The Spirit of ‘76, as written by Karen Howard Muennink

To say “our” class was special could be an understatement! I doubt our parents were thinking about us graduating as our country celebrated its bicentennial.
All the festivities that surround graduation actually begin when school starts. First, our senior rings arrive and the tradition of getting your ring turned 76 times for good luck had many of us flooding the halls to complete this very important task.
Then, of course, class elections to determine who would provide the leadership we needed.
The year is seriously a blur considering all the achievements of this class. One special example was that our senior band members felt an extra bit of glory receiving the Sweepstakes Trophy because they were the first class to go through band all four years, making Sweepstakes each year! Reference 1976 Corral pg. 90
Fast forward to Spring as clubs and organizations chose beaus and sweethearts, and classes elected favorites.
The Junior Class chose “Spirit of America” as the theme for our prom, which was held in the multi-purpose area of the high school.
Our class was honored with several parties at the end of the year. The Methodist Mother’s hosted a breakfast. Next came the Hobo Party at the Baptist Church. Then came the Catholic Supper. Finally, the seniors went Around the World. While visiting Hawaii in Sheri Carter’s backyard, Jim Hundley and Clay Burleson decided to throw Kathy Anderson, Miss Texas, into the pool! Great memories!
One week and one day later, May 23, 1976, we attended Baccalaureate Services. The very next day, on Monday, May 24th, dressed in our caps and gowns, we marched into the gymnasium to take our assigned seats for Commencement. Guadalupe Rivas gave the invocation. Many of the seniors participated in the choir during Commencement. I was honored to give the Salutatory address. Jeanne Southern was named our class’ Valedictorian. Ken Rector, highest ranking boy, gave the benediction. After all had received his or her diploma, we flung our caps high and celebrated this milestone in our lives!
This is an excerpt from my Salutatory address.
“A whole new world lies in wait for this graduating class. May we possess always the integrity, the courage and the strength to be a beacon of hope to those who follow. This is my wish and my goal, my prayer in this year 1976—two hundred years after the birth of our Country!”
Karen Howard, DHS Salutatorian, 1976