Like most of the classes in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the class of 1950 entered a world of rising prosperity. WWII soldiers fought the Korean "conflict" too, and by the time the Vietnam "conflict" ( Wars were called conflicts for a while after WWII - probably for legal reasons - but people still died in them. ) arrived the males in the class of 1950 were too old to be called and/or could point to family obligations. Land in and around Grand Rapids was still plentiful, even while farms were disappearing at a dizzying rate as the baby boom got into full swing. For over a decade following WWII the US enjoy something like 50% of the world's total economy. With its manufacturing might intact after WWII, almost every business was a monopoly, and as world wide demand slowly picked up, much of what they bought was from the US. Detroit, still the popular term for the US auto industry, could and did sell junk - very poor quality products - because it was a monopoly. There was nowhere else to turn, a situation that would last until the 1960s, when high quality Japanese cars began to be imported. But until then, companies like GM were doing a brisk business, and Godwin was essentially designed to supply labor of all kinds to local industries. For the next 10 or 15 years almost any American was assured a job and a house in the suburbs.
The cover of the 1950 class annual.
Left click on the image for a larger image.
The entire 1950 class annual, made available for scanning by by Joanne Hamilton, class of 1950, 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.
Also 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 1950 they'd like to see included here please contact me.