Looking Back - July 22, 2012

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.


A new restroom for weary shoppers and workers, provided by the Albany Woman’s Club, opened on the fourth floor of the Davis-Exchange Building. In addition to a laboratory, the room included all new and comfortable furniture and two large windows for viewing the Flint River.

Albany’s largest sidewalk paving project to date was under way. Paved walkways from Jackson Street from Pine to Society and Washington Street from Broad to Commerce would soon improve an already bustling downtown. The paving cost the city 89 3/4 cents per square yard.


According to the U.S Census Bureau, Lee County’s population shrank from 1910 to 1920 by 775 people. The new count was 10,904.

Georgia National Bank was hoping to encourage men, women and children to save money by giving away metal banks (with a key lock). The Albany Herald , wishing to encourage folks to subscribe to and advertise in the paper, distributed the banks along with a half-dollar to start the savings.


Moultrie saw four miles of ditching in which 20,000 pounds of dynamite was placed. The detonation was part of the plan to the malaria-carrying mosquitoes in the area.


The Georgia House passed a bill, 184-1, creating a school books commission to provide for uniform textbooks in all common and high schools throughout the state.

Response to a call by local Masons for tin foil was a great success. The foil was smelted, the retrieved metal sold and all profits went to benefit the Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta. Collapsible toothpaste tubes were especially valuable with a content of 98 percent tin.


Showing at Albany Theatre was “Grand Hotel” starring Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford and Lionel Barrymore. Matinees were 50 cents, 75 cents and $1, depending upon the seat. Evening shows were 75 cents, $1 and $1.50.


Law enforcement officers, including the military, from 17 counties came to Albany for an FBI Police Conference. The main topics were prostitution and venereal disease. After several guest speakers presented information to the group, the government film “Know for Sure” was shown. A round table discussion wrapped up the conference.


Only eight of the 346 votes cast were against the proposed issuance by the City of Albany of $120,000 in bonds to construct a new elementary school. With such overwhelming support, officials immediately began searching for a building site.

For children ages 14 and under, two city-wide pets shows were held, one at Tift Park and the other at Shackelford Park. Any and all pets, including aquariums, were eligible to compete for prizes in a number of categories.


A new fight against syphilis began in Dougherty County. Two clinics, one for whites at the health department and one for Negroes at Eureka Baptist Church, opened for blood tests and recommended treatment plans for the disease.

Cleone W. Morton College opened at 143 1/2 Pine Avenue. Courses included Junior Accounting, Bookkeeping, Junior Clerical, Stenographic secretarial and Executive Secretarial. The college featured all the latest in office machines and equipment.


The 37-mile Tift County - Turner County segment of Interstate 75, the “greatest single highway endeavor in the world” was nearing completion. Georgia was planning 1,170 miles of interstate highway; 400 miles of the system would become I-75.


Floral Memory Gardens offered a limited number of free burial spaces for honorably discharged veterans from all branches of the service. Interment was available for veterans and their families in the Garden of Valor. The only cost to the veteran was a one-time $25 deposit for perpetual care.


Twenty-two of the 46 “lock-ups” in the 14-county area of the Southwest Planning and Development Commission were classified as deplorable, unsafe and unsanitary.


Every Wednesday at Carrols, 820 Oglethorpe Avenue, eight hamburgers cost only $1.20. This was a savings of 40 cents off regular price.


Tickets went on sale for an upcoming event to be held at the Thronateeska Heritage Plaza. A $10 ticket included music by The Swinging Medallions, a picnic plate of fried chicken, potato salad and watermelon as well as Miller beer and/or Pepsi.


Mayor Paul Keenan swept away longtime political foe Henry Mathis to win the Democratic nomination for mayor. Keenan garnered 78 percent of the votes cast.

The Gortatowsky Park fountain in front of the Government Center was turned on for the first time. The fountain circulates 66,000 gallons of water per hour and four jets spray water 12 feet into the air. Any coins collected from the fountain were designated for use by the Albany Area Arts Council.


From a field of four finalists, Portia Holmes Shields was selected to succeed Billy C. Black as president of Albany State College. Shields became the seventh president in the history of the school.