Looking Back July 10, 2011

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.

Here is a look back at the long hot days of summer throughout Southwest Georgia in years gone by.


The Albany Drug Co. began staying open every night until the moving picture shows were over. Movie-goers were invited to come in and enjoy ice cream and a cold soda.


Mules were needed for war purposes. Government representatives were on hand at Farkas Stables to pay cash for mules from 15.1 to 16.1 hands, five to 12 years old and weighing 1,000-1,200 pounds.


At a conference of Georgia school superintendents, it was reported that the annual cost per pupil per year was $32. FYI: The cost per student for the year 2009-10 was $10,182 in Georgia.


Five men were arrested by Dougherty County Sheriff O.F. Tarver -- an engineer, a repairman and a baggage master for the railroad as well as a barber and a meat market owner. The tag of the vehicle in which they were traveling was covered in black cloth. Five KKK robes and hoods were inside the vehicle. The five related to the arresting officer that they were on their was to "give warning" to an unidentified woman.


A minimum wage of 30 cents an hour was established in the U.S.


Eugene Talmadge, one of the most active of the field of 10 gubernatorial candidates, spent the night in Albany before traveling on to Dawson. Talmadge campaigned on a platform of reduced taxation and less governmental spending.


Plans were completed for a new apartment building at the corner of Madison Street and Third Avenue. The 18 units would each have two bedrooms, living room, kitchen, dining room and private bath. Construction was expected to take six months and veterans would be considered first on the waiting list to rent.


Lamar Clifton, a junior at the University of Georgia, was named editor-in-chief of "The Pandora," the UGA yearbook. An honor graduate of Albany High School, Clifton had maintained an A average throughout his first two years of college.


The Albany City Commission voted unanimously to dedicate a part of the Municipal Auditorium as a recreation center for military men. The vote was spurred by the U.S. military intervention in the Korean War. The local USO had been deactivated after WWII.

With improvements to equipment and the addition of new wells, the Albany Water, Light and Gas Department reported that municipal water flow capacity had increased from 600 gallons per minute to 1,620 gallons per minute.


"Amos 'n' Andy," a favorite with radio audiences since 1928, was new to television viewers. It was the first TV series with an all-black cast. The NAACP condemned the show and it was pulled by CBS after two years.


Turner Air Force base held an open house to show off its new B52D Stratofortress (bomber). Over the two-day event, more than 9,000 visitors came through the base gates to climb the steps beside the pilot's cabin and peer inside and/or duck beneath the Bombay doors to stand inside the space designed to hold the bombs.


Robert L. Ray, local postmaster, gave instructions on how to use the new ZIP-code. Ray stated that proper use of the ZIP code could cut 24 hours from many delivery times as well as prevent mail from arriving at an incorrect destination.


Fifty-seven out of 85 graduates from Mitchell County High School announced plans to continue on with their education. Forty- three would be attending colleges or universities while 14 would attend technical schools.

Burton's Shoe Store at 240 Broad Avenue had children's and ladies' Keds in five colors on sale for $2.97.


A record, but balanced, $7.7 million municipal budget was adopted by the Albany City Commission. The budget was $1 million higher than the previous year but did not include an increase in ad valorem taxes. There was, however, a 7 percent pay increase for all city employees.


Bainbridge celebrated Farmers' Appreciation Week with a peanut pushing contest, sack races and a head-standing marathon. The week-long festivities wrapped up with a Calavaras County-style frog jumping contest and a gopher race.


The Dougherty County Commission unanimously approved a fee hike for EMS services. Emergency transport would increase from $75 to $100 and non-emergency transport from $50 to $75.

As the full impact of Firestone's April closing was felt, the unemployment rate for the Albany metro area jumped to 11.2 percent.


Albany's three mayoral hopefuls spoke to the Clean Community Commission. Lamar Hudgins called for less government, Paul Keenan for more government and Marshall Bailey for stronger organizational skills in government.

State workers were furloughed one day per month. Protests aside, Gov. Zell Miller stated that the furloughs would remain in place. Referring to the state of Georgia's coffers, Miller stated "You either make the pie bigger or make the slices smaller."


The 500-year flood that washed over Albany left damages exceeding $50 million and 40,000 tons of debris.


Gas prices soared in Albany to $1.34 per gallon for regular unleaded.