BRASWELL: Looking Back - Sept. 8, 2013

Looking Back

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.


— “The Pledge of Allegiance” to the United States of America was written by a former Baptist preacher, Francis Bellamy. It only took Mr. Bellamy three hours to write the original 23 words in honor of the 400th anniversary of Columbus discovering America.


— A guest of the New Albany Hotel was found dead. Although two letters were found detailing plans to commit suicide, the man, a banker, died of natural causes before he could take his own life.


— Hoagy Carmichael recorded “Georgia on My Mind” on the Victor label. Carmichael composed the music for the lyrics written by Stuart Gorrell that has been recorded by Ray Charles and many other artists over the years. “Georgia on My Mind” became the official state song of Georgia in 1979.


In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, how many grandparents in 2011 were responsible for the basic needs of one (or more) grandchild under the age of 18?

a) 285,000

b) 667,000

c) 1.4 million

d) 2.7 million


Jackson Grove Baptist Church, the first black church organized in Dougherty County, appealed to white friends of the congregation for funds to help keep the doors open. The church on Highland Avenue was organized in 1863 with 60-odd members.

— Mrs. Francis Smith, playground director for 12 years, reported that approximately 15,000 children visited Tift Park each year.


— The Cudahy Packing Plant in East Albany was considered the most modern slaughter and meat-processing plant in the world. The facility held its first slaughter on this day in the windowless, air-conditioned and hospital-like sanitary facility.


— The Liberty Theatre was the place to be for kids on Saturday mornings. The Donald Duck Club met at 10 a.m. for singing, dancing and contests, as well as cartoons.

The Albany City Commission agreed to accept $800 from the Albany Housing Authority for property just east of the high school stadium for low-cost white housing.


— Wanted: High school music teacher. Annual salary -$2,500 - $3,600, based on experience and certification.


— The Miss America Pageant was televised live coast-to-coast for the first time. Bob Russell was the host. Lee Meriwether was crowned Miss America by a panel of judges that included movie queen Grace Kelly.


— The “Ed Sullivan Show” drew 54,000,000 viewers, which accounted for more than 82 percent of all viewers in America on Sept. 8. TVs were tuned in to see 21-year-old Elvis Presley. Elvis sang “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Ready Teddy” and received the highest payment to that date for a performance on the show — $50,000.


— The secretary of agriculture was authorized to operate a food stamp program. The Eisenhower administration never used the authority, but as part of a campaign promise fulfillment, John F. Kennedy initiated a program in 1961. The first stamps went to a household of 15 people and totaled $95, or about $6.33 per person. Georgia’s average per person food stamp allotment in 2012 was $135.90.


— The first episode of “Star Trek,” titled, “The Man Trap,” was seen on the NBC. The series did not do well in the ratings. It was regularly beaten in its time slot and it placed No. 52 among all series in 1966-67, its best season. NBC canceled the show on Sept. 2, 1969.


Enrollment at Southland Academy in Americus nearly doubled. The student population for the previous school year was 140. As the 1969-70 school year got under way, enrollment reached 273.

— The Albany Police Department reported that the “new technology” of the pop-top soda and beer can was creating problems. The annual parking meter report stated that more than 1,000 pop-tops had been crammed in meter slots in an effort to avoid spending a nickel. While the tops did not work, often the meter was jammed and in need of repair before further use.


— As part of its “rural purge,” CBS cancelled “The Beverly Hillbillies.” The show premiered in 1962 and ran for 274 episodes, 106 in black and white and 168 in color. Pat Buttram, Mr. Haney on “Green Acres” (also canceled the same year), stated, “It was the year CBS killed everything with a tree in it.


— Ted Turner presented the first of his colorized versions of black-and-white films on WTBS in Atlanta. The first Hollywood classic to get the new look was “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

— 1988

The Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority approved plans to allow the 70-year-old First State Bank on Broad Avenue to become home for the Albany Chamber of Commerce.


(d) — In 2011, 2.7 million grandparents were responsible for the basic needs of one (or more) grandchild. Of this number, 1.7 million were grandmothers and 1 million were grandfathers.