The headlines from Wayne Hills High School in 1966 were brought back into the limelight this week.
James Freeswick, an alumnus of the school’s class in 1968, donated original copies of the first 10 issues of the Patriot Press to the paper’s staff Wednesday. The papers were published between 1966 and 1968, the first three years of Hills’ existence. Freeswick scanned the papers and made electronic copies.
“I thought it would be a nice thing to give them to the school where they belong,” said Freeswick, who was president of the student council as a junior and senior. “History is very important and now these reporters can learn about not just about the history of their school but their paper too.”
The first edition of the Patriot Press was published December 1966. Articles form the editions Freeswick donated included coverage of everything from classes, the arts, and sports. Freeswick wrote columns for the paper when he was class president.
The Debating Cub held a meeting with the president of the Passaic County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The topic was The Negro in America. The marching band and color guard filmed a commercial for American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T).
“I had no idea that this stuff was out there,” said Jillian O’Donohoe, one the paper’s three senior editors. “In reading it, there are things we read about in our history books, like the Civil Rights movement, they’re in this paper, these people lived it.”
Donna Del Moro, the paper’s faculty advisor, said the school plans on displaying the original prints in a protective case.
“We have some back issues but nothing that goes as far back as what was received today,” Del Moro said. “Now the students can learn not just about the history of Wayne Hills but the history of the paper too.”
O’Donohoe said examining the nearly 50-year-old papers has made her appreciate her work on the publication. Publishing a newspaper then involved laying out stories and headlines on a typesetting board by hand.
“You have to give the staff back then a lot of credit,” O’Donohoe said. “It took them a lot longer to create the paper back then.”