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LookingBack Oct. 24

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


October of this year proved to be the deadliest in the nation for the flu epidemic. In one month alone, an estimated 195,000 Americans fell victim to the Spanish Influenza. While several hundred cases were confirmed in Albany, no deaths were reported.


The Albany-South Georgia Fair was in town. Most local banks closed at 1 p.m. during fair week and housewives were encouraged to dismiss domestic help early on Wednesday.


A list of teachers in Dougherty County was provided for printing in The Albany Herald. Along with names, home telephone numbers were given, for those that had a phone.


During a cross-country flying tour, movie actor Gary Cooper dropped in for a brief visit at Souther Field in Americus.


Tom Mix, the much-loved cinema cowboy, appeared at the Albany Theater. Tony, the wonder horse that co-starred with the cowboy in numerous films, also made an appearance. Mix was accompanied by his wife and Irma Ward as well as two other horses and five real cowboys.

The headline stated that Georgia's chain gangs were soon to be history for Georgia felons. Following completion of a state prison in Tattnall County to house 3,000 prisoners, the state would be required to assume responsibility for any remaining prisoners, each county to care for its own.


The Albany Works Progress Administration (WPA) housekeeping aides held an open house. Demonstrations included three simple and wholesome ways to cook cabbage, how to make kitchen cupboards from orange crates, biscuit making from surplus commodities and how to cut two boys' shirts from one man's shirt.


The air-conditioned State Theater was showing "A Wave -- A Wac and a Marine." When that film left Albany, it was followed by "Two Girls and a Sailor," featuring June Allyson, Gloria DeHaven, Van Johnson, Jimmy Durante and Gracie Allen.


The first commercially-made ball-point pens went on sale at Gimbels Department Store in New York City. The pens sold for $12.50 each and racked up a profit of $500,000 in the first month on the market.


Albany Drug Company held a "Refund Day" monthly. At the end of each month, a date was announced and published in The Albany Herald. All dated cash register receipts with the correct date could be redeemed at the store for the full amount spent on that particular day.


More than one-third of the registered voters in Dougherty County were purged from the voting list. In accordance with Georgia law, those who failed to vote in a two-year period would be removed and must re-register. A total of 5,767 names were deleted from the Dougherty County list.


A span of dirt road about the length of a city block was paved along Whispering Pines Road near the east end of Sherwood Acres subdivision. The new stretch of pavement made riding bikes to the nearby school much easier for children and was also considered of benefit to members of Sherwood Baptist Church.


The Rolling Stones were introduced to American audiences on "The Ed Sullivan Show".


Grant City opened its doors on North Slappey. Sixty-one years earlier, W.T. Grant invested his entire savings totaling $1,000 to open his first store. At the time of the Albany store's grand opening, there were 1,100 stores bearing the Grant name. The new Grant City (now Harvey's/Big Lots) boasted of two miles of counter space.


Dougherty County investigators were pursuing the policy of looking for the big drug dealer rather than youthful experimenters. The method paid off when six men were arrested with between $10,000 and $12,000 worth of heroin. Some of the heroin was processed for use and in bags and capsules while a portion was still in the block form.

The Kendall-Geiger-Landau house at 511 Oglethorpe Ave. was demolished to make room for commercial development. The house was built in 1870 by John Marland Kendall. The banisters were hand-turned and the iron work was cast by Englishman John Pattison. After moving to Albany, Pattison established a successful iron works. The Geiger family bought the home in 1880 and it was passed on to the Landau family through a daughter's marriage. Before its demise, the home sheltered five generations of the Landau family.


"Saturday Night Live" premiered on NBC. George Carlin was the first host.


Riverside and Oakview cemeteries reopened to the public after being closed following the July flood. Raging waters inundated the 100-year-old cemeteries and caused about 400 coffins to surface. While there was still work to be done, the families of those buried there could finally re-enter the grounds . Both cemeteries now follow the city requirement that all graves be at least six feet deep.


Atlanta Braves right fielder David Justice hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning in Game 6 of the World Series. The run broke a scoreless tie and was all the Braves needed. Pitcher/Series MVP Tom Glavine allowed just one hit in eight innings and Mark Wohlers pitched a perfect ninth to seal the world championship, the only one in Atlanta's history.


The Georgia Peanut Commission began promoting peanuts as the best treat for Halloween. Foil packets decorated with a ghost and containing a half-ounce of salted nuts were sold in trays of 100 for $6.