- Associated Press - Monday, May 19, 2014

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A U.S. Naval Academy student from Mississippi has capped the Herndon Monument in a traditional event.

Michael Landry of Southaven, Mississippi, placed a midshipman’s hat on top of the 21-foot obelisk. The academy says it took 2 hours, 19 minutes and 32 seconds to replace the first-year student’s “dixie cup” hat with a midshipman’s cover. Students form a human pyramid to help classmates climb the lard-covered monument.

Students who are in their first year at the academy take part in the climb, which marks an end to their “plebe” year.

The annual event began in 1940. The symbolic placement of the cap on the monument’s tip began seven years later. In 1949, upperclassmen began smearing lard on the monument to make the climb more challenging.

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