Some people might guess that MU's tiger symbol is based on the University's black and gold school colors. Although the stripes on turn of the century athletic socks and sweaters may have reminded people of this animal, the tiger mascot actually dates from the Civil War era.
When MU organized its first football team during the 1890s, it needed a name. Team organizers recalled an incident from the Civil War. Legend has it that guerilla soldiers under the command of the notorious Bill Anderson were set to raid Columbia, Missouri. Residents heard about the plan and put together an armed guard, built a blockhouse and fortified the old courthouse. In an attempt to intimidate the army, they called themselves the Missouri Tigers. Word spread of their preparedness and Anderson's guerillas never invaded Columbia. The football team adopted the name in honor of the Civil War defenders. As an added plus, tigers are also known to be symbols of good luck!
Various mascot costumes were worn by students over the years, but on September 12, 1986, Truman the Tiger made his first official appearance. Named by students after President Harry S Truman, a Missouri native, Truman the Tiger proudly represents his teams and his university in true Mizzou spirit.