Blast from the Past: October 1945

Margaret Unger, Managing Editor

Each year, as calendars turn to fall and a slight chill permeates the air, students across the country return to the classroom. This tradition has been documented throughout 132 years of the Register Forum, including in the October 1945 edition—the first of that school year’s paper, then known as Volume LX of the Rindge Register.

New students at the Rindge Technical School were greeted by a poem, aptly titled “Welcome Freshman!” in all capitals and placed proudly on the front page. Writer Gil Bemis ’48 offered a “royal welcome to all the Freshman of this year,” and assured them that the upperclassmen boys—Rindge Tech was an all-boys school—remembered once being freshmen too. He mused that someday, “you boys will take our place, and greet the little new Freshman, with a happy smiling face.” The following year, Bemis would become the Rindge Register’s staff poet.

Throughout that year and beyond, the Rindge Register continued to report on the experiences of Cambridge high schoolers.”

The front page also boasts of Rindge’s football victory, proclaiming a 6–2 triumph in the city championship. The game took place on the holiday then known as Columbus Day in front of a “drenched crowd,” and was against archrival Cambridge Latin School, which would eventually merge with Rindge Tech in 1977 to form CRLS. The game was close until the end, and “the last period was very thrilling and rather nerve wracking for the Rindge rooters,” but Cambridge Latin School failed to mount a comeback following newcomer Billy Hill’s first-period touchdown. In perhaps a similar tradition today, CRLS and Somerville High School face off each Thanksgiving in an annual football matchup.
Senior year began on a high note for the class of 1946 with their first dancing party. The gymnasium dance was described as “a very pretty party,” with the Rindge Register declaring that “the Senior class did itself proud and should feel well pleased with the occasion.” The price of admission was sixty cents, “purely an investment for every Senior who is interested in the welfare of his class,” which contributed to lowering the cost of the yearbook and similar expenditures. For comparison, CRLS seniors paid 90 dollars to attend senior prom this past June.
The new year also brought the return of another enduring high school tradition: student government elections. Both the junior and senior classes elected a president, secretary, and treasurer, with the senior class also electing a vice president. Today, CRLS holds student government elections for the upcoming school year in June of the previous year, and there are considerably more elected officers. Yet, the principle remains the same—for the class to select and empower their student representatives.
With September 1945 marking the end of World War II, the start of the 1945-1946 school year was certain to be a notable one. Included on the second page is a welcome to teachers returning from the service. Throughout that year and beyond, the Rindge Register continued to report on the experiences of Cambridge high schoolers, and today, the Register Forum continues in its place.

Interested in more Register Forum archives? Check out our old editions, now available at registerforum.org!

This piece also appears in our September 2022 print edition.