National Defense

  • The sale of bonds and stamps by a faculty committee, directed by Grace Greenwood, brought in about $2000. The Centralian Singers performed at community programs urging the sale of war bonds. The Junior Red Cross and other organizations raised money. Students donated about 75 sweaters and scarves. Sewing classes were responsible for nightgowns, bibs, baby hoods, and toddler suits. The home economics department encouraged students and adults to sign a Consumers' Pledge and took the lead in encouraging good nutrition and 'Food for Victory.'

    The thirty-four alumni and faculty in the armed services were sent copies of the Centralian and FORX. Students solicited and packed books for the army camps, collected waste paper, planned assembly programs, and made model airplanes for the navy.

    The 1943 annual, a paperback with red, white, and blue cover, aimed 'to publish a record of Central's part in the nation's struggle for victory.'

    Two excellent student essays, "Roll of Drums," by Robert Hahn, and "For Freedom's Sake," by Ruth McBride, were featured. The 'Roll Call of Central's Service Men' numbered 605, including several who had died. These men were 'fighting the good fight' all over the world.

    The 'Buy-a-Jeep' fund-raising drive resulted in enough money for eleven mighty little Jeeps. A full page of the book urged students to Join the Victory Corps: Air Service, Land Service, Sea Service, and Community Service. Boys in the Production Service helped in the labor shortage, and a vigorous physical fitness program was a requirement for boys who would be eighteen by next September. The band played at the bus depot as inductees left for training camp, and boys and girls did volunteer clerical work for local ration boards.

    According to the Centralian of September 22, 1944, Marguerite Rodgers won first and second prizes on two squashes that she entered in the Victory Garden contest. She also canned fifty-two quarts of vegetables because of the rationing of canned goods and her determination to do her part in the war effort.

    The same issue carried a headline, "Set to Put Name on Pursuit Plane." If the students could sell war stamps and bonds totaling to $75,000, Central's name could soar. Because of earlier sales Central's name had already been placed on four training planes.

    Thus the students in their publications reported the business and idealism, if not the heartache and despair of the war years. Verl Clark, who began teaching here in 1947, remarked that some students who had left school to enter the armed services came back to finish high school. It was strange, he thought, to have students twenty-one years old.

    After the War the FORX's continued to reflect school life. One caption for the science department was "Atomic Energy Brewing." The Junior Red Cross claimed the busiest year ever, raising money, making up bundles for needy children, and giving radio skits. In 1947 the book was dedicated to the people and industries of the Red River Valley, and the theme was carried out with fine photographs, chiefly of farm operations. The usual activities continued, with the addition of the Sioux Science Club. Student club was now called Tri-Y, and there were two Hi-Y clubs. Tribute was paid to Leo Haesle, in his twenty-fifth year at Central. When he came in 1922, he organized "a bunch of jazz kids into a state-contest-winning band."