95-96 1995-1996 The 1996 school year started out with bang for Perry Meridian athletes. The girls’ cross country made it all the way to Semi-State. This was a result of a bet that had been made between the head coach, Mike Armstrong, and the girls. The bet was that if the girls made it to semi-state, they could cut his hair anyway they deemed necessary. The Boys’ cross country team only made it to sectionals, but Coach Gary Raker was very proud of his team. The boys worked hard and looked forward to the next season (Passages XXIII 125). In 1996, the football team had a good mindset, but only came away with a 3-6 varsity record. They decided during this season, they would expect to win instead of preparing to lose. Unexpectedly, this strategy worked. The Falcons won their first game 40-38. Their streak continued with a second victory over Franklin Central with a score of 10-0. However, their luck came to an end during the Dome game, played at the RCA Dome, against the Southport Cardinals. Nevertheless, the boys played to their full potential and were proud of themselves. That year, the football players found a new level of confidence and unity (Passages XXIII 127). The Homecoming Theme of ’96 was “Wild World of Sports”. The King and Queen were Steve Mohamed and Beth Shoemaker, both seniors. The juniors dominated the float contest with an amazing display of a falcon shooting a bow and arrow. Due to weather conditions, the crowning of the King and Queen had to be held inside the Perry Meridian High School gymnasium. Students did not let that stop them from having fun at the annual Homecoming parade and pep rally. In the homecoming football game, the Perry Falcons overcame the Pike Red Devils with a victory score of 35-18 (Passages XXIII 29- 30). The fall play, “Spoon River Anthology”, was a mix of songs and a series of monologues. Some of the actors liked the monologues compared to dialogues because they didn’t have to depend on anyone. Each actor had to play at least two different characters throughout the play. As a result, many of the students in the play left with an important lesson learned. They commented on how it changed their views on life. The moral of the play was that each individual has the power to be happy, even during hardships. (Passages XXIII 26). In a January 1996 issue of “Money” magazine, Perry was ranked among the nation’s top 100 public schools. These 100 schools are compatible with prestigious private schools in the country. Townships that have a widespread community support for education, involved and enthusiastic parents, and high expectations out of all students, are all considered for the honor (Prata 1). The theater and music departments at Perry Meridian were combined for the musical of 1996, “Music Man”. They two leads were Matt Gustitus who played Harold Hills, and Jennifer Borders, who played Marian Paroo. The plot of the musical revolves around a con-man, Harold Hills, who convinces a community to let him teach music to their children. The musical is very much like the popular movie, School of Rock. The Prom of 1996 was “Times of Our Lives” and it was held at Indiana Convention Center (Sager 7). Prom was usually held at the Egyptian Room of the Murat Theater, but because of construction the site was changed (Passages XXVI 3). The King was Jon Harris, and the Queen was Jill Egenolf. Over 500 students attended the event. At the after prom, held in the Perry foyer, students could ride carnival rides, such as the Scrambler. They could also receive many prizes, including a television, a CD player, and four $250 checks (Allen 12). Matt DeCamp was the valedictorian of the senior class and was also the recipient of the Something Extra Award. This award is given to an outstanding senior who has been extremely involved in Perry. The faculty votes for the recipient of the award. Eric McAfee was the salutatorian. Both gave speeches, and Matt’s was called “Walking Backwards” (Passages XXIII 45). Globally, many noteworthy events were also going on in 1996. On August 24, Microsoft released Windows 95 to the public. It made using the computer extremely easy. On October first, ten people were found guilty of the World Trade Center bombing of 1993. The trial had been followed closely by the news, and Americans were glad to finally have the verdict (Epstein 20). Another noteworthy trial came to a halt two days later on October third. O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of double murder, blindsiding the American public (Kallen 12). On November 28, President Clinton signed a highway bill that makes the legal highway speed fifty-five miles per hour (Epstein 39). On April 3, FBI agents apprehended the Unabomber suspect, Theodore (Ted) Kaczynski. Theodore had graduated from Harvard in 1962. He was considered to be very eccentric and quiet (Kallen 55). His house had no electricity or running water and he grew his own food. Many of Kaczynski’s letter bombs were sent to universities and airlines. The first bomb was sent to Northwestern University in 1978; however, the first injury didn’t occur until 1985. A Berkeley graduate student lost four of his fingers and one eye. Kaczynski would be convicted of killing three people and injuring twenty-nine with homemade letter bombs (Kallen 56). His last bomb was detonated on April 24, 1995. Kaczynski’s own brother, David, turned him into authorities. During his trial, he fired his attorneys because he did not want them to make him out to be insane (Kallen 28). At the Centennial Olympic Park on July 27, 1996, a bomb went off at 1:21am during Olympic festivities. When the bomb site was found, there were three bombs in a green knapsack (Kallen 73). Thankfully, the pack had been tipped over at some point in the evening, so only one of the bombs detonated. The man who committed the bombing, Eric Robert Rudolph, would go on to bomb two other areas around Atlanta including an abortion clinic and a lesbian night club (Epstein 33). After another abortion clinic bombing in Alabama, Rudolph’s license plate was seen by a witness and handed over to the police. He was finally arrested on May 31, 2003, after being on the F.B.I’s ten most wanted list. The Blockbusters of ’96 were Twister, Mission: Impossible and Jerry Maguire, two of which starred Hollywood’s leading man, Tom Cruise (Epstein 16). The highest rated sitcoms were Friends, ER, Home Improvement and Suddenly Susan. In the music category, who could forget the “Macarena” by Los Del Rio? It took the whole country by storm. Mariah Carey had many top ten singles including “Always Be My Baby” and “One Sweet Day”, singing with Boys II Men Celine Dionne became an instant success with her single “Because You Loved Me” (Epstein 30). 1996 was a huge year for sports. Tiger Woods won the PGA’s rookie of the year. In Baseball, Cal Ripkin Jr. set a new record for having played the most consecutive games (Feinstein 61). It was also a year of Olympics, held in July in Atlanta. There were many United States winners. Men won gold medals in archery (Justin Huish), basketball (entire USA team), and team synchronized swimming, among other sports where they received silvers and bronzes. Women won the team sports of gymnastics and softball. Lindsey Davenport won a gold metal in tennis. The winners of the Super Bowl were the Dallas Cowboys. They defeated the Pittsburg Steelers 27-17. Kentucky defeated Syracuse in the NCAA championships. Right here in Indianapolis, Buddy Lazier won the Indy 500 race (Passages XXIV 45). Work's Cited Allen, Emily. "Falcons have times of their lives at Prom '96". FOCUS. May 28, 1996. p. 11. Epstein, Dan. The 90's: 20th Century Pop Culture. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2000. Feinstein, Stephen. The 1990's: From the Persian Gulf War to Y2K. San Diego: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2006. Henry, Edward. Principal of Perry Meridian High School: 1995-2006. Personal Interview. March 26, 2007. Kallen, Stewart A. Through the Decades: The 1990's. San Diego: Lucent Books, Inc., 1999. Passages XXIV: Building Blocks. Marceline: Walsworth Publishing Company, 1996. Passages XXIII: Wide Angle. Marceline: Walsworth Publishing Company, 1995. Prata, Shana. "Perry schools among nation's best". FOCUS. January 19, 1996. p.2. Sager, Amy. "It's Prom "Time of Our Lives". FOCUS. May 10, 1996. p.7. Veleta, Dave. "Girls' basketball flying high". FOCUS. December 6, 1996. p.7.