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LookingBack Nov. 28

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

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.

1918

The Sumter County Commission ordered that electric lights be installed in the courthouse.

1920

The headline read: "State roads will no longer be orphans but wards of the state." The Georgia Highway Department made plans to inaugurate a comprehensive system of upkeep for all the main roads. Included in the program was the west branch of the Dixie Highway crossing Dougherty County from north to south. This included a $295,000 bridge across the Flint River.

1925

A man was jailed as a suspected cow thief. He was apprehended as he led a heifer down a street in Albany. The animal was tied behind the jail but when the officer on duty went to retrieve it for the owner, it had once again been stolen.

1936

The Albany Electric Supply Company held its grand opening. Located at 324 North Washington Street, the new business claimed , "If it's electric, we have it".

The paving of the Albany-Leary Road to the Calhoun County line was completed just in time to make traveling to Albany, Southwest Georgia's shopping Mecca, convenient for the Christmas season.

1940

Movies showing in Albany included "Johnny Apollo" starring Tyrone Powers and Dorothy Lamour (The Clair), "Strike up the Band" starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland (The Albany Theatre) and "Brother Orchid" starring Edward G. Robinson, Ann Sothern and Humphrey Bogart (Liberty). Most tickets at all theaters were 10 cents for children and 20 cents for adults.

1949

Georgia Tech defeated Georgia by a score of 7-6 in front of 40,000 fans in Atlanta.

1954

A group of Baptist laymen gathered to lay the foundation for a Sunday school annex at the Arlington Baptist Church. The new space would make available 3,700 square feet of floor space.

Telephone expansion was underway along Dawson Road. The $78,000 project would bring services to additional areas throughout the western part of the city.

1957

Albany 's annual Christmas parade was a big draw for residents and visitors. In addition to the parade itself with 14 floats and four bands, the many strings of lights over the city streets were turned on. Lights strung on the new Flint River bridge were also switched on.

The Men's Club of Avalon Methodist Church collected broken toys. The toys were repaired and given to needy boys and girls for Christmas.

1961

A new service station held its grand opening. Gas-Up on East Oglethorpe at Hazard Drive and dealer in Quaker State, Texaco, Pennzoil and Kendall petroleum products, gave away balloons, lollipops and refreshments. A 12-hour special on gasoline featured 92-octane for 24.9 cents and 100-octane for 27.9 cents per gallon.

A notice from the VFW served as a reminder that the regular Saturday night dances were for couples only.

1970

Dougherty County Superior Court Judge Asa D. Kelley Jr. decreed 54 divorces final in the first week of December. All the names were listed in the newspaper.

1976

Two Albany businesses held going-out-of-business sales. The Gift Center at 1015 Broad Ave. slashed the prices on everything in its store by one-third. The shop also was accepting offers on fixtures. JeansNow at 1206 N. Slappey was also closing its doors with all merchandise reduced.

1982

Community Development funds were officially turned over to the Liberty House. The facility at that time had one room that served as an office and two bedrooms in a rented house to shelter battered women and children. At one point, there were four women and 10 children harbored in that small space. The $120,000 in federal money meant that a new facility could be developed with six rooms for shelter and that no woman would ever be turned away again in Albany.

More than 1,200 walkers and joggers participated in the first Jingle Bell Jog. Funds raised went to the Light House, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital's home away from home for cancer patients and their families.

1988

State Department of Labor officials announced that Metro Albany's unemployment dropped to its lowest point in four years -- 7.4 percent. Georgia's overall unemployment rate was 5.1 percent.

1993

Twenty-four Japanese educators visited the Dougherty County School System's four public high schools. The group was entertained on their first night here by a trip to the Westover-Albany High basketball game.The study team expressed interest in reforms for the Japanese education system and took a look at the curriculum, staff development, counseling services, and technology programs offered in Albany.

2000

The United Way of Southwest Georgia annual fundraising reached $1,623,215. That total was two percent over the amount pledged in 1999.

The Westwood Wildcats claimed their fifth state championship with a 14-6 victory over Edmund Burke.

2006

Nearly three years of work to draft a plan to consolidate the Albany and Dougherty County governments came to a halt when three county commissioners voted against proceeding with the matter. Jack Stone, Art Searles and John Hayes effectively kept the decision out of the hands of 44,000 registered voters.