Just a short entry this week as the museum was closed over Thanksgiving weekend.
The Green and White:
The Green and White, Buford High School's official newspaper from the mid 1930s through the 1950s, has become my new obsession. Not only do the papers provide a peek into the lives of the youth of Buford during those years, but also the popular culture of the country as a whole. Every decade of the Green and White reveals the similarities and differences in teens over time, and provides insight into how the city itself grew and changed physically and socially.
In the 1930s the newspaper was both serious and silly. Headlines and cover stories revolved around academic achievements, while inner pages seemed to be filled with corny jokes and student gossip. Because the classes were so small, everyone reading the Green and White would have no doubt been familiar with "Earnest Rowe, who is always late to class..." and could easily guess "What cutie was M.J. seen passing a note to in Geography class?"
In the 1940s the paper became more serious, reporting not only on academic topics but on world events and Buford High's involvement with them. High school sports became important, but it was the war effort that filled several issues, with stories such as raising money for bonds and teachers and students working together to bring in local crops due to manpower shortages. Student gossip and jokes are still there, of course, but the overall tone of the reporting was more inclusive of community and the world.
During the 1950s the feel of the paper changed yet again, becoming more both more social and "teen" news oriented. School plays and dances are covered alongside the academic stories. Music and movie reviews took the place of jokes and gossip. BHS sports coverage filled at least two pages in every issue, with football getting serious attention. The '50s editions of the Green and White are filled with polls--students expressing their opinions on everything from favorite popular records (Chuck Berry's Maybelline was the top pick) to "petting" on dates (a majority of boys thought it was okay...the girls were slightly less positive.)
Over the years the newspaper reported on events that reveal the close involvement between the school and the town. In the '30s and 40s the connection between BHS and civic groups was reported on often--particularly the American Legion and the local chapter of the Red Cross, which sponsored several contests and programs for the students. The structural growth of Buford is also shown in the Green and White, as the December, 1950, edition covered the planned construction of the new, $60,000 high school gym due to open in February of the following year. And nearly every edition of the paper had one or two pages of ads placed by local businesses--another glimpse into how Buford grew and changed over time.
From the Spring, 1937 edition of the Green and White:
" Just Imagine...Miss Fulghum and Carolyn Green not arguing. Earnest Rowe getting to class on time. Leon Kemp knowing his geography. Sarah Pirkle being lonesome. Sara Margaret Buice forgetting her powder puff..."
The Museum's copies of the Green and White were generously donated by Pat Pirkle, who saved them during a school administration clean up many years ago. Ms. Pirkle currently serves on the School Board, and before that was an employee of the Buford school system for over 20 years.
Look for more from the Green and White and the history of Buford's school system in future blog posts.