20 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by ignitebistro
Patch Instagram photo by ignitebistro
Patch Instagram photo by belladoraspa

For the Love of Yearbooks

Is it nostalgia? Is it because of Facebook? Is it to laugh at old hairstyles? Whatever the reason, the yearbooks in the Carlsbad History Room are well thumbed through.

For the Love of Yearbooks For the Love of Yearbooks For the Love of Yearbooks For the Love of Yearbooks For the Love of Yearbooks For the Love of Yearbooks For the Love of Yearbooks

The Carlsbad History Room yearbook collection contains yearbooks from Oceanside-Carlsbad Union High School (OCUHS), (LCC), the (A&N), , Carlsbad School (AKA Pine Avenue School) and a complete set of yearbooks (1958-2011).

The earliest yearbook in our collection is from Oceanside-Carlsbad Union High School, 1921. Their first yearbook was published in 1909. Carlsbad teens went there until February 1958, when our own Carlsbad High School opened. OCUHS was also attended by students from Vista, San Luis Rey, Cardiff, Rancho Santa Fe and Del Mar. The OCUHS yearbook was originally called the Green and White. By 1933, it was known as The Pirateer.

I love to share this yearbook with kids, teens, and other patrons because of how different it is from what we have come to know as a yearbook. It is a small, slim volume- 6.25”x 9”, and less than a ¼” thick! There is a lot of writing compared to how many photos there are (and they’re in B&W), and the senior class had just nine students! There were more sections with various types of writing: literary, humorous “faux” newspapers with the seniors as the subjects, poems, etc. They included a few pages of miscellaneous photos from the students during the year, including one from Senior Ditch-Day.

The editor of the 1921 issue writes that the two things the high school was badly in need of were a complete commercial course and “pep.” She writes that the only two business courses offered were bookkeeping and typing. She felt that a complete business or commercial course would be a popular addition to their school curriculum. Her discussion of pep was focused on the need for more athletics for the students, especially baseball. There were additional editors for the various sections of the yearbook, including a joke editor.

Like today’s yearbooks, these early yearbooks had advertising by local businesses in the back and many familiar yearbook sections, e.g. activities, organizations, etc. In the yearbooks from the 1920’s, the seniors listed where they were born, their ambitions, their nicknames (“dubbed”), their “besetting sin,” their characteristics and probable end. One fun local example was from Helen Schutte, granddaughter of the founding father of Carlsbad, Gerhard Schutte, who stated that her probable end was going to be “Homesickness for Carlsbad.”

The 1923 yearbook indicates that the following classes were available for the students: Latin, physics, history, English, Spanish, commercial courses, mathematics, and science. There were 106 students and six teachers, including the principal, who taught Latin and physics. The school calendar and club activities were also listed. They even had “bake sales” back then! The seniors, as in contemporary yearbooks, were treated to more distinctive photos. The lower classmen had only group photos. This year, the seniors kindly included a dictionary of terms for the freshmen, class of 1927:

High School - Institution founded for benefit of that species of humans called Students, but entirely unappreciated by said Species.

History - Inside information on royalty and other people.

Liberty Bell - This bell rings at 3:45.

Students - (pronounced “Stew-dints”, not “Stoo-dents”) Inmates of institution, confined in said institution until the brains of their ancestors begin to take effect.

Wisdom - We refer you to the Senior Class.

The 1924 yearbook stated that there were 130 students during the past school year, where the school had been built to accommodate fifty. However, there was a new science building built that school year, as well as a dressing room with showers, which was greatly appreciated by the “basket ball [sic] girls.” As shown in the three previous yearbooks, the senior class staged a senior class play. Each year, the senior class also wrote a “Class History” and each yearbook for 1921-1924 contained an alumni directory for previous years’ students back to 1909. In this year’s graduating seniors, Dorathy Culver, whose grandfather built the Twin Inns (now ) and the Capp House, etc.), indicated that her future held a position as the “Matron of Carlsbad Orphanage.”

Sports in the early high school years were virtually non-existent, as pointed out by the 1921 yearbook editor. They must not have been aware of the girls’ basketball team from 1909. However, after 1921, teams came back into being on a more consistent basis. Although, it appears that they didn’t always play inter-school games. Sometimes the teams played against other classes and grades at OCUHS, or in tournaments around the county. Playing against other schools was dependent on if they had teams, transportation, etc. In 1922, the yearbook showed boxing and track as two sports offered that year, in addition to baseball. By 1924, the yearbook contained photos of the boy’s and girls’ basketball teams and the boys’ and girls’ baseball teams. Interestingly, the girls’ baseball team was called “Girls’ Indoor”, a misnomer as it was explained that they actually played outside. In the same yearbook, the girls also had a “second” team for basketball, which was probably a junior varsity team.

