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Looking Back at August 1929

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.

In just a couple of months, the stock market would crash plunging Americans into what became known as The Great Depression. Here is a look back at life in South Georgia before that disastrous time in our history.

August 1929

• The Albany Business Club finalized plans for the installation of a large, electrically lighted sign for the airport. The sign would spell Albany in all capital letters and be easily visible to pilots flying near the airport.

• Nearing the close of the second week of sales, bright leaf tobacco prices were holding close to the best ever at $22 to $24 per hundred pounds.

• The bill to levy a state tax equal to one-third of the federal income tax passed the House. If signed into law, citizens were to see a reduction in ad valorem property taxes proportionate to the amount of added revenue derived through the new tax.

• A banquet was held at the New Albany Hotel for members of the sandlot baseball teams in town for the state championship tournament. The teams included the Rome Pepperells, Atlanta Cardinals, Macon Peaches, Columbus Foxes and the Albany Rotarians.

• At least 25 Sunday school programs in the Bethel Baptist Association joined forces to hold a campaign to encourage church attendance, Special programs and speakers were planned for each night at each of the churches for an entire week.

• A big dance was held at River Bend Park. Music was provided by way of a radio broadcast of the Ray Mullins Orchestra. The band was well known for comedy dance programs as well as “hot style” music and ability to deliver a flawless and true southern dance rhythm.

• The City National Bank of Albany celebrated its first birthday. The bank held $204,323.89 cash on hand.

• Norman Junior College, located in Norman Park, offered a co-educational boarding school with “thorough Christian influences.” The cost was $1.14 per day which covered board and tuition.

• Two rabid dogs were killed in Worth County. Two boys were bitten by one of the dogs. Other dogs, as well as chickens and mules, were attacked by the second. The heads of both critters were sent to Atlanta, where they were declared rabid. The boys received the Pasteur treatment from the county health commissioner.

• The Gortatowsky Insurance Agency, located in the Arcade of the Albany Theatre, urged Albany residents to call for an insurance policy — 24 hours a day. During business hours, the number to call was 202. Other calls were taken, even in the middle of the night, at 142.

• A joint resolution to make the date of the Yale-Georgia football game a statewide holiday was unanimously adopted. The day was to be known as Abraham Baldwin Day, in honor of UGA’s first president.

• The Senate approved a House bill returning the Calhoun County seat to Morgan from Arlington. The seat had been moved four years earlier when fire destroyed the courthouse.

• A local stamp enthusiast mailed a letter to be carried around the world on the Graf Zeppelin. Postage was extremely high for the letter at $3.65.

• The general public was invited to the formal opening of the East Albany underpass. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad underpass increased the paved through roads in Albany to two, the other being the Dixie Highway.

• The former Strand Theatre in Albany was closed for extensive renovations. When the facility reopened, it was named the Ritz Theatre and was for whites exclusively. The Ritz was equipped with sound devices for talking movies.

• Such a good farming season as was wrapping up, farmers were paying off bank notes and operational expenses before their due dates. Many would see proceeds from later crops as clear profit.

• The Hew Kennel Supply Co., Inc., at the corner of Front and Third Streets, was shipping pet food and supplies all over the country. A trained police dog was shipped to China from Tallahassee and, at the request of the trainer, Hew Meat & Cereal Food was sent along for the trip.

• R.W. Woodruff, president of Ichaway Plantation in Newton, made a contribution to the quinine fund in Baker County. Stores in the county distributed 1,000 5-grain capsules free to those unable to pay for the needed quinine.

• While business was good for most everyone in this part of the state, one large merchant had a record-setting first six months. The J.C. Penney Company showed its highest ever profit for the period topping the 1928 first six months by more than $300,000.

• The Washington Street Bootery supported advertising in The Albany Herald. In a written testimony, the store claims its 30-inch ad sold 200 pairs of shoes.

• The headquarters of the Nye Odorless Incinerator Corporation moved from Macon to Albany. The move brought about 20 new families to the city.

• A Thomasville dentist was found by a posse after robbing a bank. The dentist took $1,202 of which $1,111 was recovered.

• The announcement came that the highway from Colquitt to Damascus through Arlington would be extended to Cordray and from Cordray to Albany. This extension would give Calhoun County 25 additional highway miles.

• Crime was really picking up in Albany. Seven cases were heard before the city judge ranging from carrying a weapon without a license to cheating and swindling to stealing cotton. Fines ranged fro $1 to $100 or time on the chain gang.

• Albany was made headquarters for the extension construction programs for American Bell Telephoning Company and Southern Bell Telephone Company. Eight crews were temporarily located in the city for an undetermined amount of time.

• With the end of tobacco season came the beginning of cotton picking. The gins in Terrell County were running full speed and operating night and day.

• Albany Kiwanians were hosts to more than 180 children at a dinner at the Tift Park pavilion. The children had all benefited by way of the Kiwanis Clinic. This was the sixth time the club had provided a health clinic for local children.