MARY BRASWELL: Looking Back, June 29, 2014

HISTORY: News from summers gone by.

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.


— On June 26, Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States.


— C.M. Shackleford offered 175 chickens for sale at 12 1/2 cents each. He could be reached by calling telephone No. 24.


— The Albany Board of Health required all houses within the city limits with smallpox present to be strictly quarantined, with guards if needed. No person was to enter or exit the home until the city physician declared it safe, usually 3-5 weeks.


— The Albany Police Department issued four speeding tickets over the course of two weeks. The fine for each speeder was $5.75.


— A trainload of soldiers passed through Tifton and were treated by local citizens to 80 watermelons, 70 bushels of peaches, pre-stamped postcards and ample reading material. The soldiers stated that such special treatment had not occurred in any other location along their journey. Tifton planned to provide similar treatment to all soldiers as they passed through the city.


— In its recruitment material, Norman Institute in Norman Park touted the high expectations of student behavior as well as academic excellence as reasons for selecting the school for higher education. All students were required to study each night from 7:15 until 9:00. The environment featured a trained nurse on duty, electric lights, artesian water and screens on every window. Boys were allowed off campus two afternoons each week with teacher approval. Girls were never allowed off campus without one or more chaperones.


Three new schools were nearing completion in the summer of 1999. How long prior to this new construction had it been since Albany/Dougherty County had a new school?

a) 11 years

b) 19 years

c) 26 years

d) 32 years


— Fruit Garden & Home Magazine was founded. Two years later it was renamed Better Homes & Gardens.


— The Albany Police and Fire Departments made a request to the Albany City Commission that ambulances be equipped with sirens. The request was denied.


— Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind” went on sale June 30 with 10,000 copies in print. Winner of the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, Mitchell’s book has sold more copies worldwide than any other book except for the Holy Bible.


— A WAVES recruiting team came to Albany to meet with “women who want a part in winning the war”. Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) could earn up to $126 per month plus a living allowance.

— General Dwight D. Eisenhower requested that Coca-Cola provide 10 portable bottling plants for U.S. troops overseas.


— Lee County gained 67 miles of electric lines as the state’s Rural Electric Administration worked to bring lights and power to rural homes and farms. The new lines added about 125 new customers to REA’s service in the county.


— Consumers were beginning to hoard grocery items, especially coffee and sugar. The fear of shortages from the involvement in the Korean War was the cause for this but Albany merchants assured the public that it was an unfounded concern.


— A polio sufferer gave birth to a healthy baby girl while in an iron lung at Phoebe Putney Hospital.


— “The Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley was #1 on the music charts.


— There was plenty of summer fun at Ralph Allison Roller Rink located at 410 Roosevelt Street. Thursday nights were family nights where all ages could skate and for just $1 per family. The building was fully air-conditioned with a 70 ft x 170 ft hardwood floor.


— The Sumner Door Company was Worth County’s newest industry. With a 24-man workforce running three shifts per day, the company could manufacture 5,000 hollow-core doors each day. With the exception of the superintendent of the factory, all workers were from within the county.


— After many years with only a communications center in Albany, the Georgia State Patrol Post 40 was established.


— The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the Dougherty County Board of Education to “constitute and implement” a plan to bus school children in the fall in order to provide equal education to all students.

— An Albany landmark business closed its doors. Hal & Al’s, a dealer in top quality men’s apparel, closed up shop after 45 years.


— A living museum of agricultural history, the Agrirama, opened in Tifton.


— The Dougherty County Board of Education adopted its budget for the 1977-78 school year. The bottom line totaled just under $22 million. FYI: The budget just passed for the 2014-15 school year for the Dougherty County School System is $122 million.


Nancy Lopez won the LPGA Sarah Coventry Golf Tournament.


— The Dougherty County Commission voted to give all county employees a 4.4 percent pay increase. Employees that qualified for a merit raise were eligible for up to an additional 4.4 percent bringing some pay increases as high as 8.8 percent.


— The HOPE Scholarship was expanded to cover four years of college.


— Albany State College was renamed Albany State University.


— Five years after the Flood of ‘94, Dougherty County officials announced that the nearly $2.1 million from two flood recovery Community Development Block Grants had been depleted. A portion of the money went to the purchase of land and building infrastructure for Albany’s first Habitat for Humanity subdivision. Woodland Oaks had eight new homes in its 67-lot subdivision with more planned for eligible, dislocated families. In addition, 274 individuals benefited from the grant money.


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


— General Tommy Franks, former war commander, opined that U.S. troops could remain in Iraq for as long as four more years.


d) 32 years - The new facilities were Alice Coachman, MLK Jr and Lamar Reese, all elementary schools.