Tuesday, November 29, 2011

29 November 1945: "Cheer Up! Bacon Long Dreamed of Is Coming Soon"

On this day in 1945, the Athens Banner-Herald announced that "the supply of pork has overtaken the demand," so bacon, and other pork products such as lard, would finally become more available in the near future. 
According to the story, "cold weather has brought on a heevy [sic] hog slaughter on southeastern farms, but...most of the meat and fats would be used replenish home shortages." Thus, the paper's encouraging headline to "Cheer up!"

During World War II, many items were rationed by the United States government, including meat, rubber, sugar, shoes, metal, dairy products, and gasoline. An Office of Price Administration was established in 1941 to place ceilings on prices for some goods to keep prices within the reach of most Americans, and to ration the items that were most needed by the troops during the conflict. Though meat rationing ended in November, 1945, labor shortages meant lower crop yields in the months following the end of the war. 

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

24 November 1910: Thanksgiving at the Athenaeum Cafe

On this day in 1910, the Athenaeum Cafe downtown offered the following reprieve from cooking at home: 

(click image to enlarge)

The price of 50 cents would be equal today to a charge of $11.80.

The Athenaeum Cafe was next door to the Athenaeum pool hall, and both were below the two floors of the Athenaeum Hotel, owned by Victor Petropol. In the 1909 Athens city directory, some travelling salesmen and the hotel's clerk, W. G. McNair, list the hotel as their residence.

Today, the space where the hotel was located has been divided. The pool hall is occupied by Frontier, and the cafe is occupied by Native America Gallery.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

22 November 1871: Let the Babies Ride!

On this day and several other days in the winter of 1871, the Hodgson Brothers carriage company ran the following ad for their baby carriages in the Southern Watchman

In the 1870s, baby carriages were becoming more popular items for Victorian baby care; as seen in this ad, the Hodgson brothers were not making these for their customers, but stocking standard carriages aimed at the general public. 

Baby carriages typically mimicked the shapes of adult-sized carriages, and were made of wood or wicker with cushions inside the bed. Some came with an attached cover while others installed a parasol over the cushioned bed for the child. 

Fancier models could be custom ordered. These more elaborate baby carriages were constructed as though they were miniature horse-drawn carriages, complete with glass windows, lanterns that held candles, and a suspension system intended to smooth the ride. An elaborate baby carriage was also a status symbol for the Victorian mother, a symbol that still exists today.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

19 November 1953: Opening of the Ilah Dunlap Little Memorial Library

On this day in 1953, the new Ilah Dunlap Little Memorial library opened on the North Campus of the University of Georgia. 

Ilah Dunlap was born in February of 1874 to Mary Anne and Samuel Scott Dunlap in Bibb County, Georgia. She was the fifth daughter in a family of six children. Her father was a Captain in Phillips Legion during the Civil War, who started out as a farmer, then later became a successful merchant and city alderman in Macon. 

In 1896, Miss Dunlap married Leonidas A. Jordan.  Mr. Jordan owned Oakland Plantation in Lee County, Georgia, and died within four years of their marriage. In 1900, Mrs. Ilah Jordan is listed as the 26-year-old widowed head of a household in Macon that included her brother Samuel S. Dunlap, Jr.; her profession listed as "Capitalist." She was regularly featured in the Macon Telegraph Society page, often in relation to bridge club meetings or trips to Atlanta and New York. 

In 1906, she married John D. Little, an Atlanta lawyer, and moved to Fulton County. She was already widowed when she died in late July, 1939, on a vacation with a friend in German-occupied Czechoslovakia, just one month before Hitler's invasion of Poland and the start of World War II.  Though her will left $400,000.00 to the University of Georgia for a library, the settlement of the estate took a prolonged period of time.  Much of her jewelry and effects took more than a year to be returned to her executor in Macon, as both the American consulate and German officials had greater priorities than her estate, and faced disruption in communication, the latter sometimes noted in the communiques between various government agencies.

Mrs. Little's bequest gave the impetus to fund a much-needed upgrading of University of Georgia library facilities. UGA had only 185,000 volumes, compared with 751,000 at the University of Texas and 352,000 at the University of Kentucky. The cost to build the library was $2,000,000.00, and the operating budget for the library was increased dramatically as well. The University of Georgia President, Harmon Caldwell, argued that a $1,000,000.000 operating budget was necessary to make the library one that could compete with other southern schools after World War II.

