Sunday, January 30, 2011

30 January 1892: Georgia Is Victorious in First Football Game, Creates an Athens Obsession

On this day in 1892, "the Black and Crimson" welcomed Mercer University ("the black and yellow") to the University of Georgia campus for "the first intercollegiate football game in the Deep South." Kickoff was at 3pm, and more than a thousand people attended the game on what is now known as Herty Field on North Campus.

The Weekly Banner set the scene:

The Mercer boys came in at twelve o'clock and brought with them two cars full of students and citizens of Macon, Madison, and other places along the line of the Macon & Northern. They were taken in charge by the University boys and entertained at their different homes. The Mercer colors, black and yellow were seen on nearly two hundred breasts, and several young ladies from Macon were along to attest their faith in the Mercer boys. It was a fine delegation of young men and young ladies, and a nicer crowd never came on a visit to Athens.

The University campus was decorated with black and crimson and on the field one goal was decorated in University colors, the other in Mercer colors. Long before three o'clock the crowd began to assemble and the yells of the two colleges were alternately raised with a vim by the boys. The University goat was driven across the field by the boys and raised quite a ripple of laughter. At three o'clock there were over one thousand people on the ground, and the presence of so many young ladies from the city, the Lucy Cobb and the Home School added inspiration to the occasion.

Georgia dominated the game, and was leading 28-0 at the end of the first half. At the time, touchdowns counted for just four points, with two points awarded for the post-touchdown kick, and field goals were worth five points.UGA Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Charles Holmes Herty, brought the sport to campus and acted as the team's first football coach.

The Banner's description of the second half begins thusly:

By this time the game is irretrievably lost to Mercer, but the black and yellow were not tamed in their enthusiasm. They were true grit and when the time was called they lined up like men and went at the second half with a will.

The final score of the game would be 50-0, though later, Georgia right tackle A. O. Halsey said the team had scored another 10 points that were missed when the scorekeeper left the game to ensure he made it to the liquor dispensary before it closed at sundown.

After the game,

Enthusiasm was supreme, boys were riding around on a sea of shoulders, even the goat was ridden.

The Mercer boys took defeat very gracefully, and were escorted to the train by the University boys and went off amid the yells of both crowds.
Georgia's next and final game would be against Auburn in Piedmont Park in Atlanta on February 20th. The Black and Crimson finished their first football season with a record of 1-1.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

26 January 1890: "Athens Beats Atlanta."

On this day in 1890, the Athens Daily Banner ran this retort to those in Atlanta who claimed they had the best gentleman gardener in Georgia:

And Mr. E.K. Lumpkin Leads the State with Fine Vegetables.

The Atlanta papers have been crowing quite considerably lately about an Atlanta garden that has contrary to the laws of great nature, brought forth in midwinter luxuriant turnip, lettuce and onions.

Athens, however, has shown up far ahead of the Gate City in this line, and Mr. E.K. Lumpkin walks off with the palm and championship of the State. From his private garden he has sent yesterday to the BANNER office an immense waiter fraught with fine vegetables of a most superior quality and almost endless variety. The waiter contained cabbage, carrots, parsnips, salsify, turnips, kale, endive, fresh Irish potatoes, celery, onions, leeks and beets, all of which are fresh from the soil, and which has attained a most luxurant [sic] maturity. Such vegetables are rarely seen even in early summer when nature is at her best.

Mr. Lumpkin, besides being one of Georgia's ablest and most gifted lawyers is among the most successful gardeners and is thoroughly posted on all phases of this pursuit. Moreover, there is not a more genial gentleman to be found than Mr. Lumpkin.
Athens Daily Banner, p. 8, col. 4.

Edwin King Lumpkin and his wife, Mary Bryan Thomas Lumpkin were both avid gardeners. The weather was unseasonably warm in Georgia in January, 1890, which likely explains the luck gardeners in both cities had that month.

The following January, Mrs. Lumpkin would start the nation's first Ladies' Garden Club, meeting at her home on Prince Avenue, where Mr. Lumpkin's vegetables "of a most superior quality and almost endless variety" were grown.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tech Tips Program: How to Use the Digital Library of Georgia Collections

On this day, we'd like to encourage you to attend the Athens-Clarke County Library's Tech Tips lunchtime seminar this Wednesday, January 26th, in the library auditorium at 12:15pm. This month's topic is of special interest to our readers: The Digital Library of Georgia. As many of you know, you can search the DLG from your home computer without requiring a library password.

Digital Projects Archivist Andy Carter will show you how to navigate the DLG's millions of digital objects in over 200 databases for genealogy or history research, or just for the fun of it. Special emphasis will be given to the Civil Rights Digital Library and the newest newspaper collection, Athens Historic Newspaper Archive.

