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My quest to discover why it’s Blair’s 80th anniversary if we were established in 1925

By Jacob Popper, Op/Ed Editor
September 13, 2014
Montgomery Blair High School is one of the oldest schools in Montgomery County. Wondering how old it is? Well lucky for you it’s right on the front of every student planbook, right on the arrow that underlines the word “Blair.” There, it says clearly in black and white “Est. 1925” leading most right-minded people to believe that the school was established in 1925. However this is (almost) 2015, which is supposed to be Blair’s Eightieth anniversary, and last time I checked, 2015 minus 1925 equals 90, not 80.
2015 marks Blair's 80th anniversary despite the fact that our planbooks say we were established in 1925 Connor Smith
2015 marks Blair's 80th anniversary despite the fact that our planbooks say we were established in 1925

Naturally, seeing as this makes no sense, I sat down at my computer and read the history page on Blair’s website, which has a section neatly outlining how Blair was originally opened in 1925 as Takoma-Silver Spring high school, which was at the intersection of Philadelphia Avenue and Chicago Avenue in Takoma Park. So if that was when Blair was established, where did we get the name from? It turns out that in 1935 they moved all the tenth through twelfth grade students at Takoma-Silver Spring, which had grades 7-12, to a new building on Wayne Avenue. There, Takoma Silver Spring would be renamed Montgomery Blair and would stay for the next 63 years. Finally, in 1998, the new Blair opened in Four Corners, which is where we are today.

So now that I had learned a little bit about the history, it was time to find out why we decided to go with the eightieth anniversary and not the ninetieth. I went to Leslie Blaha, Blair science teacher and overseer of the planbook design. She gave a laugh when I told her what I was writing about, and then said that she really wasn't sure how to explain the discrepancy between the establishment date on the planbook and the anniversary celebrations, but she said that during a meeting Mr. Stein raised his hand to point out that it should be our 90th anniversary.

The next step then was going to Mr. Stein, where the riddle was finally solved. He took the matter very seriously, commenting when I told him I was writing a humor story, "it's a fact, there's no humor to it." First, I asked Stein why it was only Blair's eightieth anniversary, and he responded by telling me about the history of the school, confirming what was on the Blair website and adding extra details like the location of Takoma Silver Spring. I asked the big question: what happened during the meeting in which he raised his hand to make the point about the anniversary-establishment date discrepancy? He smiled and responded, "they all smiled and nodded and said 'thanks for the history lesson.'" But they're still keeping it as the eightieth anniversary. The answer in the end was that it's the eightieth anniversary of the name, but the ninetieth anniversary of the school. Mystery Solved!

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/12562