The day after UGA's library opened , the Georgia Institute of Technology had the grand opening of their new Price Gilbert Memorial Library, and the weekend was a series of festivities in both cities to celebrate the events. 

Among those who participated in the celebrations were now University System Chancellor Harmon Caldwell; University of Georgia President O. C. Aderhold; Georgia Attorney General Eugene Cook; and members of the University Board of Trustees. Invited guests included Dr. K. Y. Metcalf of Harvard University; Derner Clapp, Acting Librarian of the Library of Congress; and Ralph Ellsworth, Director of Libraries for Iowa State University. Claude Davidson, Jr., director of the UGA news bureau, even composed a poem for the occasion.

In his dedication address, Dr. Ellsworth praised Georgia for opening two major libraries, stating that, "Only a vigorous University can overcome the terrible inertia that always seems to develop when a new library building is needed. Universities that are on the decline don't build new libraries."

UGA recently completed construction on a new Special Collections Library on Hull Street. Such collections as the Richard B. Russell Library, the Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and the Peabody Awards collection are in the process of moving into their new space. The building will open officially in January, 2012.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Newsletters for You!

On this day, we'd like to remind you about our two Heritage Room newsletters, free updates of information that land easily in your email inbox and make keeping up the world of genealogy and history research and events easy as can be.

Our History & Genealogy Events newsletter offers you a schedule of  the upcoming tours, classes, fairs, festivals, meetings, book signings, lectures, and other happenings in Athens and around Georgia. We also include webinars sponsored by genealogy companies such as Legacy Family Tree  in which you can participate from your own home. As items are added to the month's calendar, we will send out updates so you state current with all the historical events.

Our Genealogy News & Tips newsletter provides you a round up of recent genealogy and research information, such as newly published books, new online resources, ways to get past your brick wall, tricks for researching ancestors in other parts of the nation and world, the way various records can be used, and free software available for doing your family tree. It's a great, concise way to keep up with all the ways you can research without spending all your time seeking out information yourself.

Click here (or either newsletter link above) to read the current newsletters and subscribe to have them delivered to your email Inbox. They are a free service of the Heritage Room, and it couldn't be easier, so sign up today!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

13 November 1867: "with a view to matrimony"

On this day in 1867, the following personal ad was run in the Southern Watchman:

The names used by the young women placing the ad are likely pseudonyms, since they are engaging in somewhat forward behavior for "refined and accomplished" ladies "of good family." However, the war had changed the social world and expectations for many young southern women. Even before the end of the conflict, "changed attitudes and often changed strategies proved necessary as women recognized that men were becoming ever scarcer resources."

Due to poor record keeping during the war, the exact numbers of casualties on either side of the hostilities are unknown.  Of the estimated 1.2 million men who served in the Confederacy, approximately 250,000 were killed in action or by disease, and another 90,000 were wounded.  Estimates for Georgia were that of the approximately 120,000 men who served, between 11,000-25,000 men died in the war. It is generally believed that the country lost nearly 25% of military age (also marriageable age) men. 

Though there is record of some women embracing "spinsterhood" has a patriotic endeavor, "more common...were those single women who remained committed to increasingly impossible hopes." 

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Friday, November 11, 2011

11 November 1934: Report from the Athens CCC Camp

On this day, the Athens Banner-Herald published updates from the Civilian Conservation Corp Camp Company 485,  located in Athens at Sandy Creek.  Included was a list of the young men stationed at the camp and their nicknames. 

Alas, the microfilm cut off the last several letters of their nicknames, but this is the list as it appears, with the partial nicknames, some of which are easy guesses, some are lost to time:

Crawford ... Pun-
Linton ... Smokey J-
Patterson ... Uncle B-
Love ... Ju-
Lowry ... Wild C-
Nalley ... To-
Parker ... Possu-
Reynolds ... Preach-
Barton ... Bro-
Benton ... Diz-
Boswell ... Thirty-Fi-
Buggs ... D-
Champion ... Cha-
Cole ... Monkey Ma-
Culbertson ... Salty D-
Free ... Bal-
Foster ... Handso-
Gilbert ... Sli-
Harrison ... Chick-
Head ... Knock O-
Hunt ... Sha-
Jarrrard ... Fess-
Jones, Evans ... Pecker Fa-
Jones, J. C. ... Big-
Jones, R. B. ... Ninety-S-
Jordan ... Flat Fo-
Mann ... Pu-
Motes ... Whistle Britch-
McFails ... Speed-
McKeehan ... Wi-
Padgett ... P-
Potts ... R-
Queen ... Ridge Runn-
Rainey ... Hard Ro-
Ray, S. F. ... Ba-
Reagin ... Pe-
Rider ... Bu-
Sumake, Sam ... Shor-
Spruill ... Evoluti-
Strickland, Hoyt ... Crick-
Tipton ... Pie Fa-
Washington ... Georg-
Wiley, Hamp ... Pecker Ne-
Wiley, J. T. ... Fa-
Williams, R. B. ... Soldi-

