By Claudia Romeo
Fifty years ago, Lyndon B. Johnson was president of the United States, a gallon of gas cost $0.30 and Beatlemania was sweeping the globe. These memories and more were shared by the WHS Class of ‘64 at its 50-year high school reunion last month, spurring Hi’s Eye to take a look at the evolution of WHS and its students since then
Even in 1964, seniors were afflicted by the notorious “senioritis,” one of the few things that hasn’t changed about WHS. Said Class of ‘64 Vice President Mr. James Bancroft: “Once we received our acceptances to college, [we stopped] paying attention in class. I remember [my classmates] being obsessed with The New York Times crossword puzzles, and they would work on them during class.”
Today’s unofficial “Senior Table” tradition that prohibits underclassmen from sitting at the table mimics the de facto “Senior Door” law in 1964 that banned underclassmen from using the front door, according to alum Mr. Lawrence Hunter Grant.
In addition, clothing styles have shifted over the past fifty years. While students dress casually today, in 1964 students had to abide by a strict dress code. Boys were required to wear collared shirts and girls had to wear conservative skirts or dresses. Alumna Ms. Kendra Cliver Daniel recalled a time when she was scolded for breaking the dress code: “My mother raised my skirt length to above the knee. I was called into the principal’s office and told it was unacceptable.”
Fifty years ago, the administration faced problems with students smoking on school grounds. According to Fiftieth Reunion Committee Organizer and alumna Ms. Victoria Hsu, girls would sneak into the parking lot during school or head to the bathroom for a smoke break. Recalled Hsu, “Our fierce female vice principal…would patrol the girls’ room during breaks while the gals would stand, hidden, on toilet seats, trying to squash out butts and blow away the nicotine smell.
Many alumni indicated that their years at WHS were memorable. “Our classmates remain fine examples of WHS’ traditions of excellence and high standards,” said Hsu, who noted that her fellow classmates still feel both honored and privileged to have attended our school.