A supplemental episode on the shooting location for National Lampoon’s Class Reunion.
Class Reunion was set almost entirely at Elizabeth Borden High School, a fictional school shot in the halls of The Pasadena College of Chiropractic, which is also Washington Middle School. The school has an interesting history all it’s own…
- February 21, 1924—Washington Middle School opens with five hundred students and twenty-five faculty members. The school was designed by the architectural firm of Allison & Allison
- 1926—Jack Parsons and Ed Foreman, founding members of the JPL attend the school.
- 1931—Jackie Robinson attends the school. In 1931 he played left field for the school’s 1931 Pasadena City Intermediate Championship team.
- March 10, 1933—a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Los Angeles. Washington Middle School is closed until repairs were completed in October 1935. Classes were held in tents on the school’s physical education grounds.
- June 27, 1963—Jay R. Jackson, Jr. v. Pasadena City School District. decision found Washington Junior High to be a “racially segregated school” and ordered the school board to take corrective steps.
- August 28, 1968—Spangler v. Pasadena City Board of Education case is filed alleging that unconstitutional segregation exists in Pasadena schools.
- January 20 1970—Federal District Court Judge Manuel Real ordered the Pasadena City School District to redraw school districts and implement mandatory busing.
- September 1975—Washington Center for Alternative Studies is housed at Washington Middle School.
- June 28, 1976—United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturns Spangler v. Pasadena City Board of Education.
- 1979—Washington Middle School closes.
- 1981–1989—The Pasadena College of Chiropractic operates in the Washington Middle School building. National Lampoon’s Class Reunion is filmed on location February to April 1982.
- September 1989—Washington Middle School reopens
- August 14, 2013—The school reopens as Washington STEAM Magnet Academy
Films and Television series shot at the school
- The Violation of Sarah McDavid (1981)
- National Lampoon’s Class Reunion (1982)
- Twilight Zone: The Series “Teacher’s Aide” (1985)
- Wildcats (1986) Unconfirmed. Possibly used for re-shoots.
- Dangerous Minds (1995)
- American Dreams series (2002)
Additional Reading & Watching
- The Building Review, Vol. XXIII No. 2. February 1923. The Allison & Allison issue. (via v.23 at archive.org)
- Arroyo Seco Films. Rough Cut – Can We All Get Along. Film on school segregation in Pasadena at John Muir HS. 2013 via Vimeo.
- “Desegregation of Pasadena schools—12 years later.” by Catherine Foster. The Christian Science Monitor. January 28, 1983.
- “Schools Are More Segregated Today Than During the Late 1960s” by Emily Richmond. The Atlantic. July 11, 2012.
With sound effects by Audible-edge, Luiiiiiiii, Timbre, Suonho, Uagadugu, and X-25 from freesound.org.
Episode sources can be found here.