Written By: Liz Ronk

Nowadays, in order for a high school prom to garner national attention, something rather extraordinary or, better yet, something vaguely scandalous has to occur before, during or after the event—perhaps a celebrity cameo, or a showdown that sets of a social media firestorm.

But back in the day specifically, back in 1958, students at an Ohio high school simply had to stay awake in order to get their names and faces in the June 9, 1958, issue of LIFE magazine. Stay awake and dance, that is. And go riverboating. And eat breakfast. And ride roller coasters. And dance some more. . . .

“Traditionally,” LIFE noted, “senior proms are the high school students’ big night to howl. To keep them happy and off the roads and ultimately wear them out, many high schools now sponsor all-night dances. The only trouble is that each generation seems to take longer to wear out.”

The article continued:

Students at Mariemont High School near Cincinnati came close to the ultimate this year when they put on a “prom” that lasted almost 32 hours. It started with a progressive dinner (spaghetti to strawberry cake), followed by a formal but highly energetic dance. Then the students boarded a river boat for a cruise and dancing to a jazz combo. Dawn found them somewhat subdued and back at the school for breakfast. Sent home for a short rest period, they emerged refreshed and descended on an amusement park. By nightfall half the students had discovered they were mortal and had gone home to bed. The rest whipped up another dance. “It keeps getting better and better,” one said, “as I get more and more numb.”

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Original caption: “Formal dance held at the Kenwood Country Club was only traditional part of Mariemont’s prom.”

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Original caption: “Informal games started at progressive dinner. Here students pull each other off in ‘chicken.'”

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Original caption: “Third dance was held at the amusement park. Here couples gather around as band plays ‘Tequila.'”

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Original caption: “A chilly dawn as boat neared dock quenched some student fire. Most revived after hot breakfast.”

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Original caption: “River Cruise was kept lively by dancing. Here Leslie Ingram and Jim Rockaway lead a bunny hop.”

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Original caption: “Snoozing in sun at park pool, Nancy Reynolds and Wally Wyatt nap to help keep them going.”

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Original caption: “Roller Coaster ride keeps students moving. Holding hands in air during ride is judged brave.”

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Mariemont High School Prom 1958, Ohio

Mariemont High School Prom, Ohio, 1958.

Francis Miller Time & Life Pictures/Shutterstock

More Like This

lifestyle

Training with “The World’s First Paleo CrossFitting Locavore”

lifestyle

When Scooters Became the Cool Way to Go

lifestyle

Home on the Range: The Sweet Spot of Prairie Living

lifestyle

The Changing Roles of Women: A Photographer Picks Her Favorite Images

lifestyle

Photographs on Fabrics: What a Dreamy Invention!

lifestyle

Easter Fashion Fun: Making Clothes For the Whole Giant Family