five-hundred women from the University of Michigan snuck into the men’s dormitory and stole the boxer shorts and “tighty whities” of their enemy. Soon after, the men of Georgetown University were invaded by a horde of young women in search of underwear.
Although the panty raids were seemingly harmless, some more serious students felt it disrupted their studies. Others felt that their privacy had been invaded, and the police were called in on several accounts. Despite complaints, panty raids continued on throughout the 1950s. The practice finally seemed to die out with the 1960s. It has been speculated that panty raids lost their thrill with the onset of the sexual revolution.