The North Carolina Room recently received a donation of five volumes of White Caps, the yearbook of The City Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. City Hospital opened in 1914 on East Fourth Street replacing the Twin City Hospital on Brookstown Avenue. City Hospital was renamed City Memorial Hospital in 1921. City Memorial Hospital closed in 1964 when its successor, Forsyth Memorial Hospital, later Forsyth Medical Center, opened.
The White Caps yearbooks cover the years 1955, 1958, 1959, 1960, and 1963. Yearbooks are useful genealogy resources for pictures of relatives when no other photograph can be found. Yearbooks can also be great resources for history because they capture events of the year in which they were created.
Part of the history of Forsyth Medical Center is represented on the endpapers inside the front and back cover of the 1963 White Caps. The next year saw the closing of City Memorial Hospital (CMH) and the opening of Forsyth Memorial Hospital (FMH) that later became Forsyth Medical Center. An image of CMH is in the front of the book and an image of FMH is in the back.
Forsyth Memorial Hospital in the back of the 1963 White Caps
Each yearbook has a theme, 1955’s was a seafaring one. Student progress is noted in the dates they received their dress uniforms and nursing caps. Students became veterans of their profession when they were issued black braids for their caps. The addition of “crew” from the USS MMH “which had gone down in action” may refer to students transferring from Martin Memorial Hospital in Mount Airy that burned in 1953. Women’s roles in the past often included the expectation that women stopped working or attending school when they became wives and “transfers to the USS Matrimony” was the choice for some students.
In addition to individual student names and photographs, yearbooks offer a view into student life at the hospital. Nursing specialties are highlighted here.
Students served on the Judiciary Board, Student Council, as Council Chairmen, and as Publication Staff preparing for responsibilities after their student careers.
The capping ceremony was a highlight of the nursing students career. A reception with refreshments followed the ceremony.
Group photograph of students inducted in to the Santa Filomena Honor Society.
Humor can always be found in all yearbooks and the 1960s is no exception. Cats are popular and all over the internet today and they seem to have been popular for this yearbook edition too!
These yearbooks are available for reference in the North Carolina Room at the Forsyth County Government Center. If you have a White Caps yearbook from a different year that you would like to donate to the Forsyth County Public Library we would love to add it to our collection. Call 336-703-3073 for donation information.