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Long Island

Long Island proms of the past: 1960s

Dust off your Rat Pack-style tuxedo or that chiffon dress with the draped sash. It's time to travel back in time to attend Long Island proms of the 1960s. Explore the eccentric fashion, some unusual themes and the nostalgic moments from local high school proms that took place between 1960-69. Want to submit your vintage LI prom photos? Send them to rachel.weiss@newsday.com or josh.stewart@newsday.com.

Wearing crowns and capes fit for royalty, the
Photo Credit: Merrick Public Library

Wearing crowns and capes fit for royalty, the prom king and queen of the Class of 1960 at Wellington C. Mepham High School in Bellmore reign over the affair.

The 1960 prom king and queen of W.
Photo Credit: East Meadow Public Library

The 1960 prom king and queen of W. Tresper Clarke High School in Westbury pose with their impressive crowns.

The prom for Class of 1960 at W.
Photo Credit: East Meadow Public Library

The prom for Class of 1960 at W. Tresper Clarke High School in Westbury appeared to be a patriotic one as students spent the night celebrating under stars and stripes.

Seniors at Islip High School take the slow
Photo Credit: Newsday / Jim Cavanagh

Seniors at Islip High School take the slow train to Montauk on the Long Island Rail Road for their prom on June 23 and 24, 1961. Here, kids sing to the music as they wait in line at the bar for hot dogs, hamburgers and sodas.

Seniors at Islip High School take the slow
Photo Credit: Newsday / Jim Cavanagh

Seniors at Islip High School take the slow train to Montauk on the Long Island Rail Road for their prom on June 23 and 24, 1961. The kids danced all night long to a rock 'n roll band in a baggage car and to an electric organ in the bar car. The rock 'n rollers where doing what they called the "Railroad Rock."

Seniors at Islip High School take the slow
Photo Credit: Newsday/ Jim Cavanagh

Seniors at Islip High School take the slow train to Montauk on the LIRR for their prom on June 23-24, 1961. When the train pulled into Montauk, the kids made use of the pool at the Montauk Surf and Cabana for a dawn dip.

Seniors at Islip High School take the slow
Photo Credit: Newsday/ Jim Cavanagh

Seniors at Islip High School take the slow train to Montauk on the LIRR for their prom on June 23-24, 1961. As the All Night Party on Wheels made its way back to Islip, many of the kids slept as best they could in the seats.

Seniors at Islip High School take the slow
Photo Credit: Newsday/ Jim Cavanagh

Seniors at Islip High School take the slow train to Montauk on the LIRR for their prom on June 23-24, 1961. Here, Seniors Gayle Cherveny, Ellen School and Eddie Surbeck look out from the rear of the train as it leaves Montauk on its way back to Islip.

Seniors at Islip High School take the slow
Photo Credit: Newsday/ Jim Cavanagh

Seniors at Islip High School take the slow train to Montauk on the LIRR for their prom on June 23-24, 1961. Here, two members of the party (Gerry Slavik and Larry Yaeger) take time out for a stroll along the beach in Montauk.

Tired seniors from Islip High School disboard the
Photo Credit: Newsday/ Jim Cavanagh

Tired seniors from Islip High School disboard the train after partying all night on the slow train to Montauk on the LIRR for their prom on June 23-24, 1961.

Kids from Islip High School dance to rock
Photo Credit: Newsday/ Jim Cavanagh

Kids from Islip High School dance to rock and roll music on the baggage car of an LIRR train as part of their "Rolling Prom" on June 24, 1961. A local businessman came up with the idea to hold the prom aboard a train bound from Islip to Montauk, and a donor paid the $3,700 Lloyds of London insurance for the 12 mph trip.

Couples dance in formal fashion while attending the
Photo Credit: Freeport Public Schools

Couples dance in formal fashion while attending the 1960 Freeport High School senior prom.

White tuxedos were the choice of garb for
Photo Credit: Valley Stream Central High School District

White tuxedos were the choice of garb for these gentlemen, sitting with fellow students at the 1962 Valley Stream Central High School Senior Prom.

Susan Amrhein and Russ Mulroy get ready to
Photo Credit: Provided by Russ Mulroy

Susan Amrhein and Russ Mulroy get ready to leave for the Levittown Memorial High School senior prom at the Huntington Townhouse in May 1961.

