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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Lansing Historical Museum supervisor: Looking back at Lansing High

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  • While locals have been watching the new Lansing High School take shape, I recently received scans of Lansing High School documents from 1930.
    Things were dramatically different back then with a graduating class of 15 compared to the 202 Lansing High School students who received their diplomas this spring.
    On May 18, 1930, a baccalaureate service was held at the school. The congregation sang two hymns — “Come Thou Almighty King” and “Take the Name of Jesus with You.”
    The Girls Glee Club performed “Glorious Forever” and three clergymen — Rev. A.F. Schroeder, Rev. Sypolt, and Rev. C.A. Hatfield — spoke during the service.
    Commencement took place May 22, 1930, at the high school. The class colors were royal blue and silver.
    The class flowers were sweet peas and their motto was “Preparation is the Keynote of Success.” The program does not list a valedictorian or salutatorian, but Leona Weimer and Julia Wilson have stars behind their names indicating they maintained an average of 90 for the four years. 
    A student typed a document of class statistics.
    “Our hardest studies are Trigonometry, Latin, English, Ancient History, and Algebra. Latin was perhaps the hardest of all, therefore all approve of cribbing, provided the teachers do not know it. If the Board of Education would do away with these branches, and put in their place poetry, music, drawing rules or etiquette, and dancing the high school course would be much easier.”
    I know many students would groan if they had Latin on their schedules. 
    It also appears that voting students for superlative awards is not a recent phenomenon.
    Wellington Liggett and Gretchen Freeman were selected as the best dancers.  Lois McAlexander was voted class beauty and Herman Stilgmire was voted the handsomest.
    Ralph Borchardt was voted best athlete. It appears there were no sports for the female students in 1930. The notes discuss how the boys had taken an active interest in athletics and the girls cheered the boys on to victory.
    The girls also "delight in preparing lunch for the boys on Field Day, as it’s a good chance to show their skill in cooking.”
    After studying the current course catalogue for LHS, trigonometry has disappeared. Various levels of algebra, geometry and calculus now populate the curriculum.
    Latin has been replaced with Spanish and French; World History only goes back to the Renaissance which is old but not necessarily ancient. The Class of 1930’s love of music would surely be satisfied with the current offerings of the Fine Arts Department, which include band, jazz band, and three types of choir.
    Female students can still cheer for the boys and participate in a variety of sports, including cross country, tennis, softball, volleyball, basketball, bowling, swimming, soccer, golf, and track.
    Page 2 of 2 - Female students can even go out for male dominated sports such as wrestling. While things have changed over the past 84 years, some things still remain the same.
    It will be interesting to see how Lansing High School changes in the future.

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