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Moses Brown School

"We were definitely at war with the Axis; it was December 7th! All through the week groups mobbed the radio in the boys' sitting room eager for news 'hot off the wires.' Many of us determined to take the streamlined three-year college courses: our masters became air raid wardens: refuge rooms were assigned to each class: drills ensued, and the School made ready for black-outs."

Founded in 1784, the Moses Brown School is one of the oldest preparatory schools in the US. Its founder and namesake, Moses Brown, was a Quaker abolitionist and started the school to educate other young Quakers. While originally co-ed in accordance with the Quaker belief of gender equality, the school became boys-only in 1926, and would remain so for 50 years. The yearbook itself was put together during America's earliest official involvement in World War II, and went to print several months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. A thorough class history documents the fear and confusion students felt, and discusses how faculty became air-raid wardens. While the school's Quaker tradition was anti-war, many students ultimately joined the military. The school would also hire many veterans after the war to serve on their faculty, several from nearby Brown University, where many local Providence veterans used their GI Bill to earn a degree.

Moses Brown School

From the Collection of The National WWII Museum

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