Looking Back - May 19, 2013

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.


Levi Strauss marketed the first blue jeans with copper rivets. The cost was $13.50...per dozen.


The first printed advertisement for Coca-Cola appeared in The Atlanta Journal.


The Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet and nothing happened. There had been dire predictions that everyone would die, and many hucksters sold ‘comet pills’ to counter the effects of the ‘comet gas.’


The Albany Chamber of Commerce joined forces with the Albany Transit Company to rehabilitate the city’s streetcar system. It was agreed by both parties that the city’s future growth was worth the investment.


Lots were available for building in Rawson Park and Hilsman Heights for $1,200 - $1,500.

U.S. Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act which restricted the number of immigrants admitted from any country annually to 3% of the number of residents from that same country living in the United States as of the U.S. Census of 1910. Based on that formula, the number of new immigrants admitted fell from 805,228 in 1920 to 309,556 in 1921-22.


Joel Gortatowsky, manager of the Rylander Theater, showed the first talking movie in Americus. The film was “The Awakening” starring Vilma Banky and Louis Wolheim.


All males ages 18 to 50 residing within the city of Albany were required to pay a street tax of $3 before June 1. After the due date, the tax jumped to $5.

Under the federal relief program of the nation, the unemployed of Clay County were given jobs. A total of 300 men and women were put to work cleaning cemeteries and repairing roads as well as draining ponds and digging ditches to help check malaria.


Leesburg’s Forrester Hotel, formerly the Callaway Hotel, was purchased by C.H. Clark from Mrs. W.H. Forrester. The building was erected before the War Between the States and kept in good repair.


The Albany YMCA discontinued daily and monthly memberships, offering annual memberships with payments spread out up to six months. Among the offerings of the Y were tumbling, badminton, violet-ray and ultra-red lamp treatments, wrestling, swimming, weight control and massages.


Eleven tons of ice spilled on the street at the intersection of Jefferson and Seventh. An automobile collided with a Camilla ice truck. The driver of the car was jailed and charged with drunken driving.


Albany Federal Savings and Loan Association made its first GI home loan.Terms of such loans included no down payment and 4 percent interest with the federal government paying interest on the first $2,000. A $10,000 home with 20 years to pay carried a monthly payment of $66.


For a monthly rate of $6, girls were invited to swimming classes at Radium Springs. Instruction was provided four days each week, weather permitting.


Albany’s City Recorder’s Court reported over 500 cases for the month prior. The laws broken most often included parking meter violations and public drunkenness.


Six days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP announced it would immediately petition the Fulton County School Board to end segregation of Atlanta’s public schools. Georgia governor Herman Talmadge, however, vowed the state would not abide by the ruling.


Official identification tags were available for all children and adults across the country. C.P. Whiting, Civil Defense director for Albany-Dougherty County, stated that the purpose of the tags was to provide quick and accurate identification in the event of air attacks. The ID tag campaign was sponsored by the Pet Milk Company.


Located at 224 Broad Avenue, the Singer Sewing Center had a limited number of brand new electric portable machines for $69.50 with terms available.

ABC Kindergarten at 1004 First Avenue was accepting registration for fall term. Monthly tuition was set at $12.


The Dougherty County School Board was struggling with the issue of whether or not to allow married girls to attend Albany High School. Board member Ernest Bond stated that there was concern among parents of the married girls’ influence on the unmarried. Bond went on to say he personally would like the married girls out of the public high school.. No action was taken.


The May term of the Dougherty County Superior Court Grand Jury inspected the jail. While the facility was clean and meals were good, there was much overcrowding. Jurors recommended that vehicles parked inside the fence be moved elsewhere to prevent prisoner from climbing on the roofs and jumping over the fence.

Arlington was home to a new Bostwick Banking Company building. The bank’s 3,000 sq.ft. construction and furnishings carried a cost of approximately $75,000.


The Albany Humane Society reported that 45-55 percent of the dogs brought to the facility were being euthanized. The cost of adoption was $6.50.

Roy Clark performed at the Albany Civic Center to what was described as an “overflow crowd.” tickets were $7 and $12.50.


More than six million Americans participated in ‘Hands Across America’ by holding hands and singing across 4,150 miles of road in support of the hungry and homeless. The event raised $34 million.