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Looking Back - June 2, 2013

History column

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.

1910

Residents of Albany were given free disinfectant to sprinkle liberally around their yards to ward off mosquitoes. To battle houseflies, it was recommended that residents put one spoonful of formaldehyde in a quart jar of water. The jars were to be placed where flies could drink the mixture, but out of reach of children.

1914

City officials drew up an ordinance providing for the paving of the East Albany approach to the Flint River wagon bridge.

The deep well at the waterworks station, known as the soda well, ceased flowing. Many of the 300-400 daily users of the well considered its water medicinal. For this reason, it was decided that the well must be repaired immediately for a cost not to exceed $100.

1924

President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act into law, granting citizenship to all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States.

1932

The Revenue Act of 1932 was enacted, creating the first gas tax in the United States, at a rate of one cent per gallon sold.

1936

Lee County commissioners voted to install two stop-and-go lights in an effort to curtail speeding problems in Leesburg.

Radium Springs touted the flow of 70,000 gallons of pure, clear, radioactive water per minute. The constant 68-degree water provided for an invigorating swim for pleasure and good health. Swim tickets were 25 cents each or 28 for $5. Season tickets allowed for unlimited swims for $15.

1940

The Atlantic Co. announced it would make summer home deliveries within the city as late as 7 p.m. A half-bushel of crushed ice delivered in a watertight bag was available for just 25 cents.

Georgia’s school teachers were abandoning the classroom at ever-increasing rates. While low salaries contributed to the exodus, it was the unpaid salaries that were chiefly to blame. Most educators went unpaid for nearly three months of the 1939-40 seven-month school year as the state had no money to compensate them.

1946

Albany’s city speed limit was 25 mph. Speeders could expect to pay $1 for each mile over that limit. School zone speed limits were 10 mph and speeders were charged $1 for each mile per hour over the limit up to 25 mph. Anyone caught exceeding 25 mph in a school zone could expect the fine to double.

1947

The Whitfield-Paulk Motor Company showroom in Cairo was used for two weeks as a TB-VD testing station. All Decatur County residents were offered free chest X-rays for tuberculosis and blood tests for syphilis. Similar stations were periodically set up in locations throughout the state.

John’s Place, located at 802 1/2 Pine Ave., made home deliveries of beer by the case. Premium brands ran $4.50 per case, while popular brands cost $3.75 per case. There was a 75-cent deposit on bottles required for all brands.

1948

The Americus Police Department’s radio system was changed over from AM to FM broadcasting. The new system covered a radius up to eight miles.

1954

The Anchorage, a local institution for male alcoholics, expressed the need for dressers, lamps and small tables. Contributions of money and fresh vegetables were also welcomed. After its first six months, 76 men had been served by the facility. Of the 56 men already dismissed, 65 percent had been “restored to a normal life.”

1965

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, effectively legalizing the use of contraception by married couples.

1967

The Beatles’ album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was released in the U.S.

1968

U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles by Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan. Kennedy died the next day.

1971

With approval of the Board of Regents, the cost of attending Albany State College was increased. An athletic fee of $5 per quarter was added and meal tickets went from $127 per quarter to $142. Graduation fees jumped from $10 to $12.

Gibson’s at South Slappey and Gordon Avenue had an all new music department. LPs regularly priced from $4.98 to $14.98 were sale-priced at $2.99 to $9.99. The selection was large including Janis Joplin, Tom Jones, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Who, Elton John, Merle Haggard and Leon Russell ... just to name a few. A limited selection of 8-track tapes were lowered to $1.99 each.

1986

Three juveniles and one 18-year-old were arrested at Mitchell-Baker Comprehensive High School on the last day of classes. Camilla and Mitchell County officers tried to break up a fight between two girls in the lunchroom and were swamped by about 50-60 students, some throwing eggs. A call for help brought an additional 50 lawmen from surrounding counties, including the Georgia State Patrol.

2000

Gas prices in Albany soared to $1.34 per gallon for regular unleaded.

2004

Ken Jennings began his 74-game winning streak on “Jeopardy!”