When the class of 1940 entered kindergarten the first sound movies were just appearing, the first technical success being "The Jazz Singer," with Al Jolson. Probably the first memories for most of the class was the Great Depression, but then they never knew anything else. By the end of the US had pretty much full employment, if mostly in war production factories. The US had not been drawn into WWII yet, and when the class 1940 graduated there was no particular reason to think it would be.
Class members had mapped out their futures in their own minds, and that might include work in the local factories and businesses, the numerous farms that still existed in and around the Grand Rapids area, and higher education of one form and another.
Like many other classes around this time, students prepared, and hoped for the best. Many would end up in uniform in another year or two, and following that would for the most part participate in the proserity of the 1950s and 1960s. Most had taken good advantage of their time at Godwin, and were as prepared as anyone can be in a not always totally predictable world for their future lives.
The cover of the 1940 class annual.
Left click on the image for a larger image.
The entire 1940 class annual, made available for scanning by Lee (Tanner) Collins, class of 1940, 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 1940 they'd like to see included here please contact me.