Continuing their joke section of the yearbook, the 1924 yearbook featured the following witty repartee:

Freshman: “Pardon me, but I didn’t quite understand what you were saying.”

Soph: “I didn’t get you.”

Junior: “Whad ‘ja say?”

Senior: “Huh?”

After a gap in years, our next yearbook from the Oceanside-Carlsbad Union High School is from 1933. It is the first hardbound yearbook from the high school and is titled The Pirateer. Athletics had really developed by this yearbook with group portraits of two football teams, four basketball teams, track, boys’ and girls’ baseball, swimming, tennis (mixed), girls’ (field) hockey and girls’ basketball. There was also a Girls’ Athletic Association Club, encouraging athleticism, sportsmanship, and friendship among the girls. In the course offerings, Domestic Arts had been renamed Home Economics, a name that we are more familiar with.

In the 1933 OCUHS yearbook Society section, the dances were written about and Tiny’s Toe Teasers seemed to be the band of choice for many of them. There was a Scholarship Society, but the “highest honor organization” was the Alpha Crew. There was now a section for Evening High School staff, which offered courses for the “benefit of those adult individuals who desire extra scholastic training.”  The regular faculty photos show nineteen teachers, a principal and three vice-principals.

The 1934 yearbook for OCUHS was published as a softcover and includes really wonderful Asian inspired woodcut prints. In memoriam of the four students who died prior to publication, the yearbook staff included the following poem:

Your faces were forcibly turned

Toward the deep shadow of Death;

Though it yawned dark and empty,

You went, unafraid;

Though you were called

Before the flame of life was full-grown,

You went, unafraid.

Life was sweet to the last moment;

Yet in death

You still smiled, and said,

“I go, unafraid.”

Due to the Depression, the editor noted in the Foreword: “In spite of the necessity for rigid economy in school activities, the Staff…felt that an annual was necessary and good for the morale of our student body.” Unlike previous yearbooks and later ones, the 1934 yearbook did not include extra photos of students.

The yearbook showed that in 1934, there was a separate vice-principal for the boys and for the girls. By this time, there were enough students to warrant multiple teachers for each subject. It would still be awhile, 1950, for the OCUHS yearbook to show counselors and a department called Guidance. The 1934 Student Council was composed officers for the following areas: president, girls’ vice-president, boys’ vice-president, secretary, social activities, publicity, finance, girls’ welfare, boys’ welfare, and athletics. The calendar for the year included humorous comments on various important dates, e.g. March 16: “Freshman dance- Didn’t know the Freshies were so capable” and May 24: “Graduation- Brother, can you spare a dime?”

One can learn so much from yearbooks over the years. Like the fact that diplomas used to be called sheepskins…because that’s what they were printed on. “Four years of strife and struggle, joy and fun. The pupils of the class of ’34 have reached their goal-the attainment of their sheepskins.” However, some things don’t change or they come back…like favorite quotes from the seniors, which can be found in the 1934 yearbook and in contemporary Carlsbad High School yearbooks. In 1934, “Things that have a lovely quality ever quickly seek their kind” was the quote chose by Bonnie Darrough. It was surprising to see pictures of hazing in the 1946 and 1950 yearbooks. Their inclusion demonstrates the acceptability of that behavior at that time. In the 1953 yearbook, Twirp Day, sponsored by the Girls’ League, was described as a day where the girls carried the boys’ books, opened their lockers for them, tied their shoes, etc. This day culminated in a dance, paid for by the girls.

The state of girls’ sports using the yearbooks in our collection show changes that yield a whole new set of questions. One interesting change is that after the 1937 yearbook, the girls stopped playing baseball and began playing “Soft Ball”, although it was still referred to as baseball in the write-up. However, they were only able to play during school that year due to a lack of after-school transportation. The 1937 yearbook also included portraits of the girls’ volleyball and tennis teams; there wasn’t a boys’ tennis team.

The 1946 yearbook shows the girls’ Speedball and volleyball teams. These may have just been “in-school” teams; it isn’t clear in the yearbook. By 1951, the OCUHS yearbook athletics section states that “Although the girls do not compete with other schools, they too, display clean sport when the classes play against each other.” By the 1950’s girls were no longer on the tennis team. They were down to volleyball, speedball, and basketball (this might have just been PE classes, like in the 1957 yearbook). In the 1955 yearbook, there were no girls’ sports photos at all! In 1957, the “athletic” options for girls were: Song Leaders, Pom Pom Corps, JV Cheer Leaders, and Cheer Leaders. Even the 1961 yearbook shows no girls’ sports…and no girls on any teams-like tennis, track, or golf! The first time girls sports are again featured in the yearbook, is in 1974. The sports teams that year for girls were gymnastics, basketball (varsity and JV), tennis, and volleyball (varsity and JV).

