During the early hours of February 11, 1931, male students living in five fraternity houses on the U-M campus received unexpected guests–police officers who searched every room for alcohol.
Coming just before the annual “J-Hop,” one of the biggest parties of the year, the raids turned up around fifty bottles of whiskey, gin, and wine. Nearly eighty students were arrested, including the captain of the football team, the president of the student council, and the sports editor of the Michigan Daily.
The age of the kids didn’t matter: eighty years ago, the country was still in the grip of Prohibition. But afterward, some of the arrested students claimed they were treated unfairly during the raid. Perhaps prodded by prominent parents, the state legislature investigated.
Legislators concluded that the police were “overzealous” and employed “questionable methods,” but agreed with the penalties imposed: the students were placed on probation, and the fraternities were shut down for the rest of the school year.
While the raids surely dampened the fun at the J-Hop, no permanent harm was done: all five frats reopened the following autumn and remain active to this day.