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MARY BRASWELL: Looking Back, Aug. 10, 2014

HISTORY: A collection of local news tidbits from early to mid-August across different years.

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.

See what was making local news early to mid-August across the years.

1874

— The first free schools were set up separately for blacks and whites in Dougherty County. The school census listed 2,488 black and 394 white children ages 6-18.

1904

— Albany boasted of a total of 15 artesian wells, also called “flowing fountains of health.” With depths from 750 to 1,200 feet, the water came from strata far below the surface, and was uncontaminated by impurities and crystal clear.

1913

— The Albany Fire Department recommended improved fire safety for the Rawlins Theatre. The city agreed to purchase four chemical fire apparatuses (extinguishers), build outside fire escapes and to keep a man on duty in the furnace room at any time a fire was burning.

— An Albany Herald reporter was given a tour of the new Union Passenger Station. Two features especially impressed the reporter. The first was the porcelain drinking fountains which “propelled water to the mouth,” making it unnecessary to have a cup and improving sanitation. The second feature was the large rest room for white ladies. The entire room was furnished in mahogany.

1920

— More and more women were choosing a hospital for the delivery of their babies. The national average cost for a visit from the stork in a hospital with maternity service was $70.04.

1927

— Excavation work began for a new basketball arena with lockers and showers as well as seating for 500 at Albany High School.

— A female driver was sentenced in the Albany City Court for driving on a public road while intoxicated. The penalty was either a $100 fine or 30 days at the county work farm. The story did not disclose her choice.

1931

— The recently enlarged Tift Park swimming pool was a favorite place to spend the last month of summer vacation. The pool was divided into three sections — one for older children who could swim, one for children just learning to swim and an area for toddlers. Some days saw as many as 150 children in the pool at one time, which had a maximum depth of three feet. For sanitation purposes, the pool was emptied every night and refilled every morning.

1932

— The Albany Unemployment Relief Board reported 766 families had been given charity relief over a two-month period. Relief included such things as shoes, medicine, medical attention, groceries, firewood and railroad transportation. Not included in that report was a flour distribution by the American Red Cross, which gave out 24.5-pound bags to 1,748 households.

1937

— At an open house held by Southern Bell & Telegraph, visitors could use a device called the “Voice Mirror” to hear themselves and just how they sounded over the telephone.

1940

— Vacation Bible School wrapped up at the First Baptist Church in Sylvester. The five-day a week school ran from July 9 through Aug. 9. A total of 157 children enrolled in the church’s VBS, which had five teachers.

1947

Albany City Code: The city manager shall be the purchasing agent of the city; provided, that all purchases made by him requiring the expenditure of money in the amount of five hundred dollars or more shall be approved by the board of commissioners.

1948

— The Badgley Memorial Fund, established by Clara Badgley to be used to help underprivileged children, announced a grant to Phoebe Putney Hospital. The money was used to build and equip a pediatric ward. The 16-bed section of the hospital, which was to be maintained by the Kiwanis Club, featured child-sized furniture and air conditioning.

1954

— Pre-registration showed that 12,722 students were expected on the first day of school (Sept. 7). The number of students was up by approximately 1,150 from 1953.

1961

— For sale: Large brick home on Fifth Avenue, asking $18,000.

1969

— A report from Lee County showed that 197 families received a grand total of $157,051 in food stamps during the previous fiscal year.

1978

— Plains Police Chief Bill McClung issued a report on his department, established Dec. 15, 1976. In its first 18 months, two assaults and one burglary were investigated. Home of President Jimmy Cater, Plains was seeing between 2,200 and 2,500 tourists per day.

1980

— “Grease” and “Urban Cowboy” were the featured films at the Slappey Drive-In. Both movies were rated PG.

1983

— FBI agents in Florida confiscated 22,000 golf club heads. Although unsure exactly how they were stolen and moved, agents were certain they were ones taken from Albany’s MacGregor plant. The club heads were valued at $1.1 million.

1986

Political newcomer Jack Stone defeated incumbent David Gambrell for the District 6 seat on the Dougherty County Commission. The vote tally was Stone, 1,231; Gambrell, 925.

1999

— School children in Dougherty County grades K-3 began wearing uniforms to school. One the first day of classes, about 90 percent of the students arrived dressed in compliance with the new uniform policy.

2003

— The Naval Hospital at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, a branch of the Jacksonville Naval Hospital, moved into its new $5 million building. The hospital had been housed on base since 1995 in a makeshift (and leaky) modular building.

2008

— Wait times at hospital emergengy rooms were reported as 56 minutes nationwide. Palmyra Medical Center boasted of a 10-minute average wait at its emergency center. Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital did not provide an average wait time stating simply that “every day is different.”

— The Georgia Department of Labor reported 600 jobs were lost in the Albany metro area in July alone.

QUIK QUIZ answer

b) 66 to 60