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Looking Back Feb. 26 2012

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.

For those of us old enough to remember well the year 1972, it is difficult to believe that it was 40 years ago! Here is a look back at Southwest Georgia in late February and early March of that year.

• First State Bank & Trust was paying 5.75 percent interest on two-year certificates of deposit.

• Mayor Motie Wiggins held his first “Citizens Day.” About 25 residents went before the mayor, the Albany City Commission, the city manager and various department heads. Concerns about potholes, flooding after heavy rains and the complaint that Water, Gas, & Light was estimating bills when workers didn’t get around to everyone’s meter were the most common concerns voiced.

• Gibson’s Discount Center had three four-roll packages of Charmin bathroom tissue on sale for 99 cents. Customers were invited to register to win a 1972 Ford Pinto to be given away on April 1.

• March 1 marked 25 years since the flag was first raised over the newly-commissioned Albany Marine Corps Depot of Supplies.

• Police were called to Westover High School following a fight between one white student and two black students. The officers returned to campus the following day to make sure no more trouble occurred. All three students were suspended.

• Lt. Governor Lester Maddox was the key speaker at the dedication of the Baker Academy Gym. The event included a noon barbecue and other activities.

• Rep. Shirley Chisolm, the first black woman to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, spoke to the Albany Voters Education and Registration League at the Downtowner Motor Inn. The event was a $5-per-plate fundraiser for her campaign.

• An ad ran for mail-order only ticket sales for the upcoming Elvis concert at the Macon Coliseum. Tickets prices were $5, $7.50 and $10.

• Ribbon cutting ceremonies were held for the new American Red Cross building at 1704 Gillionville Road.

• Showing at the State Theatre: Vincent Price in “House of Wax.”

• The national champion pond cypress was (is?) located on Pineland Plantation in Baker County. The 135-foot-tall tree had a circumference of 23 feet, seven inches with a crown spread of 71 feet.

• Gray Cablevision offered Albanians more channels and better TV pictures. There was news, educational programming, movies, variety shows and sports on a total of nine channels.

• Miles Furniture Co. at 1000 Slappey Blvd. held its annual carpet clearance sale. All carpet was first quality and delivered free within the city limits. No carpet was priced higher than $1.99 per sq. yard.

• Albany city commissioners agreed to send a letter to the Albany Ambulance Service threatening to withhold city funds if the quality of the service did not soon improve.

• A proposed legislative bill that would have made the Dougherty County Commission chairman’s post elective was blocked by local representatives Dick Hutchinson and George Busbee.

• Circle Baptist Church, Albany’s most recently organized congregation, held its first services. Sunday school was followed by the worship service, all at the Gordon Hotel.

• Ten people were arrested on various drug charges at a Flint Avenue address. Confiscated in the raid were numerous pills and tablets, 2 marijuana cigarettes, 10 plastic bags containing an opium derivative, scales, a roach clip, two LSD tablets and six pipes.

• After circling the Albany Airport for more than three hours (to exhaust most of the fuel) with a stuck landing gear, Bill Bradbeck, along with George Frizzell, brought the Aero Commander he was piloting to a rough and suspenseful — but safe — landing.

• Leaders in most positions within the city and county approved of the new law granting 18-year-olds full citizenship. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Jimmy Carter. The two major components of the law made it legal for an 18-year-old to sign a contract and to buy alcohol.

• According to WALG Radio Johnny Reb, the top albums of the week beginning March 13 included: Eat a Peach (Allman Brothers), Keep the Faith (Black Oak Arkansas), Killer (Alice Cooper), Exhibition (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), Don Quixote (Gordon Lightfoot),and Harvest (Neil Young).

• Albany Junior College offered a “Real Estate and Taxation” course. Classes met twice weekly for 10 weeks. Tuition was $25.

• Bainbridge Police Chief Ennis Pittman threatened The Albany Herald with a news blackout. An interview, given by a a member of his own department, angered the chief not only because of its content about a shooting, but also because he had not first approved the interview.

• Residents were reminded by the Public Works Department to not pile leaves on the street or extremely close to the street. Blockage of storm drains was the main issue and violators could be fined.

• The Dougherty County Board of Education voted to ask the state for permission to test the usage of the quarter system in its schools.

• Seminole Manor Nursing Home, a new fire-safe, 62-bed, Medicaid-approved facility, opened in Donalsonville.

• Burglars entered Furniture Discount on Roosevelt Avenue. Missing was a clock radio, a tape player with speakers, a color television set and a black and white television set. The merchandise was valued at nearly $480.

• The Mitchell Parents School, located in Baconton, was granted tax-exempt status based on the school’s publicized nondiscriminatory enrollment policy.