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The Saddest Book in the World?

August 30th, 2012  |  Published in Books  |  1 Comment

This made me want to cry:

The 1943 “Taps” yearbook. Taps, of course, being the song played at military funerals and the school being the Pennsylvania Soldiers’ Orphan School, whose students were made to parade around with “Orphan School” signs — and you thought your high school years were tough.

Senior Guy Cooper’s fondest memory was his “12 years at S.O.S.”

SOS! Are you kidding me? They called the yearbook Taps and the school abbreviation was SOS?

When the official in charge of the Soldiers’ Orphan School said his goal was to “fit [the students] physically, mentally, and morally for the stern realities of this world,” he wasn’t kidding.

If Lemony Snickett had come up with this for the Baudelaire Orphans in his Series of Unfortunate Events, it would have seemed too satirical.

And to top it off, the bright young seniors in this yearbook, who survived twelve years of SOS, graduated just in time to be drafted for the worst years of WWII.


  1. Dougbrunell says:

    September 22nd, 2012at 2:37 pm(#)

    I grew up in PA. None of that strikes me as out of place.

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