The Godwin class of 1937 lived most of its school years under the cloud of the Great Depression, which, despite many public works programs, would not generally abate until the outbreak of World War II (WWII). Nevertheless, the school's physical plant did benefit from the many construction programs funded by the federal government during the years of the Great Depression, and 1937 was something of a banner year. In that year the library building was built, the tunnel under Division Avenue, and the athletic facilities on the ten acres of land that Frank Rackett sold to the school in about 1935. Those facilities included the tennis courts, Rackett pool, the lighted football field and track, the baseball field, and the playground to the north of Frank Rackett's home. ( In today's world, the playgrounds of the past have to be viewed as athletic facilities. Lawyers have made sure that playgrounds can no longer exist, and the epidemic of child obesity is but one consequence of this. ) New wings were added to the high school building during the Great Depression as a result of other works projects, but not in 1937.
In the Godwin area, as in the rest of the country, prosperity was mostly just a simple matter of whether the head of the household had a job, or could hang on to the farm. Unemployment rates hit 25% during this period. Relatives banded together in any way possible to ensure that everyone was fed and housed. Many people hit the rode to find jobs in other places.
For the 75% of the populaton that had jobs, things were mostly OK, and it's clear from the annual that the Class of 1937 enjoyed a largely normal high school experience, with all of the activities that later classes would enjoy. The world ahead of them was very uncertain of course, and only four years later the US would be drawn into WWII. In this, some members of the class would die, and all others that wanted them would have jobs for the next four years. There would be no stability in the sense of world peace and uniform prosperity in the US until the mid 1950s, so like many Godwin classes in the 1930s, there was a great deal of uncertainty in their early lives.
But for the time that Godwin was mostly their life, the class of 1937 fared reasonably well, and no doubt many of the class members went on to have very happy and successful lives.
The cover of the 1937 class annual.
The entire 1937 class annual is presented below. To view the pages, simply left click on the page numbers. Each page has been scanned at about 150% of its original size in order to make some of the details easier to see. You might have to move the image around in your browser in order to see it all. Be sure to make your browser full screen size for easier viewing.
Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of each page; comments and notes are included on some of the pages. Use the "Back" button on your browser to return to the main menu. People should consider contacting me if they have additional information, or comments.
If anyone has any other photographs pertaining to the class of 1937 they'd like to see included here please contact me.