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 Pasadena, CA, 4/19/2006

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Caltech has blast with cannon

PASADENA - Caltech students fired a celebratory blast Tuesday from the Fleming cannon to mark its return from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Undergraduates at MIT had poached the cannon as a prank three weeks ago. It was reclaimed April 10 by 23 students and seven alumni from Fleming House, who traveled to Cambridge, Mass., and rolled the roughly 2-ton cannon - festooned with a mock MIT class ring - onto a flatbed truck for the trip back to Pasadena.

The Caltech team left a tiny replica in its place on the MIT campus.

For most of the past 34 years, the 130-year-old cannon sat in front of the Fleming House.

The latest stunt marked a resurgence of cross-country jousting between the elite schools.

Last year, Caltech students went to Cambridge


and handed out carefully folded MIT T-shirts to prospective students that, unbeknownst to the recipients, said on the back: "Because not everyone can go to Caltech."

The cannon's trip to Massachusetts was the second time the relic was moved from Caltech. Twenty years ago, Harvey Mudd College undergraduate students managed to spirit it away to Claremont.

The cannon is set to be fired again today after a meeting of Caltech's Board of Trustees.

- From staff and wire reports


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