From the standpoint of world events, the class of 1951 was pretty much home free. The Korean "conflict" was fought by WWII vets, and the next "conflict" of any size would be Vietnam, but which time most males in the class would be pretty much immune from its consequences. The economy had completely converted from the war time footing of WWII to a civilian economy. The USSR would continue to make mischief for another 40 years, but day to day this did not affect most Americans much. About the worst they had to contend with was the Conelrad ( CONtrol of ELtronic RADiation ) alerts started in 1951. "This is a test....Had it been an actual aleart...." Fortunately it never was.
Save for this, the class of 1951 could look forward to some real boom years during the next 20 years or so. Land was still affordable, and the consequences of an ever increasing population was still not very apparent. Oil and natural gas was cheap, as were other raw materials, and taxes were low. In every fundamental economic sense 1951 was part of a material golden age that lasted until perhaps 1970. Coupled with a good economy in the US much of the time, the class of 1951 was part of perhaps ten or fifteen classes, starting with 1945 or so, that would have almost boundless opportunity, and probably be among the last retirees to collect generous Social Security and medical care from systems now showing signs that they are not sustainable at current levels.
So all in all it seems that in many ways the class of 1951 graduated at a very favorable time. Godwin was in some ways at its peak in the late 1940s, and while no one knows their future with any precision, there were exciting times ahead. Six years later there would be a satellite orbiting the earth, and less than twenty years after graduation men would be walking on the moon. Those were rare times.
The cover of the 1951 class annual.
Left click on the image for a larger image.
The entire 1951 class annual, made available for scanning by by Joanne Hamilton, class of 1951, 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 1951 they'd like to see included here please contact me.