An online archive of electronic editions of Huntington High School’s student newspaper, The Dispatch is available. Copies of the paper in the current archive date to November 1977.
In all, 55 issues of the paper are included in the online archive, which can be accessed by logging onto the district website at www.hufsd.edu and then clicking on Main Navigation>Huntington High School>Scroll to Documents and select Publications. The newspapers are posted as PDFs.
The district’s public information office staff members hope more back issues become available for posting. Should more be discovered, they will be included in the archive.
A free and fair student press has a long tradition at Huntington High School stretching back generations. Student newspapers have taken a variety of names, from The Dispatch of today, to The Devils Mirror and The Question Mark, which was born during the Great Depression.
The Question Mark Founded in 1933
Huntington senior Alphonse Bare founded The Question Mark in 1933. “The Question Mark, the students’ paper, which is sold every two weeks, is a very noteworthy publication,” according to the 1934 edition of The Huntingtonian, the high school yearbook. “Sports, chatter, and school news are all included in the editions. The students all feel that the staff has been very successful this year and hope that the good work will continue through other years.”
Mr. Bare was an All-Suffolk tackle on the football team, playing on the squad for four years. He was also a member of the track team for three years, G.O. president, vice-president of the freshman class, president of the sophomore class, a four-year member of the executive council, a Masque club (drama) and prom committee member, on the yearbook staff as an art manager, a 1934 commencement exercises speaker and editor in chief of the student paper.
In 1935, The Question Mark became a weekly publication and “several contests have been added to its attraction,” according to that year’s edition of The Huntingtonian. The 15 staff members stood proudly outside Huntington High School (which was then located on Main Street at the site of the current Town Hall) for a group photo.
By 1936, The Question Mark’s had become entrenched at the school and its popularity solidified. Senior Curtis R. Wilhelm served as the paper’s editor that year and teacher Marion Van Arnam, a Syracuse graduate, was the faculty advisor. The staff included Michael McNally, Francis Whitby, Burton Whitestone, Florence Raymon, Henry Roy, Grace Semon, Francis McNally, Edwin Riggs, Muriel Raymon, Lois Aboff, Ida Gillman, Eugene Beitler, Adelaide Shaiken and Clifford McCartney.
“All news of interest”
“This paper has brought to the student body all news of interest pertaining to school activities including literary efforts in many fields and has provided entertainment and gossip of personal interest,” stated the 1936 edition of The Huntingtonian. “Among the most interesting of the 32 issues of the 1935-36 Question Mark were the eight-page Christmas and final issues, the notorious Burlesque issue, the Teacher’s issue and the Washington issue.”
Mr. Wilhelm, who was known as Kurt, was similar in several ways to the paper’s founder, Mr. Bare. He, too, played four years of football, served on the yearbook staff and was a member of the school’s executive council. He was a four-year Glee club member and was The Question Mark’s sports editor as a junior.
The 1936 yearbook noted the student paper of that year “surpassed previous years in popularity and circulation.” That trend continued as students anxiously looked forward to each new issue.
Today, The Dispatch, which is distributed free of charge, is equally popular and continues to give students a forum to express their opinions and comment on topics of interest. Mr. Bare’s organizing efforts of 1933 are still paying dividends.