Date & Time: 
Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 4:19am
Event Description: 

Image courtesy of LIFE magazine & Joe Munro.What: Saint Mary's College Commemorates Anniversary of Classic 1950s Life Magazine Photo

An event commemorating the 1959 LIFE magazine photo of 22 Saint Mary's College students crammed inside a telephone booth, aiming for a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Who: Teams of Saint Mary's students - more accustomed to iPhones than pay phones - will battle to best the alumni record, squeezing as many team members as possible into a phone booth.

The College will also recognize the Golden Anniversary of the memorable moment by acknowledging those who contorted themselves for history's sake.

When: Wednesday, March 25, 2009, 1-2 p.m.

Where: Chapel Lawn, Saint Mary's College of California 1928 St. Mary's Rd., Moraga.

Go to the phone booth anniversary webpage

Behind the Scenes: The LIFE photo evolved from a late 1950s international fad of telephone booth stuffings on college campuses. In the fall of 1958 a group of Saint Mary's students crammed into a wooden phone booth to beat the record held by a South African team. Joe Munroe, a Bay Area photographer and freelancer for LIFE heard of the attempt and came to Saint Mary's where 22 students staged the stunt outside. The photo became a classic image of Americana and is part of LIFE magazine's 100 greatest pictures collection. Several former students who overpopulated the phone booth for the 1959 photo are still in the East Bay area and have great stories about the event; one is a professor at Saint Mary's.

Fifty years ago the College was all male. However, to acknowledge the Silver anniversary in 1984, the event was restaged with two phone booths, one of which was crammed to capacity with female students. An alumna who participated in the female phone booth jam is now a Vice Provost for Saint Mary's.

Contact: Michael McAlpin, Director of Media Relations, (925) 631-4222, mdm5@stmarys-ca.edu.

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Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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