Remembering School Assembly Programs

Everyone loved Assemblies...

Back during the 1950’s besides the basic three R’s in schools, oftentimes the entire student body would be called to gather in the auditorium or gymnasium for special programs throughout each school year. These were programs designed to be either educational or sometimes one planned just for sheer entertainment. Remember the Assembly Programs and the break they would provide from the sometimes drudgery of constant studying? All the students and as well as I remember the teachers also enjoyed the break in studies and would respond with laughter and applause with the students when something of interest happened.

anything for a laugh
anything for a laugh

'You can't learn when your talkin'...'

The whole idea of school was a remarkable fascination to a small boy during the early 50’s. I still remember the words of my dad as I left home each day to walk up the hill to my school, “If you use you two ears twice as much as your mouth, you’ll learn something today.” He also told me about what Benjamin Franklin had said about ‘one not being able to learn anything, as long as their mouth was open.’ I know I talked a lot. I ask a lot of questions as a child and used the excuse, “how else am I supposed to learn…”, but I soon found out just what he meant. Learnin’ can be fun, especially if the teachers and the subjects are presented in different and interactive and interesting ways. I guess that’s why I did better some years than others; some teachers were tyrants I thought back then and knew only one way to teach – just drive the point home.

Do you remember assembly programs in school?

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watch closely
watch closely

'March in single file...'

Every now and then we would hear the principal’s familiar voice on the public address system call for everyone to come to the gymnasium for an assembly program. I guess the teachers knew in advance but it was always a surprise to me maybe because I wasn’t listening when the announcement was first mentioned. Remember how we were told to stand and then ‘march’ out in single file, then wait at the water fountain for the teacher to make sure we were all there…, goodness, where else would we be? After the teacher made sure no one was hiding in the clothes lockers at the back of the room she would catch up and lead her class to the gym for the special announced program. I believe I learned more in assembly than I did in class sometimes.

a prize Yo Yo
a prize Yo Yo

I won...

Every program was different but they were all educational and geared to get us kids to think and ask questions like how and why. Often times our questions were answered before we had a chance to ask. There were science shows and magic shows; math shows also and sometimes one show might stand out in the mind of nine or ten-year-old boy as being a special assembly. I remember that once a man came from Duncan Yo-Yo’s and put on a demonstration of all the tricks you can do with a Duncan Yo-Yo. He would ‘walk the dog’ or ‘rock the cradle’ even ‘loop-d-loop’ and drop the yo-yo right into his pocket. I was spellbound, I’m sure I sat on the edge of my seat with my mouth wide open. He asks for volunteers to come up on stage so I went with three others to try and guess what color trick yo-yo he had in his pocket. I guessed red and won. It was the first thing I had ever won before. I read the little booklet and learned how to do some tricks but nothing like the guy in the following video…

© 2011 SamSonS

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Comments 15 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Cool memories!

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Will...

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

In high school, at least, I think the assembly was mostly to get us together and tell us how terrible we were.

Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

I remember some magic shows where they made a kids hair stand out like static and breathing the helium balloon. I never said a word almost all through school, it's now I can't shut up. Great hub and advice from your dad.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

*thanks dahoglund for your visit and comments...

*and thank you Polly for sharing your reminisce. I remember the science program like that. I really loved the assembly programs...

lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


We could never ave too many assemblies. It didn't matter what they were about--anything to get out of class. The good ol' days!

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thank you lifegate for your fine comments. I'm sure we would all like to at least visit those 'good ole days' once more if not return to them all together...

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 5 years ago

Samsons, Wonderful hub! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane... I even had a Duncan Yoyo! Grreat memories!

Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thank you DeBorrah, for your kindness in comments. Did you ever get any good with those trick strings in making your yo yo stick, walk the dog etc.?


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 5 years ago

Samsoms, You are so welcome! The pleasure was mine... I was really not very good with the Yo yo I could only walk the dog a few steps... Peace & Blessings!

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks again DeBorrah for your rapid response. I tried a few years back (more than fifty years removed) and enjoyed the attempts but must confess, attempts were all I could muster...

JD Barlow profile image

JD Barlow 5 years ago from Southeast US

Great hub! It brings back a lot of good memories!

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks JD for your inspiring comments; come back again anytime...

dwachira profile image

dwachira 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

That term 'Assembly' took me way back many years in primary school, whenever we heard the special bell for assembly, we knew something interesting was up from the administration, it used to bring much expectation and was a break from the day monotonous programs.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 4 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks so much dwachira for your visit and also taking time to comment. Yes, we all looked forward to assemble programs at school because we not only escaped class time momentarily but also had opportunity to learn something new and exciting from a sometimes unknown source...

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