Another favorite for sharing with patrons is the 1942 yearbook, Los Años, from the Carlsbad School. This was our only grammar for many years after the two early Carlsbad schools closed. It was certainly the first school in the format of education as we know it, i.e. more that the one-room schoolhouse. Interestingly though, the age range for the eighth graders was 13-16 years old. As a grammar school yearbook from the 40’s, there were no photos and it was stapled together with a construction paper cover. Reading through it and remembering the time period, WWII, it is very telling of the sensibilities of the young people in Carlsbad.

The Foreword, written by June McLaughlin, 8th grader:

Ours is the first class to graduate from the Carlsbad School while our country is at war. Therefore the emotions we feel at this time are different from those experienced by our predecessors. Graduations have always been joyous occasions, made joyous by the sheer effervescence of youth. Today ours will be a joyous graduation, but will be made joyous through the solemnity of our faith and hope for the future. We are joyous because we are courageous, and it is our fervent prayer that our footsteps will be guided in the direction of “Peace on Earth, Good Will toward Men”.

Although the 1942 and 1943 yearbooks don’t have photos, they are wonderful glimpses into Carlsbad history. Another stand-out related to the era, is the number of students, boys and girls who wanted to become aviators or aviatrices. The yearbook contains the usual “Wills” that many of us had in our yearbooks in more contemporary times. Before each student left their own personal effects, the class of ’42 bequeathed to the 7th graders their “superiority and polished manners, our good looks and studious habits, ----and everything else we didn’t have!” The yearbook had sections dedicated to the orchestra, Glee Club, school newspaper and the three theatrical productions performed that school year. The last two sections were reserved for the Girl and Boy Scout troops in Carlsbad. In addition to Carlsbad history, “younger” readers, i.e. those of us who went to school after the mid-1950’s, will notice a dramatic difference in the Pledge of Allegiance in 1942 and the Pledge that we grew up reciting:

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

“Under God” wasn’t in the Pledge until 1954. Before the words changed, there was another, equally dramatic change in the way the Pledge was recited. For information about that, read the history of the Pledge from the US District Court of West Virginia:  wvsd.uscourts.gov/outreach/Pledge.htm

As a farewell to the exiting students, the long-time principal, Walter Glines, wrote a section of the yearbook, “The Principal’s Challenge”:

“Many years ago certain Spanish coins bore the image of the Pillars of Hercules and the inscription, ‘Ne Plus Ultra’ which meant ‘no more beyond’. These two promontories were situated at the eastern end of the Straits of Gibraltar and were believed to mark the limits of westward navigation. It was commonly believed that if anyone sailed much farther westward he would drop off the edge of the earth. Eventually, Columbus discovered America and the Spanish authorities changed the inscription to read, ‘Plus Ultra’, eliminating the negative, ‘Ne’.

Ne Plus Ultra, no more beyond, used to be the conception of education. However, Plus Ultra, is the modern conception. We know there is ‘more beyond’ your present attainments. There are more opportunities in the world than ever before….yours will be the thrill and responsibility of helping to rebuild a whole new world.

When the cynicism of those who cry; ‘Ne Plus Ultra’ tries to draw your attention to the sordid and discouraging conditions of life, my challenge to you is to lift up your heads and look over the horizon, Plus Ultra! Plus Ultra!”

The following year, Mr. Glines’ message to the students prompted them to “strive to be worthy of the sacrifices our American boys are making. The next time we see the list of the dead and wounded, let us ask ourselves, ‘What have we done today for freedom?’ Let us choose a goal in life worthy of the sacrifices our service men are making.” The eighth grade teacher, Jean Walker, reminded the students that they “personify the future, and make it worth the fighting and living; so it is you, who must accept this responsibility of creating and constructing the Great American Dream. I know you are awake to this responsibility and are eager to face it with all the courage and faith exemplified in clean, strong American Youth….”

The 1943 yearbook shows a change in the ambitions of the students. Many more of them indicated that they wanted to join the military and the girls were overwhelmingly choosing nursing as a future ambition. This choice for the girls may be due to their options for military service at this time.  Aviatrix continued to be a popular choice with the girls and aviator for the boys.

