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Can You Help Document The History Of 42 At Texas A&M?

Scot Walker '90 June 5, 2018 10:38 AM updated: June 21, 2018 11:35 AM

EDITOR'S NOTE: After this post and similar posts on The Association's social media channels, Paul Proft summarized the new information he gathered from the responses. Read his update at www.texas42.net/aggiefeedback.html.

Original post follows.

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The domino game 42 is an integral part of Aggie history and culture, known to anyone who frequented Northgate, even those who were not 42 players themselves. A historian of the game is trying to pin down when the game first made its way to Aggieland, and you may be able to help.

Paul Proft, a 42 expert and the owner of the 42-themed website texas42.net, has for years been trying to document when the game made its way to Texas A&M.

The game is and has long been popular at the College Station campus and has a rich history in Aggieland. For example, a set of "Official Lechner Hall 42 Rules" was created in the early 1990s. Untold millions of hands of 42 have played out on the battered wooden tables at the Dixie Chicken since it opened in 1974, but Proft has accounts of the game being played at A&M as far back as the 1960s. He suspects the game first made its way to Aggieland even earlier than that--and possibly much earlier.

42 was invented in Garner, Texas, in 1887, according to the generally accepted history of the game. That was just over a decade after Texas A&M opened its doors. There are reports of the game being played at Southwestern University in Georgetown as early in 1896. The game has always been particularly popular in Central Texas, and it was known to be introduced on campuses by students from rural areas who brought the game with them in the early years.

Proft seeks the help of the Aggie Network in establishing the history of 42 at A&M by responding to this simple question:

"What is your earliest recollection of the four-player trick-taking domino game being played on campus?" 

If you have information to contribute, you may do so in the comment section below, or you can email him directly at proft@texas42.net. As he noted in a comment below, if you have stories about Aggie parents or grandparents playing 42 at A&M, he'd like to hear those, too.

If you are a fan of the game, be sure to visit his website www.texas42.net for tons of information about its history, rules and rules variations, and much more.

Through generous gifts to The Association, we are able to be HERE for Aggies during their days as students and former students, THERE for Aggies as they make their way around the world and EVERYWHERE that the Aggie Network needs us to be. Visit tx.ag/give to make a gift.



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