"No-Tsu-Oh", The Houston festival that was so bad, it was banned

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image ktrk"><span>KTRK</span></div><span class="caption-text">"King Nottoc" (Cotton backwards) (Houston Public Library)</span></div>
It was called No-Tsu-Oh, "Houston" spelled backwards, a festival designed to bring people to Houston and show off the city's deep water channel and promote the city as a hub of agriculture.

But the week-long festival, marked by drunkenness, soon drew the ire of some city leaders.

After a critical newspaper commentary and the advent of World War I, the short-live festival saw its demise.

No-Tsu-Oh, was a Mardi-Gras style festival, with a "backwards' theme.

Men dressed as women.

The symbolic leader of the carnival was "King Nottoc", "cotton" spelled backwards. There was also "King Retaw", "water" spelled backwards, and the city's African-American community celebrated "De-Ro-Loc", "Colored" spelled backwards.

Some of Houston's most famous citizens served as "King Nottoc", including John Henry Kirby, Jesse H. Jones, and William T. Carter.

One the highlights of the festival was a football game between the University of Texas and the Mechanical College of Texas (Texas A & M).

The Aggies played the Longhorns in Houston, from 1914 through 1917.

The festival started in 1899 but was suspended after the outbreak of World War I and never returned.

Special thanks to the Houston Metropolitan Research Center of the Houston Public Library
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