Physical Education in the 1960’s

In 1961, President Kennedy declared physical fitness to be a national priority. He urged all schools to create fitness programs. This was one of the advertisements for the program.

Is this the shape

The schools took immediate action.  In honor of President Kennedy’s challenge, the high school age students from the army base I lived in at the time walked en masse to their school in Las Cruces, 45 miles away.  The younger kids went to school on the base, so we did not participate in that walk; but I remember feeling so excited about it. Our president wanted us to be healthy and he was showing us the way!

When I watched this video two years ago, I was struck by how thin we were during those years.

As I was putting together this post, a friend told me about a video of a boys high school physical education class in the 60’s.

I wonder what school physical education programs look like in 2016.


Written for Challenge for Growth Prompt #12: Honoring My Body


15 thoughts on “Physical Education in the 1960’s

    1. I am fascinated every time I see these videos. It has been decades since PE has been like that, I assume. I believe it is not even required in most of the U.S.


  1. I wonder what they would look like as well. I don’t remember much about PE in elementary except for playing dodge ball. I liked that one. In Jr. High and High School, it was then the 70’s and we spent most of the period (40 minutes) playing some kind of sport, and the exercise mats. Those guys in those videos look like they are doing PT in boot camp! I know because I went to boot camp in Orlanda, FL, during the months of July and August. We did it outside in the heat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it looked very much like boot camp in the video. Someone that saw it said they were preparing the high schoolers for the Vietnam War but that seems too early for that.


I would love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s