Let’s Talk Clovis: 1946 Clovis High’s Cougar’s Growl

Clovis High School. (Photo Courtesy of Clovis Museum)

The Honorable Phillip Sanchez (1946 Clovis High graduate) was the first editor of the Clovis High Cougars’ Growl newspaper published during the 1946 school year. Among his many accomplishments, he would serve as US Ambassador to Honduras and Columbia. He became publisher of “Noticias Del Mundo” the Spanish language newspaper that was circulated in 62 US cities.

We have selected Cougar Growl articles that represent the life and times of Clovis High students and the community of Clovis in 1946.

A front page article requested support of the March of Dimes. President Franklin Roosevelt (a victim of polio) established the foundation in 1938 in response to the US polio epidemic.

The 1944 Clovis High war bond drive netted $63,890.30 that would fund a grasshopper plane (light military observation plane), one amphibious jeep and one land jeep. Clovis High collected a grand total of $168,763.95 (war bonds and stamps) during WWII (1941-1946). Fresno County was sponsoring an Old Clothes Drive to help those in need. Clovis High supported the drive.

An article on war raw materials stated that during the first three years and five months of WWII, the US consumed 375,000,000 tons of iron ore, 187,000,000 tons of coke and 255,000,000 tons of scraps. These amounts equaled our consumption from 1932 through 1939. If the tonnages of iron, coal and scrap were gathered in one location, it would encompass one mile square with a height of 620 feet.

Solom Rizk was the guest speaker at a school assembly. He was born in Syria, his mother died at his birth, he lived through WWI and at age five learned he was a citizen of the United States. His story reaffirmed how fortunate we are to live in America…the land of opportunities.

To make the Honor Roll you had to have two A’s in academic subjects. For Honorable Mention you were allowed one C with the rest of your grades B’s or better.

The status of the honor roll goal (at least 25 percent of every class) was published: Seniors, 20.04%: Juniors, 17.72%: Sophomores, 9.84% and freshmen, 12.98%.

The names of students celebrating birthdays were published each month. The latest gossip of who was dating who and if not why not was published. Dances were held at Notre Dame Hall and at school during noon hour.

The Youth Center met each Saturday night at the old Clovis High gym. The Clovis High jazz band provided music. Ping-pong, jump rope, hot dogs and cokes were available. The grand march (80-90 participants) was a favorite of the evening.  “Deep Purple” closed the event at 11:00 pm.

The a cappella choir gave concerts at Hammer Field and sang in the Field Hospital on Christmas Eve. Dorothy Carpenter was their director.

Girl’s fashions were the peplum (made your waist look smaller?), box pleated skirts, high neckline with a false fly front which gave the Chinese look plus ballerina shoes. The boys wore Levis (seldom washed for the stand alone used look), saddle shoes, bright socks, flashy shirts and brown leather jackets.

Barbara Kemp was president of The Junior Red Cross. The members were busy making lap boards, stuffed toys, bounded stories, washcloths, games and puzzles.

Clovis High Principal Paul E. Andrew resigned after 21 years (1925-1946) of leadership. He was known for his punctual attention to the individual student’s problems and his courteous but firm distribution of discipline that was described as swift with long lasting results. Over 1,200 admirers attended his farewell party. He would later serve as a San Luis Obispo County supervisor.

A portion of an editorial titled “My Government” stated:  “When we speak of a government ‘of the people’, we mean that it is composed of average individuals, not of a certain caste or religion. When we speak of a government ‘by the people’ we mean just that—a government manipulated by the people themselves through their representatives. A government ‘for the people’ has a definite purpose: to give to the lay public a voice; to give the common man a chance to become a part of his country.

We can therefore think of no better way to describe our government to a foreigner than that we have when we proudly say that it is a government OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE.”

The 1946 Clovis High students provided us a rich heritage.

Peg Bos
Peg Bos is the president of the Clovis Museum on 4th and Pollasky avenues in Old Town Clovis. She not only manages the museum but she also writes her Let's Talk Clovis column in our publication which features and highlight the amazing history of our city and culture. One fun fact about Peg Bos, she was the first female mayor of Clovis from 1984-86.