Looking Back Oct. 9

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Doris Terrell Johnson, a 1941 graduate of Albany High School, was kind enough to donate her collection of the school’s newspaper, “The Pow-Wow”, to The Albany Herald library. Here is a look back at the 1939 editions. Watch for more AHS news next week.


• Improvements were made to the manual arts shop which would separate it into three departments:auto mechanics, wood work, and electrical and sheet metal.

• New song books, “The Assembly Book with Scriptures”, were received for use at chapel.

• Principal B.D. Lee sent an application to Washington asking that an R.O.T.C. unit be installed at the school. More than 250 boys from junior and high school voted to have this military course added to the school.

• A PTA meeting was held in the evening especially for daddies. The ‘daddies night’ was considered one of the most important meetings of the PTA for the year.

• For the first month of school (September) the school-wide attendance of 606 students averaged 96 percent. For the month of December, AHS had an attendance rate of 93 percent.

• An ad reminded students of a special two-day only revival showing of “King Kong” at The Liberty.

• The junior class was honored by the PTA with a wiener roast . There was also a scavenger event which included, among other things, the search for a red leaf, an empty bottle, rabbit tobacco and a rock weighing two pounds.

• The Indians won the Second District Class B basketball championship for the 10th consecutive year. “Coming through with flying colors was Hugh Mills.”

• One of the most popular jobs among the high school boys was reported as that of a newspaper carrier. Several students declared this to be the best paying job available, except when “raining cats and dogs.”

• Reverend G.A. Cooper, pastor of Byne Memorial Church, gave a chapel address stressing the evils of alcohol. Among the many ‘evils’, Cooper pointed out that 20 percent of the insane had a history of alcohol use.

• A fad among the girls was that of the wooden shoe. Girls were showing up at school wearing shoes quite similar to the Dutch wooden shoes. Most girls, however, admitted the shoes were heavy and not at all comfortable.

• Many students attended an educational film at the Albany Theatre related to refrigeration. Students were given tickets and prizes were awarded to a number of attendees. Among the gifts were cartons of drinks and fruit. One big winner took home a 24-pound bag of flour.

• Sixty-six students in a general business class compiled budgets for each individual family to come up with an average percentage of money spent on expenses monthly. Food took the largest portion at more than 21 percent. Automobiles accounted for just over nine percent of the family budget while savings accounted for just over eight percent.

• Some of what were labeled ‘minor sports’ available for girls in physical education include aerial darts, shuffleboard, table tennis and horseshoes.

• At the district meet in Thomasville, the AHS Glee Clubs took three first places.

• A Hollywood talent scout came to Albany High and filmed the students-in color and with sound. The 35-mm film was shown at the Albany Theatre as well as at the school.

• Alumnus update: Paul Keenan, Jr.., son of Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Keenan of 809 Highland Avenue, was awarded a varsity letter in swimming as a freshman at Emory University.

• After a lapse of seven years, Albany High once again fielded a baseball team. Fifteen complete uniforms and one dozen balls were given to the team by the Albany and St. Louis Cardinals.

• “The Pow-Wow” was selected as third best for its division in the state by the Georgia Scholastic Press Association.

• A modern cafeteria was a new feature at Albany High, where, for the first time, hot meals were served.

• Senior privileges at AHS for those passing all course work included exemption from attending school the last week of the nine months, exemption from final examination(s) and permission to be excused at the end of fifth period.

• Subjects offered to tenth grade students were agriculture, English, algebra, plane geometry, chemistry,economics,Latin, French, commercial arithmetic, typing, shorthand, bookkeeping, home economics and industrial arts.

• The grading system at Albany High was on a scale of 1 to 5 as follows: 1- 95 to 100 %; 2 - 85 to 95%; 3 - 75 to 85%; 4 - 60 to 75% and 5- below 60 %. A passing grade was a 3 (75%).

• Deposits to reserve a copy of the annual (yearbook) were $1. The balance of 50 cents was payable upon receipt of the book.

• A March of Time History Club was formed for the first time. The club’s objective: To study current events and history in the making.

• As National Education Week was observed, the slogan for 1939 was “Education in the American Way.” This slogan was selected “since world conditions are what they are, under the shadows of totalitarism.”

• A special train arrangement was made to take students to Moultrie for the football game. Round-trip tickets were available in the principal’s office for 50 cents each. Students were excused to take the train, which left at 9:30 a.m. Upon arrival, there was a parade and then a lunch break before the 2 p.m kickoff.

• The Home Economics Club made plans for a focus each month. Topics ranged from etiquette to serving refreshments at social events to flower arranging and personality studies.

• In a Thanksgiving Day game, the Albany Indians defeated the Valdosta Wildcats 7-6 bringing the team’s record to 9-0 for the year. The Indians had outscored their opponents 253 -20 in nine games..

• A dance was held at the American Legion with music provided by the high school orchestra. This was just one of several planned dances (aside from the annual Junior-Senior Promenade).

• Gifts of toys , food and clothing were placed under the Christmas tree in the main hall of the school to be distributed to the needy.

• School was officially adjourned at noon on December 15, 1939 until 8:15 a.m., January 1, 1940 for the Christmas holidays. The early release date was so that students needing to work over the holidays could do so.