A Look back at 1938

Mary Anna Crocket graduated from San Marcos Academy in 1938, along with 49 classmates who hailed from all across Texas as well as from New York, Oklahoma and Venezuela. Although she will not be able to join us for the 2019 Homecoming, Mary Anna, who lives in Beaumont, will be with us in spirit as the oldest known living graduate of SMA.

Mary Anna Crocket Reviving her homecoming bear

When Mary Anna graduated in 1938, SMA enrolled students from first grade through twelfth grade and welcomed a few post-graduate students as well. Raymond Cavness occupied the president’s office, which was located in Carroll Hall at SMA’s original campus along Academy Street. At that time, the SMA mascot was the Cub rather than the Bear.

Carroll Hall at SMA as it looked in 1938.
Carroll Hall at SMA as it looked in 1938.

Students at SMA participated in numerous clubs and activities in the late 1930’s, including band, the Commercial Club, newspaper, Science Club, speech, piano, the Nobeli Delphi Club, the Dramatic Club, the military program and of course, athletics. The football team was the Academic League Champion in 1937-38, shutting out six opponents and beating the seventh foe 26-12. Boys also played baseball, basketball and tennis, while girls had teams for tennis, basketball, baseball (no softball back then) and swimming.

Mary Anna was captain of the girls basketball team.
Mary Anna was captain of the girls basketball team.

In 1938, Franklin D. Roosevelt was president of the United States, and in Germany, Adolf Hitler was making increasingly aggressive speeches and threats that would lead to the outbreak of war in the following year.

In pop culture, Superman made his first appearance when Action Comics #1 was published. If you had a copy of this comic book today, it would be worth millions! Also in 1938, Kate Smith sang a rendition of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” for the first time on radio during an Armistice Day broadcast. Orson Welles created mass panic through radio with his broadcast of “The War of the Worlds.” Many people in the U.S. heard the broadcast and thought we had actually been invaded by aliens. Last but not least, Seabiscuit outran War Admiral in a famous winner-take-all match-up between the two race horses.

Meanwhile, back in San Marcos, Mary Anna and her classmates were enjoying their senior year at this college prep school in Texas. Mary Anna was vice president of the Senior Class, captain of the basketball team, a drum major for the band, and a member of the Crest staff. She would also end up as valedictorian of the Class of 1938.

Mary Anna's senior yearbook entry.
Mary Anna’s senior yearbook entry.

In the ’38 Crest, the foreword, penned by Mary Anna and others on the staff, reads as follows:

“Application of the principles of Christianity in education has been the purpose of San Marcos Academy in training boys and girls of Texas, other states, and several foreign countries. Development of student initiative has been stressed and the outcome evidenced by progress in every department of the school during the long term of 1937-38.”

One could easily use this summary to describe SMA today! Maybe things have not changed that much after all.

President Guenther has declared Friday, Sept. 27, as Mary Anna Crocket Glasgow Day at San Marcos Baptist Academy. Thank you, Mary Anna, for your 81 years of commitment to the Academy and to the Alumni Association. May you enjoy many more Homecomings!

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