With Reunion Weekend on the way, we're taking a look back at some of the biggest movies, music, events, and best moments of this memorable year for our alumni.
James Bond, soap operas, and Stevie Wonder
During Commencement 1973, our Gulls were getting excited for Live and Let Die, the eighth film in the James Bond series, and the first to star Roger Moore as the famous agent. Now on its 26th movie, many still love the story almost 50 years later. You could see the film for $1.76 per ticket. However, if you wanted to see a lighter film with the family, the animated movie Charlotte’s Web also did well at the box office.
Endicott students could also see various movies on campus in what they called the Endicott Center, a building similar to Lower Callahan. The Student Activities Committee (C.A.B today) held an Alfred Hitchcock festival, showing his notable films such as The Wrong Man and Strangers on a Train. Students could also attend fun events held by S.A.C., such as a quiz game called “The Endicott Bowl.”
Students also participated in clubs such as Medical Club, Consciousness Raising for Women, Forensics Club, and Foods Club.
During the school year, the class of 1973 went to what they called “The Dining Room” to eat their meals. Meals ranged from French toast and scrambled eggs for breakfast, Caesar salad and grilled cheese for lunch, and ravioli in tomato sauce with grated cheese for dinner. Sound familiar? These meals are still served in the Callahan Dining Hall today.
With movies also came the release of some notable TV shows. The Young and the Restless, one of the most popular soap operas, debuted in March of 1973 (and yes, with the same stuck-in-your-head theme song and all). The soap is still streaming on CBS, with the cast marking its 50th anniversary back in March.
Premiering the year prior and very popular in 1973, All in the Family follows the Bunkers as they navigate life in Queens, N.Y. The show ran until 1979 and inspired various spin-offs, including The Jeffersons in 1975. Even half a century later, both shows are still popular, with a live television special premiering on ABC in 2019, recreating the iconic shows with a cast including Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, and Wanda Sykes.
Stevie Wonder’s “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” was released in March of 1973 and became popular in May. In 1974, Wonder won a Grammy (Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male) for the song. The singer now holds 25 Grammys as of 2023, and is one of the top winners of all time.
Lower prices ... and a recession
Gas prices may be through the roof now, but in 1973, those driving were able to purchase fuel for $0.39 a gallon. Wouldn’t we love that now? Eggs are also an expensive luxury nowadays, but back then, you could get a whole dozen for $0.78 compared to the rates of $6 or more today, even with a recession that year.
The oil embargo recession started in November of 1973 and lasted two years. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) placed an embargo on oil imports from the United States and various other countries, as they were supporting Israel’s army in the Yom Kippur War. At the time, oil prices nearly quadrupled and consumers had to spend less money on other goods to afford it. In an attempt to reduce inflation, President Richard Nixon implemented wage and price controls, which made things worse. The country plunged into a recession, which lasted 16 months.
Several other events are worth mentioning, including the withdrawal of the U.S. forces in the Vietnam War in 1973 and the continuation of the Watergate scandal that started a year prior. In addition, Roe v. Wade was passed, which overturned state bans on abortion (which ended up being repealed almost 50 years later in June 2022). Tennis players Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs competed against each other in September in the Battle of the Sexes match, with King winning in three sets.
This is just a sample of the many happenings of 1973, a year in which our 1973 Gulls flew the Nest.
Now, it’s time to return during this year’s Reunion Weekend, from June 2 to June 4, 2023. Celebrate 50 years since graduating from Endicott, and share fun and memories with your classmates. We hope to see you there!