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c. 1958

The never-ending prom

How do you stop students from getting into mischief after prom? Make it last forever

Students dancing at the Mariemont High School prom. (Photo by Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

As a social event, the high-school promenade comes pre-loaded with multiple sources of potential stress for that most vulnerable of individuals – the teenager.  Who to ask, how to ask, how to arrive, how to dance, how to drink, how to stay standing…

Equally prone to stress, of course, are the organizers of the prom tasked with creating a night to remember – for the right reasons.

And one simple solution to that stress was (and is) to attempt to wear out the attendees with an all night-dance, leaving students just too tired to get themselves into trouble.

But that solution was too much of a half-measure for Mariemont High School, Ohio.

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On June 9, 1958, the school’s prom lasted not just a night, not even a day and a night, but a full 32 hours.

Kicking off proceedings with a dinner, the prom then progressed to a formal dance, followed by a river cruise, and then more dancing, this time to a jazz group.

At which point, with the dawn of a new day, the students were shepherded back to the school for breakfast.

Making a minor concession to energy depletions, the students were then allowed home for a brief break, before reconvening at an amusement park, and at last rounding off proceedings with a third and final dance once the sun had gone down again.

By which time more than half the students had surrendered and retreated home to bed.

1958
At the beginning of the evening, students are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
Francis Miller / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images
1958
Students arrive looking sharp.
Francis Miller / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images
1958
The formal dance takes placer beneath streamers.
Francis Miller / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images
1958
Balloons are released.
Francis Miller / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images
1958
At the jazz dance, students are looking a little more hesitant.
Francis Miller / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images
1958
Energy levels are noticeably lower.
Francis Miller / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images
1958
A comatose couple.
Francis Miller / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images
1958
With the dawn, a couple are sleeping on the river-boat.
Francis Miller / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images
1958
Its getting ever harder to maintain enthusiasm.
Francis Miller / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images
1958
Back in the classroom, the battle is over.
Francis Miller / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images

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