Historical Timeline


Academic year      What happened?

1871 Lorimier School, the first public school in Cape Girardeau, was built.
1908 The first class graduated from Cape Girardeau High School's two-year
program at the West Broadway School location.
1909 Enrollment:  14 Ninth graders; 3 teachers.
1910 Enrollment:  38 students; 5 teachers.
1911 Enrollment:  67. The high school moved to the renovated Lorimier
School building.  Football began.
1912 First graduating class from the 4-year high school. 
Enrollment:  71 students; 8 faculty.  Four seniors:  Cecil Lorenz,
Ethel Masterson, Mamie Pickens, Gladys Welborn.  First
Commencement exercises: Baccalaureate Sermon: Sunday,
May 19; Senior Class play: Tuesday; presentation of diplomas,
musical selections and address in the Presbyterian Church:
Wednesday, May 22. 
Senior class rings were purchased;  first publication of The Girardot.
School Hours:  8:30-3:00. Gowan Literary Society (girls); Lorimier
Literary Society (boys); Boy's Athletics:  Football, Basketball and
Track; Girl's Athletics:  Basketball.
1913 Enrollment:  69; 9 graduate.  $125,000 bond passed to remodel schools and build a high school on land donated in 1810 by Louis Lorimier.
1914 Enrollment:  97; 3 graduate.
1915 Enrollment:  144; 12 faculty, 17 graduateCornerstone ceremony at the Pacific Street school on March 20. Students moved into the new building October 22.
1916 Enrollment:  181; 19 graduate. Girardot published by the Senior Class. 
1917 Enrollment :  327; 17 graduate.
1918 Enrollment:  332; 25 graduate.  Red Dagger Club organized.
1919 Enrollment:  376; 37 graduate.  The "Central Clarion"  newspaper began, the first high school newspaper in Southeast Missouri. Alumni Association organized.
1920 School name changed from Cape Girardeau High School to Central High School. The annex was completed and the Orchestra, Central's first instrumental music ensemble, began.
1921 The name "TIGERS", symbolizing strength, was selected by a vote of the student body as the name for our mascot.  Enrollment:  630; 54 graduate. The Vocational Arts Building addition to the school was completed.
1922 Enrollment:  621; 80 graduate.  18 clubs.  Freshman Class at "120 strong" is the biggest in Central High's history. 
1923 Sports:  Football, Basketball, and Track; Girls Basketball. The Girardot boat excursion was held the day before the Baccalaureate Sermon.  Two graduations, in January (the 8th graders came to CHS) and May were held each year.
1924 Enrollment:  666; 84 graduate.  A County Fair supported clubs and sports.
1925 Student Council was organized to "discuss the problems of school activities" and "control all problems of the student body." Orange-Aid spirit group formed.
1926 The first musical comedy, "Pickles", was  performed.  "Because many of the leading doctors of this country have objected to inter-school basketball for girls as being detrimental to their general well-being, and because the State Athletic Association, of which Central is a member, has gone on record against it, girl's basketball, an institution of long standing here, was abolished." 
1927 The Tiger staff was granted a charter to "Quill and Scroll"; the Girardeau-Central Chapter of the National Honor Society of Secondary Schools was organized.
1928 Classes continued  to organize intra-school basketball teams.  Peppers spirit group started.
1929  "C" Club was organized by athletes who had earned a letter in any sport; all male graduates were considered honorary members.
1930 144 graduate.  Houck Stadium was opened where Central played Football.
1931  Mr. Shivelbine took over the band; Miss Riech organized the Drum and Bugle Corps. Annual cruise upriver on the Girardot excursion continued which included dancing and exchanging autographs.
1932 The Football Queen was crowned at the Thanksgiving Football game after leading the student parade to the stadium. The Band entered the stadium playing "Tigers, Tigers".
1933 The Football team played larger schools; Baseball games were played at Fairground Park; start of CHS Tennis.
1934 The cafeteria opened serving 56 students and teachers on September 17. The passageway  connecting  the main building to the cafeteria was completed and the gymnasium floor was repaired. 
1935 159 graduate.  First National Honor Society banquet.
1936 Enrollment:  640.  Requirements for graduation:  English: 4 units; History: 2 units; Civics:1 unit; Mathematics: 1 unit; Science: 1 unit; Government: 1/2 unit; Hygiene: 1/2 unit; Physical Education: 1/2 unit; Electives:  5 1/2 units.  TOTAL : 16 units.   Maintenance for Central per year:  $44,501.36; an average $74.67 per pupil.  Instructors' salaries:  $40,058; janitors': $2,353.50; water:$277.32; lights and power: $327.37; telephone: $42.48; fuel: $875.80; supplies: $566.75. 
