May 3, 1935. Here’s an invitation and dance card for Haverford College’s 1936 Junior Promenade.
I love these little dance cards and have a few of them. Ladies would wear the card by the cord on their wrist and write in the names of guys who were to share each dance. This ancient social tradition went back a century or so, but pretty much died out by the 1950s.
This particular card records what must have been a memorable Sunday evening for Swing fans, as the featured band was Benny Goodman’s. Still in its earliest months, the band was soon to finish its’ featured spot on NBC Radio’s “Let’s Dance” series and hit the road for the first time. This Philadelphia-area college gig was one of many that Benny did that spring.
Singing with the band that night were Helen Ward and Ray Hendricks, both of whom wrote kind greetings to Betty, the card owner.
Betty also got the band leader’s autograph.
Betty had a full dance card that night! 13 guys cut a rug with her, but Graham got the first, fourth and last dances, even with no last name.
It is fervently hoped that, as Helen Ward wrote, Betty always remembered the fun she had at the Junior Prom!