Hall of Famer
"The Cornell ColorsThe Cornell colors were actually established on the University's Inauguration Day on Oct. 7, 1868. The account from Morris Bishop's A History of Cornell follows:
At sunrise on Inauguration Day, said the New York Times envoy, 'from all the hills poured forth delightful music, and every few minutes the thunder of artillery from the eastern hills responded to the booming of cannon from a lofty eminence on the west side of town.' Students and citizens thronged to Library Hall, which was tastefully decorated with marble vases of flowers and a large cross covered with moss, entwined with myrtle. One the side wall, the motto of the new university was blazoned in evergreen letters, and behind the speakers the illustrious names of CORNELL and WHITE appeared in large white letters against artistically draped red flannel, on which stars cut out of silver paper were pinned at pleasing intervals. Thus, entirely unintentionally, the Cornell colors were established for all time, on the first Cornell banner.
Although the Cornell football team was defeated 12-6 in the 1898 Thanksgiving Day game by the University of Pennsylvania, the Big Red made quite an impression that day.
The team's colors impressed Herberton L. Williams, comptroller and general manager of Campbell Soup Co., who attended that game in Philadelphia.
The story is that Williams was impressed by the brilliance of Cornell's red and white uniforms and later insisted that the company adopt those colors for the labels on its cans. The company's original colors were black and orange. The new colors began appearing in 1899.
That decision has been a lasting one. There has been little change in the design of the basic labels and no change in their color since then."