1937 Boys and Girls Swimming became a club and met at the State Teachers' College Swimming Pool; our Football team won every game. 
1938 A plate lunch cost 10 cents. Armistice Day observed with 1 minute of silence on 11/11 with Taps played in the hallway.
1939 180 graduate.  Seniors participated in Tacky Day.
1940 Students and former athletes gave talks in Pep Assemblies. Graduation was held at the State Teacher's College. Girardot cost:  $1.75
1941 Enrollment:  700.  The Girardot staff was told to complete the book early in case it would not be printed because of war orders. 
1942 The Library and study hall were revised. Central High School began "wartime" February 9 and started the day at 7:00 R.T. (Roosevelt Time).  The first Air Raid Drill was April 7.      Student Activity cost increased 5 cents plus 4 Mill Tax.  Blue gowns were selected for graduation.
1943 An Awards Assembly was held on the last day of school.
1944 The Girardot was not published in 1944 because of World War II.  Students enjoyed class plays, lyceums, and athletics.  
1945 The Girardot was not published in 1945 because of  World War II.  Rationing affected students and the greater community.  Tires and gasoline were the most difficult to obtain in our area. Start of CHS Baseball.
1946 The opening pages of the 1946 Girardot listed the names of the 50 men and women who gave their lives for our country.  The next pages listed the 1536 names of former Central students who served in the military during World War II.  Mr. Shivelbine wrote our "Alma Mater" which was performed before the Turkey Day game against the Jackson Indians. 
CHS welcomeed Cheerleaders.
1947 For the first time, our "Alma Mater" was published in the Girardot.  Textbooks were located in the Book exchange. 
1948  493 Girardots were sold. Houck Field House burned on February 17 canceling all remaining home Basketball games.  Our Band went to Jackson Band Festival and the Cotton Carnival in Sikeston.
1949 Student Council presidents continued to be elected for a one-semester term. 
1950 Pep Assemblies were held on the Terrace; collections for the Polio Drive were frequent.  TB Patch Tests were given; exam fees were 5 cents.
1951 Student Council made a portable book case for the Polio Ward of St. Francis Hospital and among other things, tried to obtain a stop light at the corners of Pacific and Independence.  The annual talent assembly held in February.
1952 Enrollment:  729. The drawing of the Caruthers Street high school was published in the Girardot (622 copies sold @ $3.15 ). Construction of Caruthers Street high school began. Home Basketball games were played at the Arena.  The fire escape was completed and students enjoyed the slide. 
1953 Eileen Gerhardt designed the winning drawing for the entrance column for the Caruthers Street school.  Cobb School burned and African-American students began attending  Central High School.  September 8:  the school year opened in the new $2,000,000 building on the site of the Battle of Cape Girardeau.  A football game  honored Harold Kuehle who had been injured in the Caruthersville game.  Savings Stamps were sold.
1954 September 8:  school opened on Caruthers Street. Basketball:  STATE CHAMPIONS.   Baseball:  STATE CHAMPIONS.  School supplies sold in the Co-Op.
1955 The auditorium and gym were completed; 513 students rode the bus, 669 Girardots were sold; a school dance was held at Memorial Hall.
1956 Drapes and "comfy seats" were added to the auditorium in time for the first-day assembly; Student Activity book cost $2.95.  `
1957 Last year for January and May graduations.
1958 177 Seniors graduate in May.  Start of CHS Boys Cross Country.
1959 As they have for decades, clubs met on Monday and Wednesday after school.  The Lou Muegge Track and Field construction began.
1960 Start of CHS Golf. Central students collected 22,720 cans for the Salvation Army's canned food for Christmas Charity Drive.
1961 Car parades for Football and Basketball homecoming games were popular and spirited. 
1962 Student Council sponsored Safety Week.  Baseball: STATE  CHAMPIONS.  Freshmen undergo hazing.
1963 Pep Bands helped create excitement in the Gym during  Pep Rallies.  Hall monitors kept order during class changes.
1964 Student Council sold bread for the March of Dimes.  Students could select from 66 different units of credit.  The last year for freshmen at the  building on Caruthers.  Golf:  STATE CHAMPIONS.  29 clubs, 7 sports and 15 new teachers are on campus.
1965 Central became a 10-12 high school. The teacher-student ratio was 1:18.  Driving simulators were added to Drivers' Ed.
1966 A new Junior High was built and the Science department was broadened to understand the "space age". Golf:  7th straight district title.
1967 The musical "Bye Bye Birdie" was presented on the Central stage by Red Dagger; start of CHS wrestling.  Girardot cost:  $4.50; Cross country:  Conference champions.
