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LookingBack March 28

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or mary.braswell@albanyherald.com.

1890

The spring of this year saw rapid progress in Albany. In just a few months' time, the metropolis grew by two banks, a real estate office, a bucket factory, a flour and grist mill, a $100,000 hotel, an enlarged electric light plant, telephone exchange, an opera house, a cotton and produce exchange, cotton spinning plant, two cotton compresses, a Methodist and Baptist church, guano factory, three railroads, a system of waterworks and even some paved streets.

1914

Albany's first automobile ambulance made its debut. Replacing the horse-drawn emergency vehicle, the new ambulance featured lights and fans, hot water (from the motor), first aid appliances and was designed for "the utmost comfort of the patient."

1921

The Albany City Commission denied a citizen's request to build a tenant house on an alley inside the city. The city ordinance governing that decision stated that building a house on an alley was prohibited unless it was to be used by servants of the house fronting on a main street.

1924

Bonds totaling $200,000 were issued by the city and county for the building of a new Albany-Dougherty County high school. That building is now home to Albany High School.

1932

Ford Motors publicly unveiled its V-8 engine.

1935

For four days, Albanians were given the opportunity to view the giant finback whale of San Clemente. A specially-built all-steel train car was touring the country showing off the whalers' catch. The 68 ton, 65-foot-long whale could be seen at North Washington Street and Roosevelt Avenue at the Central of Georgia freight station.

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) completed its total renovation of its store at 230 Broad Ave. Counters, shelves and ceiling were freshly painted pea green with the trim painted a dark green. The market department was equipped with all new Frigidaire coolers and merchandise was neatly arranged and clearly marked with prices.

1937

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued an executive order creating the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

1942

The American Legion Auxiliary sponsored a Thursday night dance at the clubhouse from 8:30 until midnight. Admission for boys was 25 cents; girls were admitted free.

Albany Exchange National Bank, "The Bank with the Chiming Clock," asked citizens to remember the following prayer each time they heard the chimes:

"Lord, through this hour

"Be Thou our guide

"So, by Thy power

"No foot shall slide."

1949

Georgia teachers, angered that voters failed to approve tax increases that would raise their pay, threatened by the hundreds to walk out. State officials declared a policy of "no work, no pay" for school teachers.

Construction permits zoomed to $274,351 for the month of March, nearly $100,000 more than the previous month. Permits ranged from new construction to dwelling repairs to sprinkler systems to permits for asbestos siding.

1952

An eight-page, full-size, color comics section made its debut in The Albany Herald. Strips included: Dick Tracy, Joe Palooka, Little Orphan Annie, Gasoline Alley, Blondie, Wash Tubbs, Alley Oop, Bugs Bunny, Barney Google, Freckles and His Friends, Henry, Steve Canyon, Smilin' Jack and Ozark Ike. Of those, Blondie still appears each Sunday in The Herald.

The cost of using a pay phone increased from a nickel to a dime in many locations around the country.

1953

Coca-Cola specials advertised in The Albany Herald: Six-bottle cartons for 19 cents (plus deposit or returned empties). At full price, the drinks were 23 cents, plus deposit or returned empties.

1956

City officials in Tifton mailed off a check for $3,680 as a final payment on a $70,000 bond issue voted on in 1926. The funds were used for street improvements and paving.

1962

A new wing at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital was set to open. The 15 private rooms for the chronically ill were being furnished mostly by private donations. Ten had already been furnished with five remaining. The cost to dedicate/sponsor a room's furnishings was $500 ... about $3,500 in 2010 dollars.

Fourth-grade students at Mamie Brosnan School published their own newspaper called "The Little Albany Herald," a paper for little people, about little people and by little people. The newspaper was printed by hand on a stencil and published on a duplicating machine in the school's office.

1968

Gibson Hall, a women's residence hall at Albany State College (now ASU), was dedicated. The ceremony marked the third residential hall dedication since Dr. Thomas Miller Jenkins became president in July 1965.

1972

The First Assembly of God began construction on Albany's first "round" church.

1981

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital raised room rates by $6 per day. The increase brought the cost of semi-private rooms to $81-$91 and a private room cost as much as $98 per day.

1984

Albany/Dougherty County physicians agreed to freeze medical fees for one year to help curb rapidly rising health costs.

1985

For the first time in the company's 99-year history, Avon representatives began receiving a salary. Previously, the Avon lady worked strictly on commission.

1991

Georgia's unemployment rate was reported as 7 percent, the highest since the summer of 1985. Note: Georgia reported unemployment at 10.5 percent for February 2010.