Category:
School

Graduated Alone

May 1949: Eva Mae Bradbury was the only member of her graduating class at the public school in Ada, Kansas. The school nevertheless put on a full commencement program for her, attended by 150 people (which was about the entire population of Ada).

Decatur Herald and Review - May 21, 1949

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 05, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: School, 1940s

How to raise a genius

According to Harold G. McCurdy, a professor at the University of North Carolina, the first step was to not send your kids to public school.

Not that he had anything against public schools, having sent his own kids to one. And he questioned whether raising kids to be geniuses was a desireable goal, since he believed that geniuses often led isolated, unhappy lives.

Nevertheless, based on his study of the childhoods of 29 geniuses, conducted back in 1960, he determined that "three striking factors seemed to be typical of the childhood pattern of genius":

one, close association with an interested adult; two, relative isolation from other children; and three, a great development of imagination and fantasy.

"Public school education," he declared, "works against these three things."

Apparently McCurdy's study has been embraced by some proponents of home schooling. Although I don't get the sense that it was his intention to promote that.

You can read McCurdy's full study here: The Childhood Pattern of Genius

The Oklahoma Daily - Feb 17, 1961

Posted By: Alex - Thu Oct 15, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Education, Intelligence, School, 1960s

Temporarily Blind

May 1974: Three students at Northeast High School in Philadelphia participated in a medical experiment in which for five days they experienced what it was like to be blind.

I'm guessing this kind of experiment would never be allowed nowadays in a high school.





Source: Temple University digital collections (image one, image two)

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 09, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: School, Experiments, 1970s

Paid to teach empty classroom

An early example of the "teacher paid to do nothing" phenomenon. Nowadays we've got the Rubber Room.

Portsmouth Daily Times - Jan 16, 1926

Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 13, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: School, 1920s

Divorcee banned from chess club

1971: 16-year-old Soni Romans was banned from all extracurricular activities at at Channelview High School in Houston. This included school choir, chess club, drama, and the National Honor Society. The reason for the ban was that she had been married and divorced and had a child (which she gave up for adoption). Therefore, the school felt that she shouldn't be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities because, during them, she "might discuss sex with other students."

However, if she had simply had the child without getting married and divorced, the same regulation wouldn't have applied. Unwed mothers were free to participate in the extracurriculars. Romans sued the school and won, so the ban was eventually lifted.

The Cincinnati Enquirer - Nov 14, 1971



The Akron Beacon Journal - Feb 17, 1972

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 19, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: School, Regulations, Divorce, 1970s

School chief shot a moon

October 1978: Cleveland School Board President John E. Gallagher Jr. was charged with a misdemeanor and fined $100. The prosecutor explained the reason for the charge to the press: "He shot a moon — that's what he did." A state trooper had witnessed Gallagher, who was a passenger in a car driving north along I-271, pull his pants down and expose his bare buttocks to his brother, who was driving in a passing car. Gallagher pleaded no contest.

The Akron Beacon Journal - Nov 1, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 27, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: School, 1970s, Pranks

Red Out

The 1948 high school fad of "Red-Out." Certainly one of the stupidest high school fads ever.

What it involved: "Students would kneel, breathe deeply 10 times, close their lips around their thumbs and then blow, without actually exhaling, until they turned red and passed out."

Bonus thrill: students would wake up believing they had been chased by monsters!


Lubbock Evening Journal - Nov 26 - 1948

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 29, 2014 - Comments (6)
Category: Fads, School, 1940s

Buttleopener forces resignation


Mark Gregory invented the Buttleopener, which is a bottle opener shaped like a woman's buttocks. Gregory also served as a member of the Williamson County school board in Tennessee, recently rising to become chairman. But the two aspects of his life (buttleopener inventor and school board chairman) have proven to be incompatible. Gregory recently resigned his position as chairman, bowing to pressure from parents who really, really didn't want him involved with the school board. [rawstory.com]

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 05, 2014 - Comments (11)
Category: Education, Inventions, School

Wish you were here!

The story below is from 1939. Would the students have been dealt with as harshly today? My guess, based on all the stories of overreacting school officials that Chuck reports, probably yes.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 15, 2013 - Comments (5)
Category: School, 1930s

The College of Swedish Massage

image
Original ad. (Scroll down.)

I wonder how one went about setting up as a freelance massage therapist in 1949. Did the College of Swedish Massage mail order course culminate with a nice diploma you could display, something along the lines of a "Bra Inspector #23" badge? And exactly how, as a student, did you practice your techniques at home, and on whom?

As the quote below tells us, the College of Swedish Massage eventually was superseded by the more proper Swedish Institute, still teaching massage therapy today. I wonder if you can take their courses online?

image
Source.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Mar 12, 2013 - Comments (10)
Category: Body, School, 1940s

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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