Ghosts of yearbooks past

Anniversary inspires glimpse into Freedom’s history

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Ghosts of yearbooks past

Reilly Collins and Joey Pail

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The Swastika, a symbol that strikes terror in so many, is primarily associated with one major group, the Nazi Party.

Between the years of 1941 and 1942, many Freedom students and members of the school district did not see much change personally aside from new calendars and a new mix of students, but there was much to consider for their yearbook staff because of the events happening around the world.

In the late 1930s, the Nazi party inflicted terror upon the world by committing atrocious acts against religious groups. Their symbol, most well known as the Swastika, was adopted by the Nazi Party in 1920. Prior to their adoption of the symbol, the Swastika was a symbol of “good fortune” or “well being,” but from the late 1930’s on, the Swastika will forever be associated with the acts that occurred during the reign of Nazi Germany.

For 30 years, Freedom’s yearbook was known as the Swastika. The yearbook staff of the early 1940’s had to decide to keep the name standing behind its initial meaning, or changing the name due to the growing association of that symbol to the Holocaust. The 1942 staff decided that they needed to separate themselves from the once well-meaning title, and after some discussion landed on the name the Shawnee.

The name Shawnee was chosen due to the powerful Indian tribe which lived close to the current location of the school. It was also the name of one of the first river boats built in this community.

The name change is not the only interesting aspect found in looking through past Freedom yearbooks. There are many clubs and events that have either made reappearances in recent years, have experienced changes or have been totally forgotten.

Most students don’t know that the Naturalist Club can be traced all the way back to at least 1942. This year, it’s not truly a new club, but instead a reappearance of a very old club.

Homecoming Court was not always selected through the current method. For a very long time, only the girls were voted onto Homecoming Court, and they then chose the boys they wanted as their escorts.

Freedom’s yearbook used to include a senior list where each person was described by their classmates, given someone they most resembled, what they were involved in and their most popular nicknames. This section highlighted the seniors in a similar way to the current senior superlatives.

Students spend four years at FHS and, in that time, most don’t experience many big changes. Looking through past yearbooks it’s evident how much change the school has undergone throughout the years. Past yearbooks show just how long the faculty has been teaching, the schools that we have left behind or outgrown and the interests of the students during their time at Freedom.

This year, the 75 edition of the Shawnee will be published, and keeping that in mind it will be very interesting to see how much the school will change in the next 75 years.

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