REGISTRATION DAY 1963 -- This was the scene at Central as Principal Hobart Millsaps welcomed students, new and old. (Preservation of Chattanooga Central History)
REGISTRATION DAY 1963 -- This was the scene at Central as Principal Hobart Millsaps welcomed students, new and old.

Preservation of Chattanooga Central History

Looking Back

January 31, 2019

The following article contains summaries from the 2018-2019 school year of articles from past issues of The Central Digest.

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Looking Back: Dropping Out Became a Huge Problem During the 1963-1964 School Year

REGISTRATION DAY 1963 -- This was the scene at Central as Principal Hobart Millsaps welcomed students, new and old.

Preservation of Chattanooga Central History

REGISTRATION DAY 1963 -- This was the scene at Central as Principal Hobart Millsaps welcomed students, new and old.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article contains summaries of articles from past issues of The Central Digest. On occasion, the Digest will look back into our archives to see what was happening around Central High in the past

Student Body Enrollment Reaches Five Year High

September 1963

Central had a great start to its fifty-seventh year, with an initial enrollment number of 1,739 students. This set a five year  record since the school population had gained 125 students. The increase was the largest since the 1957-1958 school year, when 2,018 students attended.

Central Receives Bellamy Flag Award

October 1963

The Bellamy Flag award was presented to Central on October 11, 1963. The flag had flown over Washington D.C. on May 18 of that year, in honor of Francis Bellamy’s birthday. The flag was displayed in a new trophy case that was purchased by the Parent-Teacher-Student-Association. The flag was flown for a couple for days and during special events, such as homecoming, until it was retired.

Senior Class Presents Play Tonight at 8

November 1963

The senior drama students were set to present a program titled “Fresh Air” on the night of November 22. “Fresh Air” was set to take place on a corner of Los Angeles where the mayor was conducting a speech in a park. The production followed the mayor’s plight during his kidnapping. The cast performed a dress rehearsal the Wednesday before the show, and a skit for the entire school the day before the show.

Speaker Claims that Dropouts Make Decisions Too Fast

December 1963

The President of Chattanooga Savings and Loans, Mr. W. Arnold Chambers, visited Central in December of 1963. Chambers strongly encouraged each student to finish high school and make their best effort to continue their studies in college. He also addressed the increase of juvenile delinquency at the time. Chambers denounced modern society, claiming that it insinuated that students grow up faster than they should.

School Drop-Outs Reach National and Local Highs

January 1964

Students dropping out was not only a problem for Central, but a problem for the entire nation during that time period. Statistics showed that 30 percent of high school students in the United States did not make it to graduation. For Central, approximately 41 students had dropped out during the first semester of the 1963-1964 school year. This number was huge in comparison to the total of 50 students that had dropped out the year before. The main reasons for the spike in dropouts included teenage marriages, joining the armed forces, and leaving to focus on work for jobs.

For those interested, the archived Central Digest publications can be found on the Preservation of Chattanooga Central History website: https://chattanoogacentralhistory.com/digest/

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Looking Back: The Digest Takes On a Challenge Against City High

MR. AND MISS CENTRAL '35 NOMINEES -- Left to right: Ellis Pope, Katherine Rawlings, William Lowery, Estelle Godley, T.W. Parker, Leila Welch, Ernest Ownbey, and Louise Wallace.

Preservation of Chattanooga Central History

MR. AND MISS CENTRAL '35 NOMINEES -- Left to right: Ellis Pope, Katherine Rawlings, William Lowery, Estelle Godley, T.W. Parker, Leila Welch, Ernest Ownbey, and Louise Wallace.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article contains summaries of articles from past issues of The Central Digest. On occasion, the Digest will look back into our archives to see what was happening around Central High in the past

16 Musicians Go To Knoxville

October 1934

Sixteen of the 21 Central students who applied for the East Tennessee Orchestra were selected to participate after a two year cessation due to financial struggle; the East Tennessee Orchestra was able to resume the year. The Orchestra was led by Professor Norvall from the Church of Columbia University. They performed “Titus Overture” by Mozart, “Symphony No. 1” by Beethoven, “Marche Militaire” by Saint-Saens, “Andante Contabile” by Tschaikawasky, and “Blue Danube” by Strauss.

Seniors PresentThe Lilies of the FieldTomorrow Evening

December 1934

On December 7, 1934 the seniors of Central High performed “The Lilies of the Field.” The play focused on the twin daughters of the Vicar of Wideleete: Catherine and Elizabeth. The play focuses on the twins trying to earn the favor of Barnaby Hadden and earn a trip to London from their grandmother. Elizabeth wins the competition and thrives in London, while Catherine later arrives in London and soon falls in love with an Englishman.

T.W. Parker Wins Gorgas Contest

February 1935

T.W. Parker was selected to represent Central in the State Gorgas Memorial Institute Essay Contest, where he was able to participate in the National Contest. Parker’s essay on “Gorgas Control of Transmissible and Other Preventable Diseases,” was chosen as the best out of 298 students who submitted essays. Parker was an associate editor to the Central Digest, a member of the Senate, as well as the National Honor’s Society.

Digest Staff Challenges City

March 1935

The Central Digest staff challenged the Maroon and White staff members, City High School’s newspaper, to a paper selling contest. Copies of the Central Digest were sold in the lunchroom as well as homeroom. A year prior, the Maroon and White challenged the Digest to the same competition. The Central Digest ended up victorious in the competition.

Lowery and Godsey Elected Mr. and Miss Central: Seniors Feted Today

April 1935

Estelle Godsey and William Lowery were selected by the student body as Mr. and Miss Central for the class of ’35. They were presented those titles on Senior Day alongside their fellow nominees. This was the third year where students selected Mr. and Miss Central. After the presentation, there was a Senior Class Luncheon held in the cafeteria.

