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A Night to Remember

What is Prom and Where Did it Come From?

Riley Foster, Editor

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So Prom. It’s the “best night of your life.” But where did prom come from? How did it grow into the cultural phenomenon it is today? I, your fabulous, and, unless something goes horribly wrong, 2018 prom-going, investigative journalist am here to find out how prom got to where it is today.

Prom originates from the word promenade, meaning a leisurely walk or drive. The dance itself can be traced back to co-ed banquets held in the 19th century. These dances started to move from school gyms to more upscale places like hotels or country clubs. Eventually, these dances grew into the prom we know and love, but not before hitting a few bumps in the road. In 1994, an Alabama high school principal was sued after threatening to cancel the prom if interracial couples were planning to attend. Today, some schools don’t allow same-sex couples to attend prom together.   

Nowadays, prom is an extravagant night filled with expensive dinners, dresses and tux rentals. Why has this night taken over a high-schoolers lives in such a big way? In my opinion, prom is so popular because of the experience it offers. High schoolers don’t get much of a chance to dress up like red carpet stars and dance the night away with their friends. Prom gives normal kids the chance to feel like a million bucks. Girls and guys get to shop for the perfect formal wear while their parents faint at the prices. Prom allows high schoolers let loose for a night.

So whether you’re all for prom or you’d literally rather die than attend, prom is something that brings joy to lots of people, so don’t spoil it for everyone.

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