June 10, 1929, Appleton Post-Crescent
Here's some social items for Menasha from some 88 years ago, to include the first ever graduation ceremony at St. Mary High School.
It is interesting to note that only 14 members of the school graduated that year, but I suspect that it took some time to build up the school population, seeing as how this was its first year of existence. But more importantly, in the early 20th century, school attendance through 12th grade wasn't a given.
Statistics show that in 1910 only 19% of 15- to 18-year-olds were enrolled in a high school and barely 9% of all American 18-year-olds graduated. By 1940, the numbers had risen to 73% of American teenagers enrolled in high school. And within some American cities, especially in the more industrialized North, high school enrollments were initially lower than the rest of the country. These cities had a large number of European immigrants, who weren't as inclined to enroll their children, not to mention many job opportunities for youth, which may have kept them from enrolling as well. Sound familiar?