Year of the Lancer

It’s been 50 years since the St. Pius class of 1970 graduated on May 29, 1970.  We had a virtual ‘reunion’ via Zoom on May 29, 2020 to celebrate and remember old friends and discover how our lives had enfolded.  The St. Pius X High School Alumni Association asked us to recall a little about the class of 1970 and what was going on in 1970 as we were seniors readying ourselves to take a major step in our lives.

 Our graduating class only had 87 so it was a little smaller than other classes.  Almost all of us intended to go to college.  Here are some other facts about it:

  • Class officers: Steve Klein, President
      Suzanne Becquette, Vice President
      Connie Schmidt, Secretary
      Denise Fenwick, Treasurer
  • Class song – ‘Born Free’
  • Prom theme:  The Kingdom of Atlantis
  • Scholarships:  20 students received scholarships from St. Mary College, Jefferson College (7), Southeast Missouri State (3), University of Missouri-Rolla (3), St. Louis University, Stephens College, Webster College, University of Missouri-Columbia, Southwest Missouri State, Rockhurst College, Fontbonne College.
  • The fall of 1969 gave the new seniors much to think about.  We saw the best and maybe the worst of the US in those few short months.  It was an amazing time.  
  • America put men on the moon (twice).  
  • The ‘Amazing Mets’ won the World Series.  
  • Woodstock music festival.  
  • Senseless killings occurred:  Mylai massacre in Vietnam was revealed;  Manson family murders in Hollywood.  
  • The Vietnam War produced massive protests.  
  • Nixon withdrew 25,000 troops.  
  • Classic TV and movies were seen:  last Star Trek episodes, “Midnight Cowboy”, “Easy Rider”, “Hello Dolly”

 The first year of the new 70’s decade was very much a continuation of the turbulent 60’s in many ways.

  • Society continued to struggle with the Vietnam War which by 1970 was starting to wind down from a US involvement perspective.  
  • We male senior boys still had the unknown of our own role in that conflict.  A lottery system was in place to determine the sequence of being drafted.  Society and students struggled at home with the war too.  
  • Just as we were about to graduate in May, students at Kent State University protesting the US involvement in the war were killed by the National Guard causing riots throughout the nation. 
  •  We had to deal with our soldiers being accused and tried for killing Vietnamese women and children at My Lai.  A Catholic Jesuit priest, Fr. Daniel Berrigan, was arrested for destroying draft records.
  • The struggle over civil rights in the US continued.  Unarmed African Americans were killed in Georgia as were students at a women’s dorm at Jackson State.  
  • Businesses were boycotted because of the deaths.  Cesar Chavez organized farm workers in California and was arrested for leading a boycott of lettuce.
  • In sports, KC Chiefs won Super Bowl IV.  The St. Louis Blues lost the hockey Stanley Cup to Boston.  50 years later the Blues would finally win it for the first time.

A special thank you to Tom Tanner for a glimpse into the Class of 1970.