Gov. Stitt issues proclamation recognizing 100th anniversary of Pistol Pete
Friday, October 27, 2023
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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has proclaimed Oct. 28, 2023, as the 100th anniversary of Pistol Pete.
This comes as Oklahoma State University celebrates the 100-year anniversary of Frank Eaton’s first appearance in Stillwater’s Armistice Day parade in 1923. The Year of the Cowboy campaign kicked off this fall and will continue into 2024 with a slate of events and commemorative celebrations in honor of Eaton and the beloved mascot he inspired.
The governor’s proclamation coincides with America’s Greatest Homecoming, which also carries “The Year of the Cowboy” theme and celebrates all things Pete, as well as all the students and alumni who have added to and carried on the legacy.
According to the governor’s proclamation, Pete is modeled after Frank Boardman Eaton, a former cowboy, gunslinger, scout, trail rider and rumored deputy U.S. Marshal under Isaac Parker.
After seeing Eaton lead the 1923 Armistice Day parade in Stillwater, a group of students from then Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College asked permission to use his “Pistol Pete” persona as the symbol representing what they believed to be the true spirit of their school.
Eaton relished his role as the original Cowboy. He was a regular fixture on campus as well as at athletic events. After his death in 1958 at age 97, “Pistol Pete” was made the official mascot of OSU. Since then, 96 men have stepped forward to carry on the “cowboy spirit” tradition and legacy. He is now arguably one of the nation’s most recognized college mascots.