In 1933, it was estimated that 25% of American men aged 15-24 were unemployed, and another 29% of men in that age range had only part-time employment.  At the same time, the United States had lost 700,000,000 acres of virgin timberlands, causing massive soil erosion, causing 3,000,000,000 tons of soil to be washed away every year. President Franklin Roosevelt believed he could remedy both problems with the Emergency Conservation Work Act that created the CCC. It passed within President Roosevelt's first month in office.

Most men who enlisted were between the ages of 17 and 28, single, and could enlist for up to four six-month terms. They were paid a maximum of $30 per month, with $25 of that check sent home to their dependents. They were given physicals and health care upon their arrival at the camp, and also received work clothes, room, board, and education opportunities. 

Each camp had an Education Advisor to assist those who wanted to take lessons in everything from basic literacy to college-level work, and vocational education was offered through the camp work itself or from businesses in the neighboring towns. The program was successful not just in putting money back into the local economies of the men's hometowns and the towns around the camps, but an estimated 40,000 men also learned to read and write while enlisted.

In Georgia, the camps offered employment to 78,630 men. They also built parks still enjoyed by Georgians today, including Indian Springs State Park in Flovilla, F.D.Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain, Fort Mountain State Park in Chatsworth, A. H. Stevens Historic Park in Crawfordville, Little Ocmulgee State Park and Lodge in Helena, and Vogel State Park in Blairsville.

Until the program was absorbed into the War Department in 1942, 3.5 million unmarried men and 225,000 World War I veterans served the corps. They built fire roads, installed telephone lines, built parks, and planted over 3,000,000,000 trees across the country. 

The National Association of Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni is currently raising funds to put a statue honoring the work of CCC in every state. In Georgia, the statue is located at FDR State Park in Pine Mountain, where they are offering hayrides the evenings of November 18th and 19th.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

7 November 1913: An Angel Food Cake Recipe

On this day in 1913, the recipe for angel food cake used in the demonstration of electrical appliances and sponsor White Crest Flour appeared on the front page of the Athens Banner.

If anyone makes this cake, please share your experiences in the comment section!

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

1 November 1831: Quinsy Strikes the Carr Home

On this day in 1831, the Athenian newspaper announced the sad death of Charles Nelson Carr, age 5:

Quinsy, now known as a peritonsillar abscess, is a disease not often seen in our modern world of antibiotics. It is a complication of a throat infection, usually caused by the bacteria group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus. According to Webster's New World Medical Dictionary, "If left untreated, the infection can spread deep in the neck, causing airway obstruction and life-threatening complications."

Medical practices of the 1830s were likely one aspect of the complications for anyone diagnosed with quinsy. Few formal training schools for doctors existed; the Medical College of Georgia had been chartered in Augusta three years earlier. In 1831, doctors would have used emetics and purgatives to rid the body of any ill humors, applied blister plasters to the outside of the child's throat, and used "leeches to draw out the congested blood causing inflammation" to treat quinsy. For a patient who also had a high fever, it was generally assumed he or she would survive for only three to seven days after diagnosis. 

Such treatment likely hastened the death of the patient, but germ theory, the idea "that many diseases are caused by the presence of micro-organisms within the body" would not be developed until the 1860s with the experiments and discoveries of Louis Pasteur and later, Joseph Lister and Robert Koch. Antibiotic treatment that would have cured the throat infection would not be discovered for another 100 years by Alexander Fleming.

Sadly, the Athenian reported in their next issue one week later that Charles' older sister, Mary Eliza Carr, age 11, had also succumbed to the same diseases that killed her brother:

Both children's graves were eventually moved with the rest of their departed family members to Oconee Hill Cemetery after it opened in 1856.

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