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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

PRESIDENT WILLIAM MCKINLEY HIGH SCHOOL

I'm relieved November 8 has finally come, for I can mostly remove politics from this blog site after today.   On the other hand, if Donald Trump  becomes our 45th POTUS, I might dedicate this site to initiating a revolution.  For now, even though this is election day, I will skip my opinionated attitude about this subject, and instead focus on the 25th president of the United States.

I graduated from President William McKinley High School 58 years ago.  I did some research and found so many interesting things that I should have previously known I felt compelled to toss in an entire article on this subject.  Here is an anecdote that caught my attention:

The color gold was chosen when McKinley High was a very young school and had a close association with Hawaiian Royalty. To complement the gold, the color black was chosen. The colors were chosen also because many McKinley graduates continued their education at Princeton, whose colors were also black and gold. Because of their close relationship with Princeton, the nickname "Tigers" grew.

Can you believe that one reason Black and Gold are the school colors plus we are called the Tigers  is because many McKinley graduates soon after 1868 (yes, it is almost 150 years old, whereas the University of Hawaii is only 109) went to Princeton (which was founded in 1746)?

Frankly, I don't know of any McKinley High School graduate who ever went to Princeton.  On the other hand, I don't know of anyone who followed me to Stanford.  But I don't closely track these things.  That's our senior class album to the right above, and me as a senior below.

I do know that when I was there, it was known as Tokyo High because the majority of students were Japanese.  Today:
  • Chinese               25.6%
  • Filipino                19.8%
  • Native Hawaiian   9.9%
  • Japanese             9.3%
  • Indo-Chinese        8.6%
  • Korean                  6.3%
We had nearly 850 in our graduating senior class, with 10th/11th/12th grades, while today the total enrollment is less than 1800 with four levels.

There is only one President William McKinley High school in the world.  There are several other McKinley High Schools, but all the others differ in some way, such as McKinley Senior High School in Baton Rouge and McKinley High School in Sebring, Ohio.  I went to Google and asked, "who are the most famous graduates of McKinley High School," and only the Honolulu school appeared in Ranker.com.  Our top three are:
  • #1  Dwayne Rock Johnson (was here only for the 10th grade, but his grandfather was popular Hawaiian wrestler Peter Maivia, his father a black Nova Scotian wrestler and mother Samoan)
  • #2  Tammy Duckworth (right), today beat the Republican incumbent to become the new U.S. Senator from Illinois today.
  • #3  U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, who passed away 4 years ago.
In any case, my McKinley High School must be the only namesake with a tiger mascot.  Interesting that Louisiana State University also has a tiger, but Baton Rouge McKinley High School is known as the Panthers. Mike VI (left) was euthanized last month, and a search has been initiated for Mike VII.

In the early days of McKinley, we were the only public school in Hawaii and Punahou the only private school.  Founded as Oahu College in 1841, at the time it was the first school with classes only in English west of the Rocky Mountains. Punahou now has 3,760 students from kindergarten through the 12th grade.  Their famous people include:
  •   #1  Barack Obama
  •   #2  Kelly Preston (actress--I knew her father)
  •   #3  Sun Yat-sen (rightfounding father of modern China)
  • #11  Steve Case
  • #13  Michelle Wie
  • #19  Hiram Bingham III (first Westerner to see Machu Picchu, and  was the model for Indiana Jones)
  • #25/#32  Dave Guard and Bob Shane, two of the three Kingston Trio
  • #49  Wallace Rider Farrington (former Hawaii governor responsible for Farrington High School, now also known as the Governors)
Thus, just comparing our famous people, no question that McKinley was no threat in eminence to Punahou.  I recall during my years in  high school when Punahou slaughtered McKinley in all our athlete competitions, including tennis.

However, one year, playing third singles, I lost the first two games 6-0, 6-0 to my Punahou opponent (and the name Richardson sticks in my mind), but ended up winning in five sets, easily the most significant victory of my minimal athletic career.  I might add that even  though most of us only had two years of racquet experience, we did regularly beat Iolani, Kamehameha and Mid-Pacific, and all those private schools gave scholarships.   That other item in the above photo is a Bausch & Lomb medal I won as the best science student.

I should finally add that the final sentence in my first Huffington Post article entitled Well, Barack, We have a Problem... was:

Ah, what a great country. Where else can a former public McKinley High School student provide advice to a Punahou graduate?

Mind you, he ignored my advice, but I'll try my 10% Simple Solution to World Peace on Hillary Clinton, if she prevails today.

Let me end with a another presidential tangent, this one about the 1896 election that made Republican William McKinley our 25th president.  He ran against William Jennings Bryan, who was only 36 that year, and provided one of the greatest political speeches of all time, The Cross of Gold.    Hear the speech.  For those into these things, as you will see today on CNN this map, here is the 1896 version:


Those gray states were not yet in the Union.  Note the electoral votes and how our population has shifted.

McKinley outspent Bryan 5:1, but Bryan's liberal policies came back to bite the Republicans through future presidents, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.  
In 1925 Bryan (on the right) won the Scopes Trial in Tennessee, with William Darrow representing John Scopes for teaching evolution.  While judged guilty, Scopes became famous, the trial was overturned, so science recovered over religion, and Bryan passed away in his sleep five days after the verdict.

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