The year 1917 marks the birth of The Campanile. As a paper, we are honored to be a part of this 100-year anniversary and have dedicated the special feature, “Centennial Report,” to exploring our history. In each issue, we will travel into the archives of The Campanile. Our first report will venture back to the first available historical issue, Jan. 22, 1919.
The Campanile wrote its first issue in the fall of 1918. Students produced the first issues by writing on typewriters and printing the paper at a factory located on campus.
The January 1919 issue included four pages, quite the change from our current 24-page issues. However, the overall structure of our issues have stayed surprisingly consistent over 10 decades. The nameplate font for our logo remains the same and our overall page layout is similar. This original issue did not include the range of stories that are now produced, but it highlighted several Palo Alto-centric stories, including those from the neighborhood, and covered Paly sports as well.
The front page of this issue incorporated stories ranging from “Armenian Fund Drive Nets $177.10” to “First Game of Basketball Is Lost.” The top story on the page detailed Paly’s contribution to “feeding the starving Armenians,” referring to the extermination of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian Genocide.
Specific tags sold for 10 cents each ($1.50 today) to contribute to a fundraiser. The total amount raised, $177.10 ($2600 today), obliterated the school’s past record of giving to worthy causes. John Domby was credited with selling the most tags, contributing $14 to the relief fund ($290 today). The second major story on the front page detailed the Paly basketball game against Campbell High School, which took place on Jan. 11, 1919. The game ended in a nail-biting 20-19 loss for the Paly team.
“Many Alumni in Hall of Fame” dominated the front page of the January 1919 issue of The Campanile and highlighted the achievements of former Paly graduates. This particular issue told the story of Paly graduate Edgar Kirk Soper, class of 1904.
“On Wednesday of last week Edgar Kirk Soper, class of 1904, sailed with a party of geologists for the Island of Trinidad to investigate the southern part of that island for deposits of oil. In high school Edgar Soper made a fine record in scholarship and was prominent in student affairs as president of the student body and as captain of the baseball team.”
The Campanile has undergone changes in its 100 years. Librarian Rachel Kellerman has structured an online library, which will include the full archive of all Paly’s publications. It can be found at palyjournalismarchive.pausd.org.
To mark the building and opening of our grand campus, many events are being planned for the year. The cornerstone of the building was laid 1918.
Activities will officially begin in 2018 and continue through February, 2019 culminating in a recognition of the first graduation in February, 1919.
Everyone is encouraged to participate. Please check this site regularly for updates and invitations.
If you have suggestions for the committee to consider or wish to be involved, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paly Student Body December 1918
HISTORY: After a delay because of the influenza epidemic, the current Paly campus opened officially on December 24, 1918. Students, faculty, and local dignitaries marched from its Channing Avenue location to the new Palo Alto High School on Embarcadero at El Camino, with the 91st Company of High School Cadets triumphantly leading the way. The community was impressed with the school's auditorium - unique at a time when even Stanford had none - and the high-ceilinged library doubled as a ballroom.
When the present Palo Alto High School was built in 1918, some townsfolk were critical of a location so far out of town. But the 30-acre site with its Live Oak trees was being sold by neighboring Stanford University at the token cost of $1.00 per acre, and optimists thought that Palo Alto might well grow to the south.