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Nowadays, in order for a high school prom to garner national attention, something rather extraordinary — or, better yet, something vaguely scandalous — has to occur before, during or after the event.
For example, maybe some indignant chaperones spray kids with Lysol after they discover the students “grinding” on the dance floor. Or a student uses a social networking site to ask a movie star or country music singer to be his or her date — and the actor, actress or singer says yes. Or a same-sex couple is crowned king and queen by their peers.
But back in the day — specifically, back in 1958 — students at an Ohio high school simply had to stay awake in order to get their names and faces in the June 9, 1958, issue of LIFE magazine. Stay awake and dance, that is. And go riverboating. And eat breakfast. And ride roller coasters. And dance some more. . . .
“Traditionally,” LIFE noted in its June 9, 1958, issue, “senior proms are the high school students’ big night to howl. To keep them happy and off the roads and ultimately wear them out, many high schools now sponsor all-night dances. The only trouble is that each generation seems to take longer to wear out.”
The article continued: