Beach High School’s Classes Of 1946 70th Anniversary

Mrs. Lillian Palmer, class president, has announced that plans are under way for the classes to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of their graduation of 1946. Unique in history, this class was the first to hold a reunion. For this distinction, Lester B. Johnson, Jr., “Chief”, named them “The Pacesetters.”

History reminds us that at one time the school was a combination of Cuyler Junior High School, grades 7-9, and Beach High School, grades 10-12; the school was called Beach-Cuyler High School. At that time, this was the only high school opened to us (African Americans). Beach-Cuyler High School held two graduations annually; there was a January class and a June class. In 1946, there was an August class. This was done for the convenience of Armed Forces Veterans returning to complete their high school education. History teaches us that this was the only time that there were three graduating classes in one year. The June graduating class held Beach High School’s first class reunion in June 1956.

The reunion was the result of a promise made by one of their class advisors,

Mr. Phillip W. Cooper. His teaching and working with the class over the years evolved into a strong, mutual love affair. Mr. Cooper joined his students in their educational journey by enrolling in Meharry Medical School during the fall of 1946. He returned to Savannah as a dentist and, as he promised, he sponsored the historic 1956 reunion; the first ever for a Beach High School Class, thus continuing a journey of reunions that became more endearing, and more enduring as the years went by!

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