This "CBS News Special" looks at what it is like to be a sixteen-year-old in Webster Groves, Missouri, an affluent suburb of St. Louis. Kuralt characterizes these sixteen-year-olds as "children of abundance, of privilege, of the good life in America" and asks if something is missing from this "American dream." This documentary is based on interviews with students, parents, and teachers as well as the findings of a University of Chicago questionnaire given to the students. Kuralt says most of the sixteen-year-olds equate money with success; several students are interviewed; a teacher reports that her students think the values of Thoreau's "Walden" are strange and that Thoreau was "nuts"; Kuralt says the sixteen-year-olds are not rebellious, dissatisfied, or adventurous; Kuralt says the people of Webster Groves are "moderately wealthy, mostly Protestant, and ninety-six percent white"; several parents are interviewed, all stressing the importance of a college education; a guidance counselor advises a student; the importance of visits by college recruiters is noted; social ambitions of the sixteen-year-olds are noted and Kuralt comments on the hierarchy of "socies," "normies," and intellectuals; a student comments on conformity; Kuralt interviews a vocational teacher on lack of adequate funding of courses that prepare non-college students for careers after high school; Kuralt talks with two students who excel in class but who feel left out of Webster High's social circles; Kuralt, students, and parents comment on racial prejudice; the students talk about dating, draft resisters, and obeying their parents; and the local police chief says the students' lives are so regimented that they have no self-reliance. Students and parents discuss the insulated life the students lead. Commercials deleted.

See also "Webster Groves Revisited" (T77:0186), aired by CBS on April 8, 1966, for a documentary look at reaction to "Sixteen in Webster Groves."

Cataloging of this program was made possible by the CBS Foundation, 1998.


  • DATE: February 25, 1966 Friday 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:52:12
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T77:0164
  • GENRE: Public affairs/Documentaries
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Adolescence
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV, 1966


    • Arthur Barron … Producer
    • Paul Asselin … Associate Producer
    • Walter Dombrow … Photographed by
    • Charles Kuralt … Reporter