Why are yearbooks so important to a school and its history?
The work itself to build a yearbook is a valuable experience in managing complex projects, teamwork, planning, organizing and responsibility.
Garfield produces a yearbook every year (of course), which aids in maintaining pride in the school. Working to cover every aspect of high school life at Garfield can be exasperating, but sets out the many achievements of the students, teachers, parents and the school as a whole.
The yearbook maintains student pride, seeing you on a team, as a graduate, as a student, as a friend. You are pictured in this permanent keepsake – forever. For many it will be the pride of friendship in getting your yearbook filled with messages and signatures. That yearbook will be around long after many social media programs are long gone (MySpace, Bebo, Friendster). Pictured at right is the Yearbook Staff of 1928.
Just look at the memories it stores for so many people covering the years they spent at Garfield. It becomes a record book of people, places, friends, events, social gatherings, teamwork, victories, and even losses. It is a scrapbook of life being lived that can be shared with others for many years to come. A great tool for research, the yearbook is an important historical document, in many ways detailing major events, cultural trends, fashion, a snapshot of a time and place, a virtual look into the past.
Summer and Winter?
One question many ask is, "Why does it say Summer and Winter?" Up until about 1971, high schools in Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles City Schools) graduated students every semester. So you could have been part of a Winter Class graduating at the end of January, or a Summer Class graduating in June. Some of the yearbooks do not designate winter or summer as they carry both graduating classes.
Yearbooks of the1930s
Looking at the yearbooks from 1933 through 1941, there is a stark difference in the size and material used to produce them. You can clearly see the effect the Great Depression had on the school and its students. The yearbooks were downsized to only about two dozen pages and in some instances only displayed the graduating senior class. Along with this era, the yearbook name changed from "Crimson and Blue" to "The Senior Log" denoting that juniors, sophomores, freshmen and faculty were left out of the publication to bring down the cost, which was under $1. Albeit, even that sum was extravagant for many during these hard times.