1968 Juniors made up the largest class with 436 members.  Students walked between the junior high and high school for classes. Tennis:  1st in districts; Central students worked in the library, main office, book exchange, as hall monitors, or operated projectors for teachers.  
1969 Enrollment:  1252.   COE (Cooperative Education) continued to play an important role in student career -making choices. Student Council made a movie and the cheerleaders had a carwash.
1970 Enrollment:  1301.  Afro-American Club added to the existing 17.  Computer grade cards were introduced.  Vocational Courses and a 6th sending school were added; the English department published an Anthology. "Annie Get Your Gun" involved 120 students.
1971 Concert Band, with 120 members, cut a record and toured Europe in a 33-day concert tour under the direction of Bill Ewing (Band) and Mel Gilhaus (Orchestra).  The Sophomore Class totaled 456 students. Students took classes at SEMO and earned college credit.  Block scheduling experiment began.
1972 The Girardot became a summer publication.  Halls continued to be decorated for class competition for Football and Basketball homecoming games.  CONFERENCE SWEEP:   Football, Basketball, Track and Baseball.
1973 Enrollment:  1260, 80 faculty members.   Finding a parking space was a daily problem for Central students.  The Trimester system began; the Tiger Den was closed due to vandalism.  The marquee in front of the school was finished and the Tower was transformed into a reading alcove. Start of CHS Volleyball.
1974 350 seniors graduated inside Houck.  Central included 438 Sophomores and 370 Juniors.  Start of the CHS Pom Pon squad . The Tiger Den became a Math Lab with 5 electric calculators. The A-1 plate lunch was raised to 45 cents; one of the typing rooms contained all electric typewriters.  When gas prices doubled, students rode the bus or bicycled to school. The Tiger began using newsprint.
1975 Combination locks were installed on lockers in an attempt to limit the number of  thefts.  Sound systems were used for school dances rather than local bands.  Girls participated in varsity sports and could receive letters in Volleyball, Tennis ,Track and Golf. Horticulture class, one of 6 in the state, was added.
1976 School began at 7:45.  A Bond Issue passed which included plans for a new gym, the construction of a Baseball diamond and a parking lot.  The trimester system ended.  Girls sports added Basketball and female athletes who lettered and their parents were invited to the annual Athletic Banquet.  Chamber Choir attended the International Jubilee Festival in Washington, DC. 
Afro Club changed to Black Dahlia.  20 units were required for graduation.  With the community, a Bicentennial Celebration show was presented on the Central stage.
1977 Enrollment:  1217.  With the school back on a 2-semester schedule, hours were: 7:45-2:40.  Sports at CHS included 8 for boys and 4 for girls.  International Thespians Society came to Central to honor Red Dagger members' accomplishments.  Both the Senior Prom and the All Night Party were held at the Arena.
1978 A Consumer Ed Course was required for graduation. Start of Softball; the Sports Complex was completed. 
1979 375 graduate. 21 credits were required to graduate. Start of CHS Girls Cross Country.
1980 First Blood Drive. Basketball:  STATE CHAMPIONS; Raunchy Rooters and Tigerettes keep the fans "fired up".  English III was required for all juniors. 15 varsity sports.
1981 Student parking lots and open lunches created a litter problem.  Teachers selected Courtesy Award winners.
1982 STUCO hosted the Missouri Association of Student Council Convention.  Graduation was at Houck Stadium. 
1983 Cable Access Channel used high school students to broadcast news; last year of the girl's Golf program. 
1984 866 students.  A Pride Committee brought changes:  a smoking cage, changes to  the student parking situation, stricter discipline, and mandatory attendance at pep assemblies.
1985 Student Senate organized a SADD chapter (Students Against Driving Drunk).  Soccer began a two-year trial period before becoming a varsity sport.  CHS was named as one of 8 outstanding schools in Missouri; Sunday sports practices banned.  Departmental Student of the Month program began.
1986 The band went to the Fiesta Bowl and the Chamber Choir to Washington, D.C.  The "Bleacher Crew" encouraged spirit at Pep Assemblies and games.  Start of CHS Boys Soccer.
1987 With the closing of University High in 1986, former Preps became Tigers.    23 units of credit were required for graduation.  Seniors sold magazines to raise money for Prom.
1988 133 units of blood were donated in the annual CHS Blood Drive sponsored by STUCO who also brought Computer dating cards and holiday pencils to students .  The Tax levy referendum passed; an AIDS policy was adopted  and a Girardot poll indicated that 79%  of Sophomores, 55% of Juniors and 52% of Seniors currently smoked or recently stopped.   
1989 Spanish Club hosted a hot pepper eating contest.
1990 341 Sophomores, 315 Juniors, and 284 Seniors  can choose from 31 clubs and activities. $341,000.00 in renovations were made to the high school including the addition of an elevator. 
