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School History

Out in a desolate sand plateau in Northern California stands a row of 20 tar-papered barracks, our Tri-State High School, which opened its doors to 2,400 students on Sept. 14, 1942. In its pioneer days, the classrooms were bare but as the weeks rolled by, stoves, tables, benches, books, blackboards and other school equipment were provided, thus bringing about more of a school atmosphere.

On Oct. 5, the school paper, later named the Tri-Stater, made its first appearance. About the same time, the school received its present name of Tri-State, as well as its school symbol – the golden eagle and the colors blue and gold.

The first school dance, "School Daze Swing." Was held on Oct. 15. The "Turkey Jive" was the only other social held during the first quarter. School dances were held in different mess halls in the colony.

Probably the most notable event in the fall of 1942 was the potato harvest. At this time, the project farm, suffering also from the nationwide manpower shortage, called on Tri-Staters to aid them in their potato harvesting. The Tri-Staters wholeheartedly pitched in for the whole month of October.

With such a start, Tri-State ended its first quarter on Dec. 24, with a Christmas vacation of one week before the second quarter.

Evidence that Tri-State was to practice democratic principles was shown when a constitution was drawn up for student government. Student body elections were held on Jan. 14, 1943. Edward Yoshikawa was elected student body president.

Socials, clubs and classes were being organized and activities were getting into full swing when school was closed from Feb. 9 until March 25 for the colonywide registration.

After the vacation, a "Hello Day" was held on April 2 to create a more friendly atmosphere among its students. At this time, the classes, which elected their officers on Feb. 9, were given their first opportunity to function as a group. Tentative plans for a school yearbook were also underway about this time.

Perhaps the biggest, the most successful, and the most memorable school event was the "Kanaka Carnival," which was held on April 30 on the school campus. This carnival was held for the purpose of raising money for the Aquila. Each organization in school contributed by participating in various concessions. King Conrad Kurahara and Queen Teruko Yumibe with Prince George Hatamiya and Princess Elsie Eto reigned over the day.

The third quarter was filled with one activity after another. Rallies were held weekly; several inter-class track meets were sponsored by the Boys’ League, a four-page Tri-Stater was distributed every week; student activity card sales soared; annual sales were reopened; a scholarship fund drive went into full swing; and campaign, election and inauguration for next year’s student body officers were held. Highlighting the social events of the year were the Junior Prom and the Senior Ball.

With such a hectic and memorable year, Tri-State closed its doors to its students for the 1942-43 school term on July 16. Next fall, a brand new and modern high school will be opened.

Tule Lake

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