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Answer Man: JM ‘Rochets’ blasted off in 1945

June 11, 2018

Editor’s note: This Classic Answer Man first appeared on Jan. 8, 2007.

Dear Answer Man, I’m a Rochester High School graduate and was recently asked by a John Marshall graduate how the name “Rockets” was chosen and why. Since I had no idea, I thought, who better to ask than you?

No one is better for thee than me.

John Marshall High School opened in fall 1958, so you might assume the Rockets nickname came from the Sputnik and Space Race era. Not so. Then-Principal Rick Stirn says it goes back farther than that.

He checked through the yearbooks for Rochester High School and found a first reference to “Rockets” in 1945. Prior to that for at least a few years, the word was spelled “Rochets” — a little strange, but obviously incorporating a little hometown touch in the nickname.

“As to why they changed it in 1945, I can only imagine it had something to do with World War II,” Rick says.

The JM logo includes a rocket and the phrase, “Mark of Excellence,” a reference to GM’s marketing logo, which was introduced in 1966. We’ll assume some creative Rockets launched that change to the logo post-1966.

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