tigger1- thanks for checking into this further, I really appreciate it. I'll be looking for a response from you when you are able to get your information.
lsutigermall- Yes, that time period is consistant with this post I found by a Clemson fan who is looking for other evidence besides word of mouth just as tigger1 is doing.
here is the post I found earlier today while looking for the date the sign was put up:
(First of all let me say that I have a lot of respect for LSU football. So much so that my Dad and I are flying down for the LSU- ALABAMA game on November 3rd so we can experience a night game in Baton Rouge. I know we will not be dissapointed and I hope LSU wins.
Having said that, as Clemson fans dropping close to $2,000 for a LSU/Alabma college football game, I guess you could say we feel like we need something more to justify our expense. So we decided to look into the "Death Valley" debate between Clemson and LSU..... please keep reading.
Most of what is out there in the Sports Information Office (at LSU and Clemson) is really just oral history. Neither school has done a good job documenting the origin (other than quoting oral history).
So we have been on the hunt for PRINTED reference to the name Death Valley. I read on another LSU message board that the earliest reference to Death Valley (for LSU) that they could find was in 1965. I actually found an article from the Times Picayune on October 5th, 1961 about a matchup between LSU and Georgia Tech. The article references "Death Valley."
I know it's a hot debate in itself as to whether it was originally "Death Valley" or "Deaf Valley." So far, we have determined that (based on the aforementioned article and others from the 1960s) that it was originally "DEATH Valley." The student annual does reference "Deaf Valley" in the 1970s and it seems this is when the change from "Death" to "Deaf" occured, and then of course it changed back to "Death" later on.)
Seems we're getting closer to the '50s.. LOL
Who knows, maybe we WERE first- besides the Northeast school thsat tigger1 eludes to from 1914. Either way, we each have our own unique reasons for the name. noone copied anyone else...except for Clemson's getting Auburn's mascot and colors.. and the school was modeled after Mississippi St..
This post was edited on 12/13 at 6:23 pm