Looking Back Oct. 16

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.

Thank you once again to Doris T. Johnson for the donation of her Albany High School newspapers. Here is a look back at tidbits from “The Pow-Wow” 1940 and 1941 editions


• Sixteen students applied for the new Diversified Occupation course. The class studied academics in the morning and then worked in the community learning a future vocation in the afternoons. Work sites included department stores, grocery stores and service stations, just to name a few.

• On the first day of classes, periods were 20 minutes long followed by chapel and then students were dismissed for the day.

• The Albany Board of Education appropriated the grand amount of $1,600 for the purchase of new band instruments.

• Every desk at the school was refinished. The desks, when needed, were scraped and sanded. All desks received at least a good cleaning and new coat of varnish. The work was all done by students.

• The latest craze for the girls at AHS was the ten-cent-tan. Sun Tan Powder, at $1 per tube, was giving the girls “a suntan equal to those acquired in Miami or Palm Beach.”

• The first Junior Police Patrol in the country was installed by State Patrol Sgt. W.J. Redfearn. The boys were to assist with traffic control at special events as well as other duties to be assigned.

• Superintendent of schools, J.O. Allen, made a recommendation to the Albany Board of Education that a 12th grade be added to the system.

• Button Week was a grand success at AHS. At 10 cents each, 100 percent of the student body purchased at least one button to raise money to fight infantile paralysis (polio).

• The ‘Pow-Wow’ resumed publication after a two-week lapse due to lack of electrical power following the devastating tornado that struck downtown Albany on February 10 followed by examination week.

• An advertisement advised students that 100 embossed visiting cards were available from Lonsberg’s Book and Music House for only 75 cents.

• Showing on a springtime Saturday at The Claire, a friendly theatre, “Come on Rangers” with Roy Rogers and Mary Hart was shown. The special reel was the eighth chapter of “The Lone Ranger.”

• Sponsorship Day was held for all students at Chehaw Park. The day was one filled with fun and food sponsored by the student council and the Junior Police Force. Cost for the day, including food and a cold drink at noon, was 20 cents. Pleasures of the day included informal clothes, iced drinks and avoiding red bugs.

• The Class of ‘40 voted to graduate in caps and gowns, a first for the high school.


• The National Defense Training Program was instituted at AHS. Rural boys between the ages of 17 and 25 were instructed in various types of mechanical work. The classes were held in the evening from 7-10:00 p.m.

• A new lunch plan was launched allowing students to eat a hot meal every day for $1 per month.

• Trigonometry was added to the course of study for seniors.

• Available at the school were two types of diplomas. The academic diploma required four units of English, two units of social science and two in math along with seven electives. The commercial diploma also required four units in English but social science and math were replaced with typing, shorthand and general business with six electives.

• A course for the juniors at AHS was one that taught the fundamentals of journalism. Each class of juniors received one week of training on writing for publication.

• Principal B.D. Lee was forced to vacate his position at the school after a letter from the U.S. Army called him to duty. Lee was a captain in the Army Reserves.

• In March, the German measles invaded the AHS campus causing many students to miss classes. Even the typing teacher fell prey and was unable to attend school.

• Students were reminded to keep the school clean. In an editorial column it was written: “Every student of AHS should be proud of the school he attends, proud of its reputation, and he should make sure that he does nothing to damage it.”

• In the closing moments of the Standard Baking Company’s spelling bee over WGPC Radio, Robert Saxon won the $5 prize when his lone remaining opponent missed the word ‘consummate’.

• The Albany High Indians took the Second District basketball championship with a 26-19 win over the Donalsonville Seminoles.

• First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt made a stop in Albany to speak to the Rotary Club. The First Lady arrived to a large turnout of folks at Hotel Gordon by way of a black Packard One-Twenty.

• A dance was held at the American Legion to raise money to purchase commemorative gold basketballs for the champion Indians team members.

• Four high school boys were photographed and questioned by the Federal Communications Commission for activities on small transistors. While no charges were brought, each apparatus, although used simply as a hobby, was confiscated.

• Senior Hugh Milton Mills Jr. was asked how to improve the high school. His response was a larger cafeteria, better drinking fountains and a smoking room.

• Kiddies Day, an annual event at AHS, featured members of the senior class dressed up like little children. The ‘kiddies’ paraded around the campus and on stage during chapel.

• Seniors voted not to dress in caps and gowns for commencement exercises. The boys were in favor of following the trend initiated the previous year but were out-voted by the girls.

• Topics for graduation speeches were as follows: America’s part in world affairs, be glad you’re an American, the World War, the present war, the future and land of hope and glory.