Thankfully, by the time I was in school, square dancing as a class had been phased out. But I had heard rumors from previous generations that it (as well as that damned climbing rope) would be my worst nightmares during P.E.

Crisis averted, but for many generations, Square Dancing was a staple course within the Physical Education curriculum. But why square dancing? Well, it's because Henry Ford hated Jazz Music... let me explain...

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Ford Thought Jews Invented Jazz

Henry Ford was an innovator in his early years, but was also VERY particular with many things in his life. He was a "student" of sorts of the John Harvey Kellogg school of propriety (which had some questionable practices at best), and unfortunately a known anti-Semite. And it's because of that antisemitism that Ford also hated Jazz Music.

If that seems confusing, it kind of is, because we all know that black people invented jazz music in the late 19th century in and around New Orleans. But Ford didn't believe this, and claimed Jewish people invented jazz as part of a nefarious plot to corrupt the masses and take over the world.

So when he noticed his workers at the Ford Motor Company were listening to Jazz Music, obviously he had to do something about it.


Ford Forced Square Dancing on his Employees

In order to weed out the evils of "Jewish Jazz Music" from his crop of employees, Henry Ford published a dancing instruction manual called "Good Morning: After a Sleep of Twenty-Five Years, Old-Fashioned Dancing is Being Revived by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ford."

Not exactly a catchy title, but to the point, because even by mid-1920s standards, square dancing was considered old and outdated.

But Ford persisted, and even required his employees to attend square dancing events he created, funded contests for fiddle players and even promoted radio shows to play more "old time dancing music."

So in a sense, you can also thank Henry Ford for reviving old school country and western music as well.

But teaching just his employees wasn't enough for Ford, because he still knew, outside the confines of his factories, young people were still going to listen to this music he considered anti-white, but yet also Jewish.

How Ford got Square Dancing put into Schools

Henry, along with his wife, Clara Jane Bryant, lobbied with their square dance instructor, Benjamin Lovett, to campaign square dancing to schools across the country as a physical education course. His thinking was it would teach children "social training, courtesy, good citizenship, along with rhythm."

He also thought it would keep children from listening to that darned "Jewish Jazz Music."

Well, it turns out, the schools loved it, and starting in the late 1920s, schools across the region, and eventually the country, were using square dancing as a lesson in their P.E. classes. At one point, it was estimated that HALF of the schools in America were teaching square dancing to their students.

Eventually, of course, it was phased out for other forms of educational material... like badminton and that DAMNED CLIMBING ROPE... but those who still square dance to this day, you can thank Henry Ford and his anti-Semitism for keeping it alive.

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