The new Athens Historic Newspaper Archive spans from 1827 to 1922, with digitized, searchable images of 57,000 newspaper pages. It joins similar newspaper archives for Atlanta (1857-1922), Columbus (1828-1890), the Red & Black (1893-1979), Macon (1826-1908), Southern Israelite (1929-1958 and 1984-1986), and Milledgeville (1826-1920).

This 45-minute lunchtime program is free and open to the public. So bring your questions for Andy Carver and learn more about the amazing free resource that is the Digital Library of Georgia. We hope to see you there!

Friday, January 21, 2011

21 January 1890: "Shaking off the yoke of fogyism"

On this day in 1890, the following editorial ran in the Weekly Banner:

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

15 January 1954: The Navy Supply Corps School Has Commissioning Ceremony

On this day in 1954, Mayor Jack Wells declared it to be "United States Navy Day" in Athens in honor of the official commissioning of the new Navy Supply Corps School. Local businesses would fly the American flag outside their establishments to welcome the dignitaries arriving in town for the ceremony, and many also purchased ads in the Banner-Herald to welcome the school, faculty, and cadets to Athens.

The noon ceremony was moved indoors to Pound Auditorium due to weather, and the featured speaker was Navy Assistant Secretary Raymond H. Fogler. Secretary Fogler discussed "the immensity of the Navy as a business," noting that supply corps ensure that every possible need for 400 combat vessels, 10,000 planes (with approximately 8,000 parts each), and 600,000 Navy men is met, from toothpaste to spatulas to replacement parts for jets and vessels. Mayor Wells noted that after hosting students of the Navy Pre-Flight School during World War II, "there is a soft spot in the heart of Athens for the Navy," and "We are glad to have them in our city."

The efforts of Georgia Representatives Carl Vinson and Paul Brown to bring the school to Athens were acknowledged by all speakers.

The Navy Supply Corps School was moved to Athens from Bayonne, New Jersey. It began with 400 students and 41 staff, with many of the officers bringing their entire families to Athens. Outside of training and classes, the school also had recreational athletic programs, an Officers Wives Group to organize and sponsor social events, a pistol team, a Philosophy Club, the Supply Line campus newspaper, the Oak Leaf school classbook, a debating society, and a choir.

The Navy Supply Corps School officially closed on October 29, 2010, as part of the graduation ceremony for the 82 men and women who are the last graduates of the Athens campus. Over the years, the school on Prince Avenue graduated 22,455 Navy "businessmen." Said Captain James Davis, NSCS commanding officer, "it is now our duty to bring the Athens spirit north and continue the Supply Corps legacy established during our 57 years in the Classic City."

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dr. Al Hester to Discuss the "Enduring Legacy" of Madison Davis and Alfred Richardson

On this day, we would like to invite you to hear Dr. Al Hester speak about his new book, Enduring Legacy: Clarke County, Georgia's Ex-Slave Legislators, Madison Davis and Alfred Richardson on Sunday, January 16th, 2011, at 3pm in the Athens-Clarke County Library auditorium.

Elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1868, Madison Davis and Alfred Richardson faced hostility, intimidation, and physical attacks as they represented Clarke County in the years following the Civil War. Dr. Hester, a retired journalism professor from the University of Georgia, has researched and written about African-American history in Athens.

Following the program, there will be light refreshments and a book signing with the author. Copies of the book will be available for sale. This program is co-sponsored by the Athens Historical Society and the Athens-Clarke County Library Heritage Room.

The presentation and refreshments are free and open to the public. It is sure to be a fascinating discussion, and we hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Use GALILEO While Weathering the Storm!

On this day, we'd like you to know that the Athens Regional Library System will once again be closed on Wednesday, January 12th. We will re-open once weather and road conditions allow us to do so safely.

In the mean time, do a little genealogy research using our class handouts available for free from the Heritage Room web page and peruse the information available from home using Footnote Library Edition and HeritageQuest via GALILEO.

Stay safe and warm, and we hope to see you in person soon!

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Library Will Be Closed Tuesday, January 11th, 2010!

On this day, we'd like you to know that the Heritage Room, and all Athens Regional System Libraries, will be
closed again on Tuesday, January 11th, 2010, due to snow. We will re-open when the local governments for our counties re-open.

We hope you all stay safe, warm, and dry, and we'll see you on another, more pleasant day!

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Library Will Be Closed on Monday, January 10th, 2010!

On this day, we'd like you to know that the Heritage Room, and all Athens Regional System Libraries, will be closed on Monday, January 10th, 2010, due to snow. We will re-open when the local governments for our counties re-open.

We hope you all stay safe, warm, and dry, and we'll see you on another, more pleasant day!