Islip High School students dance to rock and
Photo Credit: Jim Cavanagh

Islip High School students dance to rock and roll music on the baggage car of a Long Island Rail Road train during their "Rolling Prom" on June 24, 1961. A local businessman came up with the idea to hold the prom aboard a train bound from Islip to Montauk, and a donor paid the $3,700 Lloyds of London insurance for the 12 mph trip.

Long gowns with modest necklines and white gloves
Photo Credit: Seaford Public Library

Long gowns with modest necklines and white gloves were the attire of choice for the ladies in the royal court at Seaford High School's junior prom for the Class of 1966.

Mary Ellen Sullivan was crowned queen of Huntington
Photo Credit: Huntington High School

Mary Ellen Sullivan was crowned queen of Huntington High School's 1967 Christmas prom.

In 1967, Huntington High School had a very
Photo Credit: Huntington High School

In 1967, Huntington High School had a very jolly prom tradition -- Christmas prom, held during the holiday season. Santa even made an appearance and took a picture with some of the prom royalty.

Couples grabbing drinks at a fountain smile for
Photo Credit: Seaford Union Free School District

Couples grabbing drinks at a fountain smile for the camera while attending the 1964 Seaford High School Junior Prom.

Big smiles are flashing all around at the
Photo Credit: Patchogue-Medford Union Free School District

Big smiles are flashing all around at the Patchogue-Medford High School Class of 1963's senior prom.

East Islip High School's 1967 senior ball was
Photo Credit: East Islip Public Library

East Islip High School's 1967 senior ball was "for most couples ... just the beginning of a very wonderful and memorable evening," according to the class yearbook.

A musical group called
Photo Credit: Oceanside Public Library

A musical group called "The Genies" provided the entertainment at the junior prom for Oceanside High School's Class of 1961.

We can only imagine how many cans of
Photo Credit: East Islip Public Library

We can only imagine how many cans of Aqua Net hair spray were used to create these beehives at East Islip High School's 1966 senior ball.

Farmingdale High School's Class of 1963 celebrated its
Photo Credit: Farmingdale Public Library

Farmingdale High School's Class of 1963 celebrated its junior prom in the "deep South" on the "pre-Civil War plantation of Tara," according to their yearbook. Undoubtedly the theme was borrowed from the classic book and movie, "Gone with the Wind," and Lynn Gilmore (center), dressed like a Southern belle, was crowned prom queen.

The entertainment for Hampton Bays High School's 1963
Photo Credit: Hampton Bays Public Library

The entertainment for Hampton Bays High School's 1963 junior prom consisted of a drummer, a guy on a guitar and a woman playing an upright piano.

Chivalry was not dead in 1961, as two
Photo Credit: Oceanside Public Library

Chivalry was not dead in 1961, as two Oceanside High School students tend to their dates at the senior ball.

Oceanside High School students entered their junior prom
Photo Credit: Oceanside Public Library

Oceanside High School students entered their junior prom in 1960, held inside the school's gymnasium, through giant cutouts of snow people.

Oh, and how did students go about raising
Photo Credit: Farmingdale Public Library

Oh, and how did students go about raising funds for their prom? Well, Farmingdale High School's Class of 1965 sponsored the annual donkey basketball game. Yes, those are students inside the school's gymnasium playing basketball while riding donkeys. And they weren't the only ones. This was also a popular tradition at Port Washington's Paul D. Schreiber High School as evidenced by photos and a brief recap in the school's 1971 yearbook. (That year, the teachers won.)

Guests entering the 1961 Massapequa High School Junior
Photo Credit: Massapequa Union Free School District

Guests entering the 1961 Massapequa High School Junior Prom were greeting by hostesses dressed in nautically-inspired outfits, as the evening's theme was "Ebb Tide."

Couples danced under a
Photo Credit: Port Washington Public Library

Couples danced under a "glowing autumn sunset, as shadows of a nocturnal landscape were projected over rolling fields" inside Paul D. Schreiber High School's gymnasium in Port Washington for the Class of 1964's senior ball, according to the class yearbook. The theme was "Golden Harvest."

A candid photo captured couples slow-dancing during the
Photo Credit: Levittown Public School District

A candid photo captured couples slow-dancing during the Levittown Memorial High School Class of 1960's junior prom.

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