It's interesting to note how well students at Marietta High School were doing in 1938. I do know individual students applied themselves with a lot of effort in those days, and I know how sharp the teachers were. They met us with a desire for us to learn and the knowledge to teach us. How fortunate we were! But don't think they sat at their desks and expected us to get a head full of information. They were firm, but caring. What a combination.
The Original, the high school newspaper of Dec. 2, 1938, was full of items on school activities and achievements. For instance, the drama "Applesauce," a three-act comedy presented by the Orange Masque and starring Norman Baker and Frances Fuller, was being presented Dec. 6. It also featured Cornell Ritchie, Robert Andris, Winifred Finkel, Dan Baker and Mary Louise Fuller. With a cast like that, no play could fail.
Ten MHS organizations took prizes in the Merchants' Christmas parade. The first prize of $15 was awarded the Junior Girl Reserves. Their float carried an exhibit depicting the birth of Christ. Senior Hi-Y took second prize of $10 for their float depicting the true spirit of Christmas.
Third prize of $5 went to the Science Club for a Mother Goose presentation. Twila Henning impersonated "Mary and Her Little Lamb," Elaine Riggs represented "The Cat on the Hearth," Doris Jean Stoll, "Little Miss Muffet," and Edna Rose, "The Old Woman in the Shoe."
The Home Economics Club won fourth place, $3. This float contained a group of students singing Christmas carols. The fifth prize of $2 was given to the Photo Club, which had two offerings: "Three Men in a Tub," and "Cockney Horseman."
Herbert Vanderpoel's FFA class planned to start a nursery for the propagation of shrubs. Students (all male) were to bring cuttings from their own shrubs at home.
These were to be planted in the school nursery for from one to two years, and the group was also trying to get shrubs from the Ohio University campus at Athens.
When the plants were ready they were to be passed out to the boys to take home and be used as decorations on their family farms. Included in the shrubs they expected to raise were Althea, Hibiscus Syriacus - double pink, purple and white. Dentzia, Lemoine - white. Dentzia, Pride of Rochester - white. Kerria, Japonica - yellow. Spirea, Anthony Waterer - Rosy crimson. Spiria, Billiardi - rosy spikes. Spirea, Froebeli - pink. Spirea, Vanoutte - white. Weigela, Dierville-Abel Carriere rosy crimson. Weigela, Diervilla-Eva Rarhke - red. Weigela, VanJoutte - rosy red and orange.
If Vanderpoel didn't make gardeners out of students learning this information, no one could.
The Senior Girl Reserves met with all of the Girl Reserves and the Hi-Y group to plan the Christmas Tea Dance on Dec. 26, following Christmas.
There was an article about Richard Sullivan, son of Superintendent H.L. Sullivan, who graduated from the Marietta High School class of 1935. He was a student at Harvard University and was to receive the Francis H. Burr Scholarship.
This major award was established in the memory of Francis H. Burr for presentation each year to the Harvard senior who combined as nearly as possible Burr's remarkable qualities of character, leadership, scholarship and athletic ability.
Sullivan was a National Scholar, member of the varsity basketball squad, business manager of the 1939 Senior Album, and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
The article also mentioned that Sullivan was an outstanding student at Marietta High School
One article stated the student council, according to reports by John Leonhart, president of the council, was to purchase new blinds for room 112. The purpose was to make the room sufficiently dark to permit showing of educational pictures to science classes. It stated at the last meeting of the council, the condition of the present shades was discussed, and plans were made for replacing them.
It's hard to believe this announcement, made in The Original, but Alexander Kerensky, one-time premier of Russia was to speak at the Marietta High School Auditorium on Dec. 5 at 8 p.m.
Kerensky, according to the article, originally studied law at Petrograd, Russia, and the labor party elected him a member of the fourth Duma, where he became famous as an orator. After the fall of Czar Nicholas he became head of the government. At the time of the Bolshevik Revolution he was driven to exile in France.
The subject of Kerensky's Marietta address was "On Behalf of Democracy." He believed America was the only hope for democracy in a world threatened on every hand by dictatorship. He also said dictatorships are really not being as successful as they seemed, and democracy can be the means of wiping out these tyrannical totalitarian systems. However, he said, to accomplish this aim the democratic nations must unite and present a consolidated front to tyranny. He said such a step would involve fundamental political and economical changes on the part of the democracies, but it would be their only chance to perpetuate democracy, the only form of government under which people can live untrodden and content.
Sounds familiar to me, and this was 1938. In other words, he was telling Americans to stick with their guns and hang on to the type of government they have.
Don't permit any leader to make big changes in what you have and are happy with. That seems to apply today, doesn't it.
Joan Pritchard is a longtime columnist for The Parkersburg News & Sentinel. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org