Conditions for the class of 1956 were essentially the same as for the class of 1955. The US economy dominated the world. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan pointed out that in the late 1940s and early 1950s he could assume the US economy was the whole world for purposes of economic analysis, and others probably did the same thing. US jobs were plentiful. The US auto industry, the "Big Three" as it was known then, had a de facto monopoly, a situation that would last another ten years or so, until high quality Japanese cars began to appear.
For all practical purposes the class of 1956 could look forward to mostly indulging in its own pursuits. The next "conflict," as wars would now be named, was also about 10 years away. By the time the Vietnam comflict was ramping up in the US, members of the class of 1956 were often homeoweners and parents, and with this claim it was unfair to induct them in to the military. It was clear sailing, and the US economy would be as strong as in the 1960s as in any other decades. It was truly a time of unfettered opportunity. Add in the US space program the lanch of Sputnik fostered, and the untold thousands of technical jobs created by it, and it's fair to say the class of 1956, like those classes slightly before and after it, graduated into a world almost without equal in terms of opportunity.
The cover of the 1956 class annual.
Left click on the image for a larger image.
The entire 1956 class annual, made available for scanning by by Marilee (Slyskar) Thomas, class of 1956, is presented below. To view the pages, simply left click on the page numbers or thumbnail images. 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 1956 they'd like to see included here please contact me.