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Looking Back July 31, 2011

The year was 1947. World War II was over. Schools would not start back until after Labor Day, leaving one full month of summer vacation still to enjoy. Here is a look back at that time in the Albany area.

* Silver's 5-10 and $1 Store had all brands of cigarettes on sale for $1.65 per carton.

* Employees of the Circle M Cotton Plant in Poulan were informed that the mill would reopen after sitting idle for three months. Improvements were made to the facility during its shutdown including the installation of an electric water pump.

* The huge network of Albany's underground storm sewers was completed. The $700,000 project was the largest undertaking of its kind in all of Southwest Georgia. Equipment for the Flint River pumping station was ordered the year before, but was not yet delivered.

* All veterans and their friends were invited to the VFW on Radium Springs Road. Dance music was provided several times each week by Ben Shorter's Orchestra. The dining room was open seven days a week.

* City Manager C.Q. Wright announced that Turner Field would be retained by the U.S. government as a stand-by installation. Later in August, the announcement came that Turner Field would be reactivated, this time as an Air Force fighter base.

* Layson Lumber Co. sawmill on Slappey Drive was destroyed by fire. Three of the many firefighters responding to the scene were injured. Two firefighters were treated and sent home. The third sustained a head injury from falling lumber and remained hospitalized. The mill, valued at $60,000, was a total loss.

* Dougherty County schools announced opening day for 1947 would be Sept. 8. No child could be registered at the grammar school without a birth certificate and small pox vaccination documentation. Also, to enter the first grade, a child had to be six years old by Oct. 18.

* Albany's Coca-Cola Bottling Plant was back in full swing after the news that the federal contracts on industrial use of sugar had been abandoned.

* Lakefront lots were available at Cromartie Beach Development just west of Turner Field and three miles from downtown Albany. Lot prices ranged from $300 to $700.

* For the first time, Samson folding card tables and chairs were available in colors at Albany Housefurnishings. Colors included Chinese red, earth brown, ivory, horizon blue, cliff coral and canary yellow.

* The new Negro high school was completed and would open after Labor Day. The modernistic building was the most expensive school building in the city at a construction cost of $20,000. The location is what is known as Monroe High School today.

* Veterans in Southwest Georgia were notified that testing for a General Education Development exam was ongoing at Moultrie High School. Any veteran passing the test was eligible for a high school diploma from the school he had attended prior to the war.

* Albany Police Chief Jim Moore stated that a crackdown on people who were ignoring expired parking meter citations was on its way. The chief further stated that it had been brought to his attention that tickets were often torn up on site and placed in public trash bins. A promise of a trip to court was made for any person found destroying a citation.

* East Dougherty County farmer Frank Fleming won the countywide cotton yield contest with 1,526 pounds per acre.

* The merged city and county health departments (Dougherty County Department of Public Health) was rated one of the best in Georgia by state officials.

* Albany Coal Co. received a small shipment of Speed Queen washing machines. The stock was expected to be gone quickly.

* The state Department of Education informed all teachers that it was mandatory that they enroll in the Teacher's Retirement System. This include war emergency teachers and temporary teachers.

* Southern Bell asked its customers on party lines to observe the following rules: Keep calls brief, hang up gently, give others a chance by having a "time-out" between calls and always release the line in the case of an emergency.

* A case of diphtheria was found in Edison. The entire block where the sick child was living went under quarantine as shots were offered to family and neighbors. Water testing was also underway.

* South Georgia children ages 11 to 13 were given the opportunity to run the local J.C Penney Store for one day. The youngsters were selected for the project by school officials and the Chamber of Commerce. Each "employee" was assigned a department to manage.

* Albany's State Theater showed Walt Disney's "Song of the South" in its wonderfully comfortable, air-conditioned facility. Adults tickets were 30 cents and children's were 20 cents.

* Two young people, dressed as typical teenagers, were questioned by police as they sat in a car by the side of Mock Road. The teens pulled two guns on the pair of officers, took their guns and the keys to the patrol car. The pair then sped away and were not caught.

* The Municipal Auditorium was prepping for its first major facelift since the structure was built in 1916. In 1926, a small amount of work was done to improve the acoustics but little else.

* The new 1948 model Philco portable radio hit the market at the price of $54.95 (less battery). "See your Philco dealer and make a small down payment with easy terms on the balance."

* A "proportionate justice" tax program was underway in Albany. Tax assessors went door to door assessing taxable property of some 7,000 homes and 800 business properties.

* Six four-unit apartments, underwritten by the Federal Housing Authority, were under construction in East Albany on Marie Road. The cost was set at $103, 800 and the first of an expected 96-units in Albany.