With the new school year underway, it seems like a good time to remember other school years and the people and events from “back in the day.” Some things change, and some things remain the same.

What follows is a sampling of articles about the Hibbing schools through the years. These articles all appeared in the Hibbing Daily Tribune on the date at the beginning of each article. Maybe there will be some names familiar to you, or maybe not. What is interesting about researching the past is never knowing what is waiting to be discovered.

~ Mary Palcich Keyes

August 19, 1939

“How do people remember Hibbing?”

The majority would say that it is the Hull-Rust-Mahoning pit that makes the big impression.

Paul Whiteman, noted band leader, apparently did not even see the leading tourist lure.

The other day, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Nides and their niece were dining at a Duluth restaurant when they saw a familiar tall, husky individual enter the room and sit down at a table. After glancing at him they decided that he certainly resembled Paul Whiteman. To satisfy her curiosity, their niece approached the band leader and discovered that he was indeed the band leader, Paul Whiteman.

Mr. Nides, thinking he would see how well Mr. Whiteman remembered places he had been to, said, “Mr. Whiteman, do you remember playing in a town called Hibbing about fifteen years ago?”

“I certainly do!” answered the musician. “Why, I distinctly remember it as the town with the tall flag pole and the incredible auditorium!”


December 3, 1957

There is need for self-evaluation among higher educational institutions, in the light of recent developments, Dean John Neumaier of Hibbing Junior College told members of the Hibbing Exchange Club at its meeting on Monday.

There is also a need, he said, for self-evaluation on the part of parents and the community. The country needs not only competent scientists and engineers, but also qualified persons in the social sciences and humanities.

Hibbing Junior College, he said, on the basis of all available data, is the fastest growing college in Minnesota. Its full-time enrollment has jumped 77 percent in three years.

The dean said that the increase has brought with it a shortage of classroom space. Nevertheless, he said, the faculty has placed great stress on the maintenance of high academic standards.

Dean Neumaier predicted that Hibbing Junior College, already the largest junior college in the state, will become more and more the cultural center of Hibbing.

Note that at this time the Junior College was a part of the Hibbing Public School District and was located primarily in the west wing of the high school building. ~ MPK


December 5, 1957

In this country, a child’s chance of getting a good education depends on where he or she lives, on the parents’ finances, and on the teachers’ ability, says the National Education Association. In Hibbing, it has netted the average individual some 11.1 years of schooling. A total of 2,050 local residents have received one or more years of college training in our school district. Of these, 790 have gone on for four years or more, according to the latest federal count. In all, 21.2 percent of the local adult population has gone to college. This is higher than the proportion getting a higher education in most parts of the United States, where the average is 13.2 percent. In the State of Minnesota, it is 14.3 percent.


August 21, 1958

The Hibbing school administrators and teachers have asked the cooperation of parents in the observance of certain rules governing the dress of students while in school.

“We are sincerely convinced that there is a very positive relationship between dress and behavior,” school authorities said. “Good taste in dress is an important part of a wholesome classroom environment. We urge that you definitely forbid the following attention-seeking departures from good taste when your children attend school classes.”

Boys – Freak haircuts or hair unduly long. Failure to wear a belt which properly supports the trousers above the hips. Shirts worn unbuttoned, with the exception of collars which may be left open. Shirts not tucked in, with the exception of pull-overs or shirts which are intended to be worn outside the trousers. Collars turned up. Improperly fitted trousers. Any other type of attire that tends to be sensational or which may distract others from their school work.

Girls – Slacks, shorts, pedal pushers and jeans. Hair in pin curls, curlers, or covered with a head scarf. Dresses worn indiscreetly in any way. The exaggerated use of makeup.

All – The noticeable use of dye or bleach on the hair to create a sensational appearance.


July 6, 1960

The Public Health Nursing Service for Independent School District 701 for the school year 1959-1960 indicates the scope and extensive program of the school health department in keeping the youngsters who attend the Hibbing schools healthy. There were 195 office visits with 1,923 parents’ conferences. Four hundred fifty-seven pupils were conferred with and 1,885 students were examined by physicians.

A total of 176 cases of communicable diseases were reported during the school year with measles, 87 cases in all, heading the list. There were 30 cases of German measles, 14 cases of chickenpox, 10 cases of mumps, eight cases of scarlatina reported.

An immunization form letter regarding dyptheria, smallpox, and polio prevention was sent home with each student early in the school year. All faculty and school employees were required to have a 1959 report and a chest x-ray on file at the school prior to January 1, 1960.

A total of 3,232 students and 23 adults were Mantoux tested. A total of 486 children were registered and their health histories taken by PTA volunteers for the 1960 parent-school roundup. Dental cards were issued for a free dental checkup by the family dentist.

Eighteen class talks were given by the school nurses. Seven hundred thirty-seven students, 362 athletes, and three new students were screened by the school physicians. Dr. George Erickson was the school physician.

Fourteen students were referred to the Lions Club for eye care. Twenty-seven children under nurse supervision attended the orthopedic field hospital at the National Guard Armory on September 23.

Mrs. Jennie Salo, nurse, spoke to seven groups of rural community nursing affiliated students organization of the School Health Service.


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