The Marietta High School newspaper, the Original, in 1941 was sold for five cents. The Dec. 8 edition presented a few stories on a disease called tuberculosis, which at that time must have been very active in America. In fact, the front page of the Original had an article titled "Tuberculosis - The Nation Requires Your Help Now!"
The article continued, stating National Defense made the Christmas Seal Campaign of the National Tuberculosis Association of 1941 was more important to the nation than ever before. It stated, "National Defense requires that every person must be in the best condition to serve and protect his country, and that is impossible with a country ravaged by tuberculosis."
I don't recall Marietta or the USA was ravaged by tuberculosis, but it must have been prevalent in the nation at that time, because 1941 marked the 35th annual sale of Christmas seals, with 95 percent of the money raised from the sale staying in the Marietta community. Five percent went to help finance the nationwide program. Seems to me if this sale was held today, Marietta would receive five percent and the nation wide program 95 percent. When such a sale was ended, you'd wonder where all the money went, and into whose pocket did it end.
In the early days tuberculosis ranked seventh on the list of human killers. It was preceded by such diseases as heart disease and cancer, and at the time there was no cure for either of these diseases.
To cure tuberculosis at that time a lot of money was necessary, and at the end of the request for funds, the article stated: "This year when you mail your Christmas cards and gifts to your friends, remember the little lighthouse seal and paste one on each of your packages. In this manner you will be helping some person to get back on the road to health, and at the same time you will be helping defend your country."
Tuberculosis is no longer the danger it was in 1941, but heart disease and cancer are still hanging around. Today, things have improved toward curing each of these problems, which is a great thing for those who experience such diseases. Now, if we could just lower the prices for such cures.
The Original featured a front-page article in that same issue announcing the new officers for the Orange Masque organization: Helen Burton, president; Elaine Riggs, program chairman; Miles Edwards, treasurer; June Ost, secretary.
The MHS debate team was headed to Columbus to participate in the annual Ohio Speech League Debate Clinic. The article stated debaters taking the affirmative side of the question "Resolved that all able-bodied male citizens should have one year of full time compulsory military training before reaching the present draft age" would consist of two teams, composed of Elaine Riggs and Robert Beren, Barbara Hawn and Sam Hanna.
Negative debaters included Gwynne Myers and David Wilson, Dick Krause and Randall Metcalf. No decisions were rendered in the debates but criticisms were offered by the judges in all contests.
The Marietta teams faced Columbus East, Hamilton, Columbus North, Lima Central, Columbus West and Mansfield. Members also attended the round table discussion by authorities on the question, and the debate between Ohio State and Michigan.
It wasn't all work and no play for Marietta students in those days. The annual New Year's Eve Ball sponsored by the Junior and Senior Hi-Y Clubs was a united union by the two groups to help with the groups' resources. The joint committee co-chairmen were Richard Krause and Gwynne Myers. The younger club was represented by Randall Metcalf, James Nelson and Clarence Daugherty. The older club was represented by Mason Lindamood, Fritz Furbee and Roger Buchert.
The New Year's Eve Ball was created as an annual event by the Junior Hi-Y Club. and at that time was considered one of the top dances of both 1940 and 1941. However, plans were set up for making the 1942 dance bigger yet. It was decided to hold a school election for "Miss 1942."
Arrangements were made with the Betsey Mills Club for use of the dance floor and for Walter Wolfe's Orchestra. A publicity campaign was held announcing the ball as the "last of '41 and the first of '42." A large crowd was expected.
Joan Pritchard is a longtime columnist for The Parkersburg News & Sentinel. Contact her at email@example.com