For those interested, the archived Central Digest publications can be found on the Preservation of Chattanooga Central History website: https://chattanoogacentralhistory.com/digest/

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Looking Back: The Christmas Spirit of Central High

THE GIVING SPIRIT OF CENTRAL -- (Left to right) George White, Bill Carter, Diane Morrison, Jimmy Lee, and Ronnie Tucker are students supporting the food drive with their food baskets.

Preservation of Chattanooga Central History

THE GIVING SPIRIT OF CENTRAL -- (Left to right) George White, Bill Carter, Diane Morrison, Jimmy Lee, and Ronnie Tucker are students supporting the food drive with their food baskets.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article contains summaries of articles from past issues of The Central Digest. On occasion, the Digest will look back into our archives to see what was happening around Central High in the past.

Christmas Baskets

December 1934

The tradition of creating Christmas baskets was long celebrated at Central. The Christmas baskets allowed students to give aid to anyone in need during the Christmas season. The baskets gave way to a great opportunity to help those burdened by poverty and hardships, while the rest of the world was celebrating and feasting. A competition arose between the homerooms to see who could conjure up the best basket. Competing not only brings fun into giving, but encourages students to go the extra mile to help those in need.

Enjoy the Spirit of Giving

December 1941

On this Christmas season, Central students were only given a one week break to celebrate the holiday, but they were sure to make the most of it. However, they should not forget what this season is actually about: giving. Think of the ones less fortunate than you, ones who cannot afford the basic necessities of living. The many organizations that we give to during the season have a great purpose. They ensure that everyone, regardless of economic struggles, can enjoy the Christmas season.

Christmas, Christmas Everywhere

December 1957

Christmas is celebrated worldwide, but not in the same way as here in the United States. In France, families set up a nativity scene in the living room. On Christmas Day, they gather together to eat, burn incense, and sing. In Ireland, candles are set up in every window and doors are left open throughout the house. This is to showcase the hospitality of the season. Worldwide differences in Christmas customs emphasize the true spirit of the season.

Christmas Food Baskets To Be Filled by Homeroom

December 1961

The Christmas baskets were quickly filled by Central students this year. Basket collection started on December 4 and continued until December 19. The student council delivered the baskets on December 19 to poor and needy families in the Chattanooga area, with an emphasis on Central students. Any remaining baskets were donated to the Salvation Army. Each basket was uniquely decorated by each homeroom. Central was able to show the holiday spirit in a special and unique way.

Underprivileged Children Receive Christmas Toys

December 1975

Many children have gone through the season with no presents, no joy, and no Christmas. They could not afford the festivities of the season. Luckily, the Forgotten Child Fund made sure that these children could finally have a Christmas of their own. The organization was started in 1963 by policemen who wanted all children to have something new to enjoy on Christmas Day. They believed Christmas was for all children, not just those fortunate enough to celebrate it.

For those interested, the archived Central Digest publications can be found on the Preservation of Chattanooga Central History website: https://chattanoogacentralhistory.com/digest/

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Looking Back: New Vocational School Caused Problems for Students at Start of 1976-1977 School Year

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article contains summaries of articles from past issues of The Central Digest. On occasion, the Digest will look back into our archives to see what was happening around Central High in the past

New Vocational School Affects Central’s Start Time and Reduces Offered Courses

September 1976

The opening of the Harrison Bay Vocational School caused several problems for Central during its 1976-1977 school year. The new vocational school forced Central to change its previous starting time of 9:00 to 7:25. Many students complained about the drive to school, for they got caught up in the daily working commute. The school also limited Central’s vocational classes on campus. The decline in vocational courses also caused an increase in overcrowded study halls.

As Child Abuse Increases, Many Children are Killed and Injured Yearly

November 1976

Chattanooga citizens were shocked after a four-year-old child in Cleveland passed away as a result of abuse. The tragedy opened the eyes of everyone in the area, as they realized how serious the problem was. At the time, the city of Chattanooga was notified of roughly 10-15 child abuse cases per week. In 1976, child abuse was only a misdemeanor, while many people considered upping it’s classification to a felony. There are many clues to note in child abuse victims including, but not limited to, undernourishment, repetitive scars, and an overall fearful attitude.

Ten Students Selected For All-State Chorus

February 1977

All ten of the Central students who tried out for the All-State Chorus were accepted in 1977. The ten Central students that were chosen were Mike Atkins, Sherry Bankston, Donna Cate, Donna Dayton, Ellen Hendrix, Gil Highlander, Terrence Jones, Leah Mashburn, Rhonda Stophel, and Teresa Tate. The All-State Chorus tryouts were held at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where students were graded on their voice quality and overall preparedness. The students traveled to Memphis on March 24 for practice with the All-State Chorus and performed a concert on March 26.

Ten Percent of Teenagers in Area Suffer From Some Mental Illness

April 1977

National statistics reported that one out of every ten teens is dealing with some type of mental illness. The report presented the increasing rate of mental illness in teenagers. Research indicated that over eight percent of adolescents in the Chattanooga area deal with a mental disorder. The most common disorders recorded were depression and schizophrenia. None of the mental disorders had led to suicides in the area over the past year, but the threat of it was still looming over everyone.

With Spring Season Comes an Invasion of Insects

May 1977

Since the beginning of spring, many Central students and faculty had reported problems with all sorts of bugs on campus. Mosquitoes, spiders, termites, and several nests were spotted around Central’s campus. Administrators called to see what could be done, and were put on a list of over 300 businesses and institutions with similar problems. There was little explanation for the sudden increase in insect activity in the area.

For those interested, the archived Central Digest publications can be found on the Preservation of Chattanooga Central History website: https://chattanoogacentralhistory.com/digest/

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