Saint Mary’s College of California Commemorates Anniversary of Classic 1950s LIFE Magazine Photo

March 11, 2009

Saint Mary’s Students Continue in Stuffing Tradition

MORAGA, Calif., March 11 /PRNewswire/ –

    What:       An event commemorating the March 1959 LIFE photo of 22 Saint
                Mary's College students crammed inside a telephone booth.

                This month teams of Saint Mary's students - more accustomed
                to iPhones than pay phones - will battle to best the alumni
                record, squeezing as many as possible into a phone booth.

                The College will also recognize those who contorted
                themselves for history's sake in 1959.

    When:       1 to 2p.m. Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    Where:      Chapel Lawn, Saint Mary's College of California
                1928 St. Mary's Road, Moraga, CA  94556

    Background: In the 1950s telephone booth stuffing was an international
                fad.  In the fall of 1958 Saint Mary's students crammed into
                a wooden phone booth to beat the world record.  A Bay Area
                photographer and freelancer for LIFE heard about it and 22
                students repeated the prank for him.  The photo became a
                classic image of Americana and part of LIFE's 100 greatest
                pictures collection.  Several former students who
                overpopulated the phone booth are still in the East Bay area,
                one is a professor at Saint Mary's.

                Fifty years ago the College was all male.  However, in 1984
                to acknowledge the Silver Anniversary, the event was restaged
                with two phone booths.  One was crammed to capacity with
                female students and an alumna who participated in the female
                phone booth jam is now a Vice Provost for Saint Mary's.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090311/SF82027)

Available for Interviews:

Joe Munroe, the photographer who took the 1959 picture, now 92-years old, lives near the College and is a fount of knowledge about how the photo came to be.

Ted Tsukahara, Saint Mary’s Professor and alumnus, took part in 1959 event.

Frances Sweeney, Saint Mary’s Vice Provost and alumna, took part in the 1984 restaging.

Archival Material:

1959 home movie footage of event, 1984 photographs of silver anniversary event.

Website: http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/news-and-events/phone_booth/

Saint Mary’s College, founded in 1863, is a residential learning community in Moraga, California based in the Catholic, Lasallian and liberal arts traditions. The college currently enrolls more than 3,800 students in undergraduate, graduate and extended education programs. The Christian Brothers, the largest teaching order of the Roman Catholic Church, guides the academic growth and spiritual character of the school.

SOURCE Saint Mary’s College of California

Source: newswire

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