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University of Texas anthem premiers in Austin

May
12
1903

On this day in 1903, "The Eyes of Texas" was first sung. The performance took place at a minstrel show benefiting the University of Texas track team at the Hancock Opera House in Austin. The ditty soon became the official song of the University of Texas, and is even considered by some a sort of unofficial state song. (Such enthusiasts are rare at College Station.) William L. Prather, an alumnus of Washington College (Lexington, Virginia) and president of UT from 1899 to 1905, had often in his student days heard Robert E. Lee, then president of Washington College, say to students, "The eyes of the South are upon you." Prather altered the saying for use at UT.

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