Throwback to New Bingham (1976): Prospector

Sarah Jenson, Staff Writer

It might be a little disconcerting to see an Army or Marine ad in our edition of the

Newspaper. It’d probably be irritating to see the pictures and articles slightly crooked

because they’re pasted on with tape instead of copy-and-paste. It’d surely throw people

off if we started printing personal ads for every kid itching for a date.

If you looked in a 1976 issue of the Prospector, that’s exactly what you would


Every issue has a quarter page ad for the Army and one for the Marines, large

and proud. There are other ads as well, but it was a bit shocking to be reading a paper

with obvious signs of the recent Vietnam War. In 2016, people don’t really encourage

going into the army after high school – it’s all about going to college immediately after

graduating. In the 1976 issue, joining the armed forces was a much-encouraged post-

high school career.

It’s also fairly obvious that all the articles and pictures from the April 1976 issue

were taped onto a page of the paper and then mass copied. If that doesn’t sound

completely stressful and make you want to hug your computer, you’re wrong. Imagining

the stress of trying to match up straight lines and making all of the pictures and stories

fit perfectly onto each page makes handling InDesign seem simple.

A personal favorite would have to be the personal ad found in the April 1976

issue. A lonely Rocky Roads (yes, that’s his name) put an ad in the newspaper to get

babes to sign his Rocky Register found in the Main Office – the first five girls on the list

would be taken on a date by, “ [the] sensuous surfer form Southern California with a

sexy golden tan. …This extravagant piece of art was the top surfer at Lajolla High

School.” A petition to bring back personal ads into the Prospector is now being created.

Some things never change though – articles about Debate winning State and

Sterling Scholars featured in the 1976 issues. Sure, they might have some bigger

hairstyles and some odd clothing choices, but the tradition of Bingham success

continued on. The girls gymnastic team was also preforming well, and the 1980 football

team finished third in state.

Girl’s choice dances were also a topic of conversation – The Women’s

Association Dance cost an outrageous $3 per ticket. The whole dance was put on by

The Women’s Association, a thriving club at Bingham. Instead of a ticket to get into the

Sadie’s dance, you had to present a Women’s Association card, which could be bought

from any of the Women’s Association officers. Cheapskates may actually sound more

entertaining than its forefather, The Women’s Association Dance.

It’s easy to assume that a high school newspaper in 1976 would be completely

foreign to a 2016 teenager. What could a teenager then have in common with a

teenager now? Perusing through old Prospector issues, though, made it strikingly clear

how similar Bingham students are from forty years ago and now. There’s the same

dating struggles, the same spirit of rebellion against school, the same Miner pride at

sporting events – sure, the styles and lingo might be a little different, but the

undercurrent of Prospector news certainly hasn’t changed in forty years.