From its earliest days, Montgomery Blair High School was a focal point of the community. As the first high school in suburban Montgomery County, Blair was destined to be the center of activity in the Silver Spring-Takoma Park neighborhoods that bordered the District of Columbia, and it has lived up to those early expectations for over 80 years. Even those who graduated from Blair in the first classes in the 1930’s & 40’s think back on their “Blair days” as some of the happiest times of their lives. Through depressions and recessions, war and peace, shifting populations and tremendous changes in the educational system, the “Blazer spirit” of Montgomery Blair High School has helped the school maintain its reputation as a wonderful place to learn – and grow up. For the over 30,000 graduates of Blair, “By Old Sligo’s Winding Waters” isn’t just a school song – it’s a reminder of their heritage and their home.
The following passage was taken from the 1998 yearbook as students transitioned from the Wayne Avenue campus to the University Blvd. campus. We think it says a lot about the continuing dedication of Blair students across the decades.
“It was 63 years ago that our once solitary building first opened to a joyous, grateful public. The year was 1935, Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, and Blair’s enrollment totaled 268. At first, Blair only consisted of today’s C building and the congested fields upon which our portables now sit. However, due to the booming population of our area we soon built and expanded our facility to what we all know today.
In 63 years, the Blair community has witnessed major world events unfold right before our very eyes, forever changing humankind. These events include wars (such as WWII and Vietnam), scientific and medical advancements, and most of all, cultural changes in the ways we view race, sex, and economic diversity. Blair has seen theatrical stars such as Goldie Hawn and Ben Stein pass through its halls. When we leave Blair, we must prepare to leave behind a community which has let us park in their streets, opened stores for us to patronize, and furthermore, it has been a community which has enjoyed our company for over six decades.
When we leave Blair at the end of this year, we won’t just be leaving the building of yesterday, but we’ll ultimately be leaving 63 years of our distinguished history. These years of hopes, dreams, success stories, and failures have made this institution of learning a special place to be remembered in the years to come. Even today, when friends converse over lunch, we see the history that students before us have left. We also realize the legacy we will leave to the upcoming classes. Soon though that chain of progression at this location will be broken and a new chapter in Blair’s history will be wrought. We are confident our schoolmates will take Blair’s pride and traditions with them to the new location “
Those words were prophetic, as the students that left the Wayne Ave. campus nearly 20 years ago set the stage for their love of Blair to transition without a break to its new location on University Boulevard, less than a mile from the old location. While carrying on the traditions started in 1935, these students have created new Blazer traditions of their own.
We hope that this Montgomery Blair High School Alumni Association website will begin to bring together all these Blair memories, from its earliest days to the present.