Cheerleading originated at Princeton University in the 1880s with the first organised yell "RAY RAY RAY! TIGER TIGER TIGER! SIS SIS SIS! BOOM BOOM BOOM! Aaaaah Princeton!"as a way to promote school spirit at football games. In 1984, Princeton graduate Thomas Peebles introduced the idea of organized crowd chanting to the University of Minnesota, but it was not until 1898 that University of Minnesota student Johnny Campbell stood in front of the crowd, and directed them in a chant, making Campbell the very first cheerleader. Soon after that, the University of Minnesota organized a "yell leader" squad of six male students.
Although it is estimated that 97% of today's cheerleading participants are female, cheerleading started out as an all-male activity. Females started to participate in cheerleading in the 1920s, due to limited availability of female collegiate sports. This is also when gymnastics and tumbling were incorporated into the cheers, the University of Minnesota was first to do this. By the 1930s and 40s, it was a largely female activity in high schools and Universities. Pom poms were incorporated into the routines and the rest is history!