Looking Back Jan. 17


Students from Boys' High School, Girls' High School, Broad Street School, Flint Street School, Monroe Street School and Mulberry Street School formed a parade several blocks long to show support for the school bond election. The bond issue passed.

Governors of Southern states, Confederate veterans, numerous high ranking officials and members of the public (a group of about 5,000 total) joined in a ceremony as the head of Gen. Robert E. Lee was unveiled on the side of Stone Mountain. Chips of the native granite, preserved by the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, were handed out to those in attendance.


An epidemic of chickenpox was reported in Newton. More than 50 percent of all students in Baker County schools were confined to their homes.


Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youth was renamed Georgia State College. In January 1950, the name was changed to Savannah State College. The school was granted university status and renamed once again in 1996 to Savannah State University.


Albany Motors at 118 Pine St. (now Pine Avenue) held a work truck demonstration for the public. The brand-new six-cylinder trucks available included: half-ton pickup, $440; Sedan delivery truck, $545; half-ton panel truck, $530; 131-inch stake truck, $655; and the largest of them all, 157-inch stake truck-$715.


A gasoline war was in full force in Albany between service stations. Residents were eagerly filling their automobile tanks with gas that had dropped from 21 cents per gallon down to 15-17 cents.


Crown Hill Cemetery ran a special on burial plots. A new section of the cemetery was opening and the special included plots with room enough for six graves for $50, including perpetual care. After the promotional price expired, the plots were sold for $125-$150, depending upon the location.


By federal order, the sale of pre-sliced bread in America was banned "until victory could be assured" in World War II. Bakery slicing machines were breaking down, replacement parts were made of metal which was greatly needed for everything from guns to tanks to portable fighter plane landing strips and more. While not a popular mandate, it was understood that if "we want to preserve our liberty, we have to slice our own (bread)."


At a conference held at Radium Springs, the Southwestern Dental Association reported a severe shortage of dentists in Georgia. At the time, 36 counties had no dentists and another 32 counties had only one dentist.


Sears had new power lawnmowers available for prices ranging from $79.95 for the 16-inch cut to $129.95 for the heavy duty 21-inch cut. That would be approximately $650-$1,100 in today's dollars.

Reminders ran in The Albany Herald for customers to arrange their banking business with the knowledge that all banks would be closed Jan. 19 in observance of Robert E. Lee's birthday.


The Retail Merchants Committee of the Tift County Chamber of Commerce finalized rules for store hours. Except for during tobacco season and the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, all downtown stores would open at 8:30 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. and close on Wednesday afternoons so merchants could attend church meetings. The committee also designated George Washington's birthday, Memorial Day, Flag Day and Veterans Day as the days when merchants were expected to display the American flag.


The architect-engineering firm of Robert O. Bailey and Co. of Albany negotiated a federal contract to begin a survey of potential public locations in the 15-county area of Southwest Georgia that could serve as fallout shelters in the event of a nuclear bomb attack. The firm was given only three weeks to complete the task.


On Jan. 20, an F1 tornado traveled 7 miles across Clay County killing one and doing an estimated $2.5 in damage.


"Meet the Beatles" was released ... the first Beatles album released in the United States.


The Bee Gees topped the music charts with "Saturday Night Fever."


The Dougherty County Commission voted to permit county employees who wanted to take off Jan. 15 in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to do so. The only stipulation was that the employee must use a day of annual leave and the immediate supervisor of each employee would make the final leave request approval based upon the needs of the department involved.


The U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5-4) that it did not violate copyright laws for home VCRs to be used to tape television programs to be viewed at a later time.


Albany's violent crime dropped 20 percent from the previous year. Albany Police Chief Jack Lumpkin said the drop made the city the safest it had been in almost a decade. Homicides dropped from 23 to 14, robberies dropped from 427 to 348 and aggravated assaults decreased from 547 to 410.


Nine people were injured when a car plunged 36 feet off Oakridge Drive. All nine were passengers in one car and, even though the driver was charged with four counts of child restraint violation, there were no serious injuries.


Two men robbed the Suwannee Swifty Chevron in Ellaville (Schley County). It was the town's first armed robbery in 14 years.