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

6 January 1869: Madame Sophie Sosnowski's Female Institute

On this day in 1869, the following notice appeared in the Southern Watchman newspaper:

Madame Sosnowski was born in Germany in 1809, to a privileged and wealthy family that ensured her education even after the death of her parents. In 1833, she married Joseph Stanislaus Sosnowski, who had been exiled for taking part in a Polish uprising. They first went to France, but when forced out there, decided to seek a new life in the United States, settling in Erie, Pennsylvania. They lost everything, mostly money Madame Sosnowski had brought to the marriage, in the Financial Panic of 1837, and not long after, Joseph died, leaving his wife penniless with four children to rear on her own. At this time, Madame Sosnowski took a position at the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York, and began her career in women's education as an instructor in Music, German, and French.

The northern climate, however, was not amenable to Madame Sosnowski, and she left New York for positions in the southeast: Charleston, South Carolina; Macon, Georgia; and later started her own school in Columbia, South Carolina in the early 1850s. She stayed in Columbia during the Civil War, using her vacations to go to Virginia to volunteer in hospitals and ministering to wounded soldiers when their trains stopped in Columbia. Her eyewitness account of the burning of the city of Columbia on February 17, 1865, is part of the Papers of the Sosnowski Family, 1828-1948 collection at the University of South Carolina's South Caroliniana Library.

After the war, Lucy Cobb Institute hired Madame Sosnowski to be their principal, and hired her two daughers, Callie (Caroline) Sosnowski and Sophie Schaller, and her son-in-law, Frank Schaller to teach at the school. Her time at Lucy Cobb was short-lived; though there was no publicity about the matter, a disagreement with the Board of Trustees caused Madame Sosnowski to leave the school in December, 1868, at which time she placed her first ad for her own girls' school, later renaming it The Home School. Her departure from Lucy Cobb took many of her pupils with her, causing further financial problems for an institution that had struggled through the war years.

Madame Sosnowski opened her new girls' school with her daughter Callie; Sophie and Frank had gone to Sewanee, Tennessee for Frank to continue his teaching career. In 1867, Sophie Schaller died giving birth to her namesake daughter. Madame Sosnowski and Callie reared little Sophie and older sister, Ida, in Athens while running their school. Sophie would later marry Charles Holmes Herty, a revolutionary chemist and founder of University of Georgia athletics.

The Home School was known for its instruction in French, German, and music, and unlike other female academies of the time, did not have recitals or other public exhibitions by the students, since Madame Sosnowski believed they were "incompatible with true feminine grace and delicacy." Augustus Longstreet Hull noted in his collection, Annals of Athens, that Madame Sosnowski was "highly educated, a brilliant musician and of very distinguished appearance. It was an education to a girl to be associated with the Madame and Miss Callie."

The Home School closed not long after the death of Madame Sosnowski in 1899. Its final location was in the Joseph Henry Lumpkin House on Prince Avenue, now used for seminars by the University of Georgia School of Law. A collection of items associated with the Home School is available in the University of Georgia's Madame Sosnowski Collection, 1869-1917 in the Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Madame Sosnowski, her daughters Callie and Sophie Schaller, and her grandaughters Sophie Herty and Ida Peacock are all buried together at Oconee Hill Cemetery.

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Learn How to Research Genealogy on the Internet

On this day, we'd like to encourage you to sign up for the Heritage Room's free class, Genealogy on the Internet, on Thursday, January 20th, from 10am-1pm here in the library's Educational Technology Center.

This class introduces the many and growing resources for researching your family history online, and includes handouts that provide descriptions of the various sites available and their offerings. Time to explore on your own and ask questions is provided in the last part of the session. These resources are not limited to Georgia, or even to the United States. This class is not intended for beginners in computers or genealogy. 

The class is free, but space is limited, so registration is required. Call us at (706) 613-3650, ext. 350, or email us at to reserve your space. We hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2 January 1910: A New Year's Message from Michael Brothers

On this day in1910, the Michael Brothers department store ran the following message, covering two-thirds of the top half of the front page of the Sunday Athens Banner newspaper:

To the left of this text, appeared an illustration of the departing year and baby 1910:


Beneath this image was the following New Year wish, focusing on three of the main economic engines of Athens at the time: farming, textiles, and education.
For the upbuilding of Athens;
For the peace, happiness and prosperity of her people;
For the one who sows and the one who reaps;
For the one who spins and the one who weaves;
For the one who teaches and the one who learns;
For every man, woman and child in Athens, in Georgia and in our country we extend cordial greetings and (illegible-page torn) for all.
Happy New Year!

The Banner typically had full-page department store ads on their front page on Sundays. Though the top half of the Banner consisted of well-wishes for the citizens of Athens from a leading local business, the bottom half of the page alerted readers to the "Great Sale of Seasonable Goods," with blankets for $1.20 to $5.00, and women and children's underwear starting at 25 cents, men's union suits starting at 50 cents.

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