You’re not the only UW graduate wondering about Bucky’s birthday. Jim Rinehart ’78, MS’84 of Lincoln, Neb., wrote: “I do all I can to keep up Wisconsin’s Big Red spirit. When is Bucky’s birthday? Seems it should be a holiday for the transplants out here!”
Get your party hats ready — our beloved badger’s birthday is indeed October 2. And the answer to your question, Tracy, goes all the way to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. According to the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Bucky’s likeness, created by artist Art Evans of Garden Grove, California, earned a copyright on October 2, 1940. Though most badgers are born in the spring, this one became officially recognized on October 2.
The question of Bucky’s birthday usually creates a bit of controversy. The badger started as the official UW mascot with the inception of intercollegiate football in 1889. During the 1940s, badger decals appeared in many different forms and names, including Bouncy, Buddy, Bernie and Bobby. In fall 1949, Buckingham U. Badger earned his official name and became a personified badger mascot.