World War II-Era Classmates Plan Prom 70 Years Later

"We would have been doing the Lindy and the jitterbug," former class president says

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012  |  Updated 1:57 PM EDT
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World War II-Era Classmates Plan Prom 70 Years Later

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A group of ex-students are staging a high school prom — 70 years later.

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Call it a true senior prom.

About a dozen members of the James Hillhouse High School class of 1943 in New Haven, Conn. are reaching out to their old classmates to let them know they’re holding a prom next year to mark the 70th anniversary of their graduation.

Former class president Anthony Pegnataro told the Hartford Courant that students were told back in 1943 to forgo prom because the country was then fighting in World World II.

"There was a pleasure ban," said Pegnataro. He recalled that back then he and his classmates would have "been doing the Lindy and the jitterbug." 

Of the school’s 1,200 seniors who attended James Hillhouse in Pegnataro’s class, about 500 are still alive and are being contacted to attend the make-up prom, the Courant reported.

Pegnataro told the paper that after graduation he went on to serve in the Pacific for 2.5 years. He estimated that about 100 of his classmates were killed in the war.

Instead of a dinner and dance, the group plans to hold a luncheon at a New Haven country club next May or in September 2013.
 

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