1991 August 26:  First earthquake drill and the ground shook!  School was dismissed December 3 and 4 due to the predicted "big one".  Boys and Girls Swimming were added to the Varsity Sports options.  The Smoking Cage was eliminated and a No Smoking Policy on school grounds was adopted.  STUCO Blood Drive set a state record with  369 units collected. "The Diary of Anne Frank" was performed in the round and the Band and Choir went to Washington, D.C.  Knowledge Master Open:  1st in State; 13th in Nation.
1992 "Restore the Roar" parade was sponsored by Booster Club; STUCO hosted the Missouri Association of Student Council Convention and a video sound system was added to Prom.  The library became computerized and Scholar Bowl was a State-level competition.
1993 269 graduate; "Anything Goes Games" continued to be popular.  The Auditorium was renovated; Mock Weddings were held and it was the year of "The Great Flood of 1993".
1994 Baseball:  STATE CHAMPIONS. First year for the POI (Point of Impact) Concert.
1995 Cheerleaders sponsored the Fall Homecoming Dance and Letterman's Club  the Winter Homecoming Dance.  The Fall Homecoming Parade, the Cape-Jackson football game rivalry, and hall decorating contests remained our traditions.
1996 Renaissance came to CHS and brought Academic Assemblies, A Tribute to Veterans, and the People's Choice Award.  Team Spirit sponsored a docu-drama for Drug Awareness Week; start of CHS Girls Soccer.
1997 "See You at the Pole" was a success; Channel 1 News was part of the school day.  SAGE (Students Aspire to Guard the Environment) started.
1998 POI and Pops were popular venues for musicians.  The Ultimate Final, Principal's Breakfasts, and a School Resource Officer came to the  Central campus.
1999 6 AP classes were offered; popcorn and cappuccino were available for purchasing and enjoying in the library.
2000 A Salsa Band, the Madrigal Feaste, Concert and Symphonic Wind Band, Orchestra, Pit Orchestra, Marching Band contests and Choirs gave musicians an opportunity to perform.  Graduation at the Show Me Center featured students in black graduation gowns with orange stoles and   balloons and streamers dropped as their mortar boards were tossed into the air.
2001 294 graduate.  The Ground Breaking for the new high school building on South Silver Springs Road was held on November 20.  The C-Span Bus came to CHS and the "Roller Coaster" was a staple for Jungle Fever. 
2002 277 Seniors.  The last game at Tiger Field House was February 8; students and faculty said farewell to 205 Caruthers. Missouri Association of Student Council Convention was held  on campus.  The Pom Pon Squad became the Tiger Dancers.
2003 We unloaded trailers and moved into an air conditioned building with many changes: dances were held in the Commons, parking spots were assigned with student decals prominently displayed, lunches were closed, study halls were no longer an option, and freshmen returned to the high school building. CTC trained students for careers in the medical profession.  Professional Learning Community model adopted.
2004 Softball, Cross-Country, and Soccer moved to the new campus, a 21st Century Learning Communities Grant was awarded, and Big Man on Campus was a popular fund-raising event. The Missouri Association of Student Council Convention returned to our campus.
2005 The Marching Band played in the Governor's Inaugural Parade in Jefferson City.
2006 1292 students could choose to study French, German or Spanish.  Locker signs and spirit days were part of life at Cape Central High School as were Film and Lit Club, FBLA, Tri-M and The Literate.
2007 Students were recognized in honor societies:  Beta Club, Thespians, National Technical Honor Society and National Honor Society.
2008 1311 students on campus. The Marching Band placed FIRST in all contests, CAP exams finished the semester's course work.
2009 Students continued to be invited to the Missouri Scholars Academy and Fine Arts Academy, "rode" the Roller Coaster at games, submitted original work to the Central Light, helped or participated in Special Olympics, and entered art contests.  Black Student Union and Islam, Others and You are new clubs.
2010 Orientation, held on 3 consecutive days in early-August helped parents and students become acclimated to the year ahead.  The BUSeum (World War II POW story) came to campus, NHS hosted a Senior citizen's Dance, the Softball and Volleyball teams sponsored  PINK OUT Games in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, and "Mark Twain" visited the Central Library.  Voters passed a bond issue to benefit not only Cape Central but every building in the district.


Additional classrooms, a Performing Arts Center, and a Stadium are in our future thanks to voters.  The publications staff won the SEMSPA Sweepstakes award again this year. 24 credits are necessary for graduation:  Communication Arts 4, Social Studies 3, Mathematics 3, Science 3, Fine Arts 1, Practical Arts 1, Physical Education 2, Health .5, Finance .5 and Electives 6.
SourceGirardot yearbooks, 1012-2010