Item From the Past: A Day Off For LBJ
A few years ago while visiting my mother, I found this scrap of pink paper tucked away among the few relics of my time in grade school, the same place I found this photograph. I don't know why I kept it. Maybe I knew I'd have a special interest in dead presidents some day, but more likely I put it away because it was unusual.
January 24, 1973
NO CLASSES THURSDAY, JAN. 25TH
School will not be held in the Alamo Heights School District on Thursday, January 25, 1973 to honor the memory of former President Lyndon B. Johnson. No make-up is required as the action is authorized by the Texas Education Agency.
For your information, we will have school on February 19 and March 16. These are the make-up days for the "ice holidays." Please change your school calendars accordingly.
George M. Moore, Principal
The school made this announcement during my last year there, sixth grade. Of course, Lyndon Johnson had died two days earlier, on January 22, 1973, of a heart attack, and his funeral was held on the 25th at the National City Christian Church in Washington. No doubt it was televised. I have no memory of watching the funeral or anything else I did that day. I just know I wasn't in school. Texas was honoring one of its own.
The "ice holidays" had happened earlier in January. We got out of school from two whole days because of an ice/snow storm on January 11 (I had to look up that date). We got all of 0.8 inches of snow that day, according to the NWS, but I suppose the ice really shut things down. We did not know -- could hardly imagine -- that there would be another winter storm on the night of February 8, 1973, leaving more than two inches on the ground. The next day was a Friday, which we got off. I don't remember making it up, but we must have.
Those were the only times I got off school for snow during the entire 11 years I went to school in San Antonio. And the only time I got off for a presidential death, all during the same few weeks.
George Moore, incidentally, was the only principal we'd ever had at Woodridge (we, as in the students who finished in 1973). According to this short history of the school, he had been principal since the unimaginably distant year of 1962, but would only be there until 1974. I don't remember much about him, except that he always wore a coat and tie.