Moments that People Who Lived Through the 1970s Will Never Forget
Moments that People Who Lived Through the 1970s Will Never Forget

Moments that People Who Lived Through the 1970s Will Never Forget

Khalid Elhassan - July 25, 2022

Moments that People Who Lived Through the 1970s Will Never Forget
Flowing Wells High School. Imgur

1. A 1970s Witch Trial

Ann Stewart wanted to increase her students’ interest in literature, so she suggested in 1970 that they find out what astrology is all about. That further enhanced the rumors about her involvement with the occult. Later that year, a junior high school teacher invited her to speak before her eighth graders about folklore and witchcraft. Mrs. Stewart dressed up and played the part of a witch in order to jazz up the presentation. When those eighth graders arrived in Flowing Wells High School that fall, many of them fueled the rumors that Mrs. Stewart really was a witch. The English teacher thought it was all good fun. Flowing Wells, however, was a particularly conservative community, and many students, their parents, and faculty members at the high school did not get the joke.

Moments that People Who Lived Through the 1970s Will Never Forget
Flowing Wells, Arizona, feared witches as late as the 1970s. Flickr

Mrs. Stewart was suspended on November 20th, 1970, for: “teaching about witchcraft, having stated that you are a witch in a way that affects students psychologically“. She was also accused of insubordination, discussing subjects beyond the curriculum, being a bad influence on students, and aggravating other teachers. The suspension of a teacher in 1970 for witchcraft became international news. In conservative Flowing Wells, Stewart became a pariah, shunned by neighbors and former friends. She appealed to the school board, but it confirmed the decision to fire her. So she sued in court, and there won on grounds that the board had violated the legal procedures for the dismissal of a tenured teacher like Stewart. The court ordered her reinstatement, but as if February, 1972, she had not returned to her job. It is unclear if she ever taught at Flowing Wells again.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

ABC News – The Pet Rock Captured a Moment, and Made its Creator a Millionaire

Balance Careers – The Truth Behind the Infamous Fish Tank Platform Shoes

Beadle, Jeremy, and Harrison, Ian – Firsts, Lasts, and Only’s: Crime (2007)

Best Life – 50 Things Only People Who Lived in the 1970s Will Remember

Biography – Nicky Barnes

Bleacher Report – Cleveland Indians’ Ten Cent Beer Night: The Worst Idea Ever

Cleveland dot Com – Fans Riot on 10 Cent Beer Night: On This Day in Cleveland Indians History

Cleveland Magazine, May 24th, 2007 – The Experience: Swiping Jeff Borroughs’ Cap on 10-Cent Beer Night

Crime and Investigation – Charles Sobhraj: The Serpent

Daily Beast, December 28th, 2017 – The Long Rise and Fast Fall of New York’s Black Mafia

Damn Interesting – The Soldier Who Wouldn’t Quit

Encyclopedia dot Com – Vietnam: Drug Use In

Ferranti, Seth – Street Legends, Volume 2 (2010)

Groovy History – Comic Book Rip-Off Ads: Sea Monkeys, X-Ray Specs, and More

History Collection – When America Actually Trusted the Media

How Stuff Works – Japanese Holdouts

Kamienski, Lucasz – Shooting Up: A Short History of Drugs and War (2016)

Mental Floss – France Stopped Using the Guillotine as Star Wars Premiered

Mental Floss – Hard Sell: A History of the Pet Rock

Mob Museum, The – Did Frank Matthews Get Away With It?

Murderpedia – Charles Sobhraj

NBC Sports – Today in Baseball History: Indians Hold Infamous Ten Cent Beer Night

Neville, Richard, and Clarke, Julia – On the Trail of the Serpent: The Life and Crimes of Charles Sobhraj (2020)

New York Times, December 5th, 1971 – Teacher is Upheld in Witchcraft Case

NPR, January 2nd, 2012 – What Vietnam Taught Us About Breaking Bad Habits

Onoda, Hiroo – No Surrender: My Thirty-Year War (1974)

Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 10th, 2014 – Hiroo Onoda: Hero, or Villain?

Sweatpants & Coffee – Sea Monkeys: False Advertising of Science Can Still be Fascinating

Tuscaloosa News, February 15th, 1972 – ‘Witch’ Tag Clings to Fired Teacher

Ultimate Classic Rock – Les Harvey, Electrocuted During a Concert