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Saint Leo Community Memory Oral History Collection & Archive: Searchlight Newspaper: Holy Name Academy 1948-

This guide contains a collection of oral histories and archival materials related to the history of Saint Leo University and its surrounding communities since its inception in the late 19th century.

Holy Name Academy Student Newspaper: Launched in 1948

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT October 5, 1948

Due to the operation of a Communist government in Hungary from June 1948-1989, many dissidents were arrested on accounts of treason. An instance of this was mentioned in this issue of The Searchlight. The students prayed for strength to be given to the Hungarian Cardinal, Jozsef Mindszenty, who was in custody for urging people to ignore the communists' orders to shut down Catholic institutions. The communists believed MIndszenty was the center of counter-revolutionary forces in Hungary, and he was arrested on charges of treason.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT December 13, 1949

In this issue, the Chaplain's plans for a Holy Year Tour are announced. A group of Saint Leo students will be accompanying the Chaplain on the tour. The current pope, Pope Pius XII, declared 1950 as a Holy Year. The first Holy Year was in 1300. Holy Years are held every 25 years, and during the year, Catholics are expected to make the pilgrimage to Rome.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT December 20, 1954

In this issue, the students wrote about their excitement for the Pasco County Fair. Among the Pasco County Queen Contest, Baby Contest, and the Livestock and Poultry show, a minstrel show was listed as one of the highlights of the fair. Minstrel shows are now considered a racist form of entertainment due to the frequent use of blackface by white actors and the mocking of African Americans featured in the performances.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT November 15, 1956

In this article, the students questioned what would have happened if Armistice Day hadn't occurred. They proposed that they could possibly be speaking Russian and would not be able to speak or worship freely. They also thought about what the year 1960 would be like and if Russia would be an ally. Russia did not become an ally, but in 1962 they raised tensions with the U.S. when they placed missiles in Cuba. 

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT October 1957

In this issue, the students were let out early to go see the movie "Around the World in 80 Days." The film won the most awards, including best motion picture, at the 29th Academy Awards held on March 27, 1957. The first Academy Awards event was held in 1929 and was a private event that lasted fifteen minutes. The award show has since become a major part of American popular culture and is broadcast nationwide.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT January-February 1958

In this issue, the sophomore class chose the theme "Hawaiian Holiday" for the first dance of the year. At the time Hawaii was not yet a state, but a territory of the United States. The U.S. annexed Hawaii in 1898, declared it a territory in 1900, and entered into statehood in 1959. 

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT April-May 1958

In this issue, the business students received pins to commemorate their typing accomplishments in artistic typing, shorthand, and efficiency. During this time, the most popular professions for women were nursing, teaching and business, specifically secretaries. Typing and shorthand were important skills for business professions and were often taught to women throughout the 20th century to prepare them for a career as a secretary.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT January 1959

In this issue, they described the 1958 Brussels World's Fair, held in Belgium. The Soviet Union's exhibit featuring Sputnik was very popular, and the students questioned how much of the technology the Russians actually owned. The first World's Fair was held in 1851 to showcase the technological and industrial achievements of nations.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT September-November 1959

In this article, the students brought up the topic of mental health and disabilities. One student asked the question, "What good do persons of very low mentality or insane persons do for the world?" in the "Mr. Zepeda's Question Box" section of the paper. Mr. Zepeda replied that those with mental disabilities that rendered them virtually "insane" could perform no direct work to please God but could offer those with the ability to care for them a chance to "exercise charity" and a road to sanctity. At the time, mental health and illnesses were very stigmatized. Hospitals for the mentally ill or disabled were commonly referred to as insane asylums and often featured frequent mistreatment of patients. However, in the 1960s, new drugs were made available, and a movement to deinstitutionalize mental facilities began. 

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT March 1960

In the article titled "Old Maid?..." it is claimed that those who decide to stay single do so for selfish reasons. At the time, especially within the Catholic tradition, it was expected for women to either get married and have a family or join the religious life as a nun.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT October 12, 1949

In this issue, the students participated in a Columbus Day play. Columbus Day is now considered an outdated name for the holiday we now know as Indigenous Peoples' Day. A name change was proposed in 1977 due to issues celebrating colonialism. Columbus Day celebrated the man who initiated the colonization and subsequent mistreatment of native peoples; however, Indigenous Peoples' Day now celebrates the culture and history of those who were colonized. Indigenous Peoples' Day was first celebrated in the 1990s.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT March 1, 1950

In this issue, there is an article about an Archbishop from China visiting the HNA. This issue was published six months after the Communists established the People's Republic of China. The Archbishop asked the students to pray for China's fight against Communism. He informed the students that freedom of religion is permitted, but there are restrictions on when priests can say mass. 

