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Almost Yesterday is a glimpse into the rich history of our region. Dr. Frank Nickell takes listeners on a journey to specific moments in time, such as the first radio broadcast on KFVS, the history of Farmington’s Carleton College, and the short-lived safari on a Mississippi River island. A gifted storyteller and local historian, Dr. Nickell’s wit and love for the past are combined with sounds and music that augment his narrative.On Saturday, June 7, 2008, Almost Yesterday received First Place in the "Special Programs" category at the Missouri Broadcasters Association Awards Banquet in Kansas City, Missouri.Almost Yesterday airs every Wednesday at 5:42 and 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m.

Almost Yesterday: Dedication of Cape Central High School

Almost Yesterday
Southeast Missouri State University

It seems like Almost Yesterday that the first Cape Girardeau High School was dedicated.  The date was December 17, 1915, and the event serves as a turning point in the educational history of Cape Girardeau and Southeast Missouri.

Public Education had evolved slowly in Cape Girardeau.  In 1908 the city’s first “High school” offered only a one-year course of study to the 14 students enrolled.  But, social and economic factors contributed to substantial population growth in the first decade of the century and by 1915 there were 180 students in pursuit of a four-year, secondary education.

The new school was the result of a fund raising effort which had produced $125,000 by the end of 1913. Plans were developed and Cape Girardeau’s first public high school building was a solid brick structure, centrally located on South Pacific Street.  It had been erected in 18 months at a cost of $105,000, including equipment.

The dedication ceremony featured a number of notable speakers and an appropriate variety of musical productions.  Missouri’s State Superintendent of Education, Howard A. Gass, commended the city upon its achievement and predicted that the high school population would soon exceed 500 students, and urged the community to begin planning future expansion.

Father James Murtaugh of St. Vincent’s Catholic Church, Mr. C. P. Coley of the Cape Girardeau Business College, Dr. W. S. Dearmont, President of Southeast Missouri State Teacher’s College and J. W. Phillips, President of the Cape Board of Education, addressed the large audience.

The dedication was concluded with musical presentations by the twelve-piece orchestra, the senior class and the newly formed glee club. In December of 1915, Cape Girardeau dedicated its first Central High School. 

It seems like Almost Yesterday...

Frank Nickell is a retired history professor at Southeast Missouri State University.
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