Now that's a senior prom! Class of 1943 finally hold their prom 70 years on after it was cancelled by World War Two
By Katie Davies
PUBLISHED: 15:41 EST, 6 April 2013 | UPDATED: 15:41 EST, 6 April 2013
A Connecticut high school class who had their prom cancelled by World War II in 1943, are finally dusting off their dancing shoes and holding the event - 70 years on.
James Hillhouse High School's class of 1943 never got to vote in their king and queen; slow dance with their sweethearts; buy corsages or try out their moves in the school hall.
But 70 years later, as most of them are approaching their nineties and have dozens of grandchildren between them, they'll finally get the chance to complete the high school rite of passage.
Organizer: Anthony Pegnataro, class president in 1943, is organizing the prom
Cancelled: 1,200 students, pictured in this yearbook, were denied their prom in 1943 but they'll make up for it with the dance in May
Organizer and former class president, Anthony Pegnataro, joked to Fox News: 'If anyone can get up and dance they'll dance but right now I don't think I'll make it to my chair.'
'It all depends on how drunk they get,' he said. 'What's a prom without booze? We don't have to answer to our mother or father.'
The Branford resident himself served in the Pacific for two and a half years and spoke about the heartbreak the war brought to the New Haven teenagers, facing a very different future than they'd anticipated.
'All kinds of pleasure engagements were cancelled,' Mr Pegnataro said. 'I was sad to say goodbye to them not knowing when we would meet again or if we would meet again.'
But finally using the 70th anniversary of the prom-that-never-was as inspiration he decided he couldn't give up and has arranged the dance for May 19.
Back in time: Antony Pegnataro, pictured here in 1943, was disappointed not to organize his class prom in 1943 but will make up for it next month
Rite of passage: The Class of 43 prom will go ahead next month but with most of the school friends nearly 90 it will be somewhat different to the modern versions of the school dance [FILE PHOTO]
Sadly over the years many classmates have died - 500 of the 1200 seniors have been lost over the years including two prom committee members.
But those remaining will raise a toast in their memory at the May 19 event.
'I look in the paper every day and there's always two or three who've dropped off,' Mr Pegnataro said.
'They're going rapidly but I'm not ready yet - I'm going after May 19.'
Many things will, of course, be different.
He won't be wearing the white dinner suit he would have done and will be taking his wife Honey, he met years after high school, as his date.
School dance: Life was disrupted for students of James Hillhouse High School, many of whom were sent to serve for their country
'I would've been holding onto probably the sweetest girl in the class because I had my choice,' he told the Hartford Courant.
'We would have been doing the Lindy and the jitterbug.'
Former classmate Marylin Unger told the New Haven Register: 'This is a biggy. I think everybody is thinking ‘who knows if there will be another reunion after this one.
'It is very important for us to get together. We’re the lucky ones. We made it, and we should celebrate that.'
HIDE CAPTION 14 ways the shutdown affects you 14 ways the shutdown affects you 14 ways the shutdown affects you 14 ways the shutdown affects you 14 ways the shutdown ...
Motorcyclists gather before a parade through Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for Harley-Davidson's 110th anniversary on August 31. STORY HIGHLIGHTS Danny Cevallos: Case of driver beaten by motorcyclists raises issues ...
STORY HIGHLIGHTS President Obama slams "reckless Republican shutdown" He calls on House Speaker John Boehner to allow a vote Not raising the debt ceiling "would be dramatically worse," ...
Posted by Adam Thursday October 3, 2013GEORGE Clooney‘s ex-girlfriend Stacy Keibler is reportedly struggling for money.Sources say the leggy beauty is so strapped for cash ...
Posted by Adam Thursday October 3, 2013KALEY Cuoco is a smart cookie!The Big Bang Theory star — who plays a ready-to-wed fiancée on her new ...
Posted by Adam Thursday October 3, 2013MILEY Cyrus used to guilt-trip boyfriend Liam Hemsworth into staying with her.According to a new report, Cyrus, 20, never ...
Posted by Adam Thursday October 3, 2013JENNIFER Lawrence says she still gets furious when she recalls being called fat earlier in her career.The actress opened ...
Furloughed federal workers protest the shutdown as House Republicans hold a news conference on Wednesday. STORY HIGHLIGHTS Writers: Never in modern U.S. history has a political minority ...
By Fay Strang PUBLISHED: 03:30 EST, 3 October 2013 | UPDATED: 08:25 EST, 3 October 2013 183 View comments Singer Sinead O’Connor has written an open letter to Miley ...