Our earliest Army and Navy Academy yearbook, The Adjutant, is from 1937, which is the first yearbook for the school in Carlsbad. The school started in Pacific Beach. The yearbook cover says, “Located in Sunny Southern California at Beautiful Carlsbad-by-the-Sea”. The foreword includes the following eloquent statement, “Should this, our Year-book, revive one spark of friendship in a comrade’s heart, or brighten one fond memory of yesteryear, our efforts shall indeed, not have been in vain.”

Like the early OCUHS yearbooks, The A&N yearbook included each student’s birthplace, as well as their birthday. Faculty information is also given with respects to their education and former positions. They had a Boat Club, not surprising with their proximity to the water. The basketball team for the year was “Not outstanding nor versatile, but a scrappy bunch with all the fortitude anyone could ask for, this was the 1937 quintet.”

Tennis truly was a gentleman’s (and gentlewomen’s) sport in these earlier yearbooks. In the OCUHS yearbooks, the team (all girls) wore long skirts and blouses and in the A&N yearbook, the boys are all wearing cotton trousers and white oxford shirts. The A&N Academy also had a Hi-Y Club, like the public high school. The Hi-Y Club’s policy was to develop each member’s Christian character with a focus on the 4 C’s: “Clean sports, clean speech, clean living, and clean scholarship”.

The A&N Academy yearbook also includes “A Letter to Thoughtful Parents” by the president of the academy, as well as a catalog for new and/or prospective students. The catalog is interesting in itself with discussion of tuition, recommended allowances for students, courses offered, etc. Though we do not have every yearbook for the Army and Navy Academy, their library does, if you are interested in looking at them.

The 1946 OCUHS yearbook is the first yearbook in our collection where there are photos on just about every page. This is also the first year in our collection to have a Senior Hall of Fame, e.g. “Most likely to succeed”, etc. The 1951 OCUHS is the first yearbook containing photos of a Homecoming Queen.

The 1953 OCUHS yearbook was the first in our collection to show Prom photos. There was also a Hobo Day and a Sadie Hawkins Day and Dance. Some of the organizations that students participated in were the Cadet Corps, Future Teachers, Future Farmers, Future Homemakers, Ca. Scholarship Federation, Commercial Club, Latin Club, Bible Club, Speech Club, Spanish Club, Driftwood-the school newspaper, The Pirateer-yearbook staff, Varsity ‘O’, JV ‘O’, Girls Athletic Association, Council, Chevron Girls, Chorus, Cheer Leaders, Song Leaders, Rally Committee, Band, Drill team, and Majorettes. Classes offered that year included: “Senior Problems”, “Social Living” and “World Today.”

In 1957, the students had the following options for participation: Societas Latinas, Junior Red Cross, Chess Club, Radio Club, Nurses Club, and Library Service Club. This yearbook had a photo for a teacher for Drivers’ Education and Library Science, as well as eight bus drivers.

Do you know who gave the Carlsbad High School yearbook its name, the Purple Shield? Mike Morgan, Class of 1961. In this first yearbook of 1958, we see a return to teachers’ accreditation, i.e. where they went to school, etc. That year, the seniors had a skating party. Many contemporary students would be surprised to learn that the valedictorian for that year had a GPA of 2.69. CHS had a Rifle Team as an extracurricular activity that year. And although the girls did not have official sports teams to play on, they were able to join the Girls’ Athletic Association Club (the same one that we saw in earlier OCUHS yearbooks). The GAA played basketball, softball and volleyball afterschool and in some “Playday” tournaments. The Songleaders wore the short skirts we associate with cheerleaders and the cheerleaders of 1958 wore long skirts (varsity) and shorts (JV).

It is almost a shock to jump ahead to the 2011 Carlsbad High School or the 2009 La Costa Canyon High School yearbooks! Both have about 400 pages, all color…so many students and so many clubs! As Carlsbad has grown, so have the yearbooks. How long until they have to have two volume yearbooks, or more?

The Carlsbad History Room has the complete set of Carlsbad High School yearbooks, 1958-2011. We are grateful for any yearbook donations to fill our gaps for the elementary and middle schools, as well as yearbooks for Oceanside-Carlsbad High School (1921-1924, 1933-34, 1936-37, 146, 1950-51, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1961), the Army-Navy Academy (1937, 1958, 1961-62, 1968-73, 1982-83, 1985, 1989-90, and 2008), and La Costa Canyon High School (2000-2002, 2006, 2008-2009), Valley Junior High School: 1990-91, 1993-96, 1998-1999, 2002-2004), Carlsbad/Pine Ave. School (1942&1943). If you would like to make a donation please contact the Carlsbad History Room: 760-434-2898 or carlsbad.history@carlsbadca.gov

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