This Day in Dayton, 11 September

“Dayton School Gals Like Feminine Attire” was the headline for a story in the Journal and Courier in the fall of 1958. It seems that during the previous school year, quite a few girls had taken to wearing blue jeans to class. The new principal, Robert Mertz, had meetings with the pupils and the PTA before school opened where he said he would like to see girls dress like ladies, and the idea took. Girls were wearing dresses to class again when school opened in the fall of 1958, although opinion seemed divided about whether it was really a change from the previous year. The Dayton druggist, when asked, said that teenagers in Dayton didn’t seem as taken with Elvis Presley as elsewhere. He was glad he hadn’t stocked up on too much Elvis Presley lipstick. He and Mertz thought Pat Boone had more influence here than Elvis. Mr. Mertz also pointed out that the 1958 Miss America disliked jeans on girls. The new Dayton school handbook didn’t mention jeans specifically, but did say that a good school citizen “should wear appropriate school clothing.” (Thanks to Mike Grimes for the copy of the article.)

Susan ClawsonComment