The Okeechobee School was a primary school in southern Florida. It was located just north of Lake Okeechobee, a huge fresh water lake which feeds the swampy Everglades just to the south. We have some class photographs from 1948-1949. The images are a good reflection of how American children were dressing in the late 1940s. All of the girls wear dresses. Florida is the most southerly America state. The weather in central Florida can be stifeling hot. Yet all of the boiys wear long pants. Most of the boys or barefoot which was becoming increasingly less common in America after World war II. Some of the boys have parched pants suggesting a level of poverty, butwe suspect that many of the boys just preferred to go barefoot. More of thd girls on the other hand look to all be wearing shoes.
Here we see Mrs. Row's 5th grade class in 1948. The children would be about 10 years old. Some have probably turned 11, depending on when the photograph was taken. There are no Black children as the schools in Florida were segregated. There is, however, one Indian boy. The Everglades and Okeechobee area was where the Seminoles lived. The girls almost all wear dresses, except one girl who wears jeans. We suspect this was a sign of poverty more than fashion. Most of the boys wear collared shirts without "T"-shirts underneath. A few boys wear colored "T"-shirts. All of the boys wear long pants despite the hot weather. Many of the children are barefoot, including some of the girls.
Here we see Mrs. Burr's 5th grade class in 1949. The children would be about 17 years old. Some have probably turned 8, depending on when the photograph was taken. There are no Black children as the schools in Florida were segregated. The girls almost all wear dresses or skirts. Most of the boys wear collared shirts without "T"-shirts underneath. A few boys wear colored "T"-shirts. All of the boys wear long pants despite the hot weather. Many of the children are barefoot, especially the boys. This was about when I began school in Washington, D.C. This is about how I remember being dressed for school, except we never went barefoot to school. Note how the boys' pants are worn at the knees. I can remember how I kept tearing my jeans at the knees and my mother would iron on prepared knee patches.
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