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT September-October 1955

In this issue, it was announced that the HNA students were allowed to attend classes at Saint Leo Preparatory School. Twenty-four girls were enrolled in classes such as chemistry, religion, and geometry. Up until this announcement, Saint Leo was a boys-only institution. In the 1950s, it was common to designate who could attend schools based on gender.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT February 15, 1957

A March of Dimes advertisement was featured in this issue. Below it claimed they would feel a sense of completeness if they donated to the cause that provided treatment for polio patients. The March of Dimes was an effort a part of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938. The March of Dimes funded research for the polio vaccine that was introduced in 1955.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT November 23, 1957

In the "People You Know" section, a list of girls who were attending nursing school was mentioned. Nursing was a common profession for women in the 50s and 60s. The number of nurses in the United States more than doubled in the years between the decades from around 400,000 to 900,000. The majority of nurses were women, making up 98% of those in the US. While slightly less at 86%, women still make up the majority of the nursing population in America.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT February 1958

In this issue, the newspaper is celebrating Catholic Press Month. Catholic Press Month was suggested by the Catholic Press Association, now the Catholic Media Association, and was first celebrated in 1950. The first Catholic diocesan paper in the United States started in 1822 to address the misconceptions surrounding the Catholic faith.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT October-November 1958

In this issue, the students wrote about how saddened they were by the death of Pope Pius. They were thankful for the "Pope of Peace" for his fight against war and communism. The Catholic Church issued the Decree Against Communism during his papacy in 1949. The decree excommunicated Catholics that professed the communist doctrine.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT March-April 1959

In this issue, the students expressed their excitement about the new tennis net that was installed. Tennis reached its height of popularity in the United States in the 1970s and 80s but has since decreased in popularity.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT January 1960

Another March of Dimes advertisement asking students to support the cause is featured. It is announced that the March of Dimes has extended its cause beyond polio. The foundation will provide support to research birth defects and arthritis. Since the extension, stillborn deaths have decreased by nearly 50% and many breakthroughs have been made in the treatment of arthritis.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT April 1960

In the article titled "Why Vote for John Doe?" the topic of "wise voting" was brought up. The academy conducted a straw vote on the current presidential candidates, and the students learned about the importance of making an informed vote, primaries, voter registration, and poll taxes. Poll taxes required voters to pay a specified amount at their polling place in order to cast their vote. This disproportionately affected African Americans due to the majority of them not being able to afford the tax. Poor whites were able to bypass the tax because of the grandfather clause, which stated that those whose grandfathers had the right to vote before the passage of the 15th Amendment would not be subject to poll taxes. Poll taxes were made illegal by the 24th Amendment and eliminated in 1964.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT November 18, 1949

The school held a panel titled "Making Democracy Work," where the students asked questions about the rights and duties of children in an American democracy. They were mainly concerned with the safeguarding of children's rights and how they could promote Christian Social Living standards. 

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT April 23, 1954

In this issue the controversial issue of the separation of church and state is discussed. The article "Church vs State" claims that separation of church and state is a heresy. As Catholics they believed political leaders should recognize the powers of the spiritual supremity of the papacy.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT October 26, 1956

In this issue, the students wrote another story on the topic of communism. At the time, America was in the midst of the Cold War, which heightened the fear of communism among Americans. The article titled "Four Years In A Red Hell" told the story of a priest imprisoned in communist China and released after four years. After returning to the U.S., the priest founded a letter-writing campaign called the Freedom Crusade. Through his efforts, 50,000 letters were written to Mao Zedong, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, to request the release of American prisoners. 

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT March-April 1957

This issue features multiple articles about a woman's place in society. The article titled "The Woman In Marriage" tells students a good wife is to "forget herself and work for the happiness and well-being of her family." In the 20th century, this was seen as being a good mother or wife, but now more than ever, women are advocating for their personal needs. Especially pertaining to mental health, women are encouraged to take time for themselves and ask for help if necessary. Currently, good mothers are considered those who take the time to care for themselves to ensure they can care for their children to the best of their ability. Another article mentioned how single women working alongside men have "done the most to degrade women." Throughout the 1950s, only about 33% of women made up the workforce.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT December 31,1957

In this issue, the students wrote about the Christmas Mass of the Rooster. The Rooster's Mass, also known as Misa de Gallo, was a common tradition in Latin American countries. Due to the lack of clocks, they used the crow of a rooster to determine when midnight mass should start on Christmas Eve.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT March 1958

In this issue, they announced that five new girls were initiated into the Order of St. Benedict. In the 50s and 60s, the United States had record numbers of women becoming nuns. At its height in 1965, there were nearly 200,000 sisters participating in a religious order. Since the 70s, less and less women have been devoting their lives to serving in a convent. Currently, there are around 40,000 nuns in the U.S.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT December 1958

In this issue, they announced that the business class received awards for their ability to use Gregg shorthand. Gregg shorthand is a writing technique that was created by John Robert Gregg in 1888. Shorthand was a skill that was required for many secretary positions in the 1900s. Gregg shorthand was commonly taught in high schools throughout America until it was phased out in the 1990s. 

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT May 1959

In this issue the students are excited for the May Festival. May Day Festivals were popular at women's institutions at the time. May Day is a European tradition that celebrates the beginning of summer. 

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT February 1960

The new contraceptive introduced in 1960 was referred to as the "murderous birth preventive serum" in this issue. The birth control pill, known as Enovid, was first introduced and approved by the FDA in the year 1960. In 1968 the pope spoke out about the church's position on birth control in the Humanae vitae and claimed artificial contraception is considered intrinsically evil.

Holy Name Academy THE SEARCHLIGHT May 1960

In this issue the seniors' skip day was described. Senior skip day remains a popular tradition among American high school students. The HNA seniors celebrated their final day of high school at Daytona Beach. In the early 1900s Daytona Beach became widely popular among racing enthusiasts for its driveable beaches. Due to the area becoming well known for this, it was eventually given the title of the “World’s Most Famous Beach” in the 1920s.