A Haverhill High School Student Journal
By Maura Cuneo
Today, the Brown and Gold, the official Haverhill High School student newspaper, is a digital journal wherein students publish articles about the school community and the United States in general. However, almost ninety-one years ago, when the first edition of the Brown and Gold was distributed throughout the high school, it was entirely based around school-wide news. Little did these journalists know that the newspaper would shift its focus to both local and national news and continue to strive even today.
On January 10th, 1930, A.I. Clow, the principal at the time, according to a New York Times archive, stated, “I confidently anticipate [the newspaper’s] immediate and permanent success. Two factors are necessary to render this an unquestioned certainty, an efficient, faithful staff and a loyal student body. I am certain the first of these factors is assured and would urge that every student in the Haverhill High School feel a personal responsibility in the matter of the second. I bespeak therefore your whole hearted interest and strong cooperation in the new undertaking.”
Following “Mr. Clow’s” proclamation were numerous articles within this first edition of the school newspaper. Headlines included: "Mr. Clow," "Trade School is a Help To Haverhill High," "Football Season Ends Successfully," "Junior Prom Was A Social Success," "Miss Cushman Goes To Hartford," "Mr. Barbour," "Fast Alumni Five Defeats Varsity," "Courtesy," "'Jim' Mansfield on Football," "Alumni," "Football Squad 1929," "Club notes," "Little Walks About H. H. S.," "Heard in Solid Geometry," "Physics," "Famous Sayings," "Xmas Suggestions," "New Teachers," "Bones to Pick," "A Few Statistics," "Review of Girls Fall Sports," "Football Summary," "Mr. McKnight," "Dinsmore Elected Football Captain," and "Trade School Notes."
The first advisor of the school paper was Mr. Paul Harriman. The original Brown and Gold paper was published bi-weekly with a set editorial staff, business staff, and editors. Two newspapers, however, preceded the Brown and Gold.
The first ever Haverhill High newspaper was the Eltrurian, a monthly paper that was born in 1921 and died “a welcome death” in 1923. Because of the unpopular magazine make-up and stress upon literary features, this paper was not able to survive for very long.
After the Eltrurian came The Chronicle. The Chronicle began in 1925 as a four page weekly paper. It expanded to six pages, however, most of the pages were used for advertisements, unsurprisingly, the paper died because of financial problems.
Then came the Brown and Gold. Inspired by the concept of the Eltrurian and The Chronicle, this new paper learned from the mistakes of its predecessors. Where the Eltrurian pushed the readers away with its unpopular magazine make-up and literary features, the Brown and Gold took the form of a traditional school newspaper. Where The Chronicle failed through excessive advertisements, the Brown and Gold utilized the Trade School to print the paper at “a much smaller sum than otherwise would have been possible,” therefore, advertisements were rarely present.
Although the Brown and Gold certainly started out as a traditional school newspaper - reporting on sports games, high school drama, and teachers - it slowly transformed into an all-encompassing news source. This transformation can, in fact, be traced back to January 27th, 1939 when Franklin Delano Roosevelt challenged the youth of the day to have a “more active interest in government.”
Despite the January 27th proclamation that the Brown and Gold would take a more active interest in the government, they did not make good on this promise until January 16th, 1942. They wrote, “A month ago America became a participant in the greatest upheaval ever seen on the face of the earth-an upheaval which will decide the world’s history for the next thousand years… IT IS UP TO US TO DECIDE WHETHER POST-WAR AMERICA IS TO BE SLAVE OR FREE.” After this bold article, Brown and Gold began writing more articles about the war and the government.
The newspaper then wrote many editorial pieces regarding political issues, for example, an article titled “H.H.S Says No!” discusses the argument against lowering the voting age to 18. Considering the school newspaper was writing articles in 1943 about the voting age being lowered, when the voting age was actually lowered twenty-seven years later, goes to show the paper’s attention to societal trends.
The paper continued to report on important world events, for example, they wrote about John F. Kennedy’s assassination with an article entitled “A Profile in Greatness,” which was, no doubt, a play on JFK’s book title “A Profile in Courage.” Furthermore, they reported when Senator Edward M. Kennedy visited the high school on November 10th, 1965.
As the years went on, the paper consistently expanded the scope of its reporting until it was no longer really a school newspaper at all, rather, it has become a culmination of ideas and an exploration of societal trends.
More to come…...