Monday, February 27, 2012

27 February 1942: Charlayne Hunter-Gault Is Born

On this day 70 years ago, in Due West, South Carolina, Charlayne Hunter-Gault was born to Althea Ruth and Charles S. H. Hunter, Jr. Her father's position as an Army chaplain caused the family to move frequently, so Charlayne and her younger brothers Henry and Franklyn, spent much of their childhoods living with their maternal grandmother in Covington and Atlanta, Georgia.

Charlayne attended Henry McNeal Turner High School in Atlanta, where she graduated 3rd in her class in 1959. That year, she and class valedictorian Hamilton Holmes were approached by local civil rights leaders who wanted to challenge Georgia's segregated system of higher education. Both Charlayne and Hamilton applied to the  University of Georgia in 1959 and were denied admission based on their race. 

In Fall of 1959, Charlayne Hunter enrolled at Fort Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and she and Hamilton Holmes continued to apply to UGA every quarter, with their attorneys in Atlanta challenging their denied admission in court. In January of 1961, Judge William Bootle ruled that Holmes and Hunter were qualified to attend UGA, and therefore entitled to be admitted to the University. Three days later, both students enrolled at UGA, becoming the first African-American students to attend the school.

In 1963, Charlayne Hunter graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism, and took a job as an editorial assistant at the New Yorker magazine. She would later work as a reporter and anchor for WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. In 1968, she joined the New York Times, and while there, married Ronald Gault. She left the Times in 1978 to be a national correspondent for the MacNeil/Lehrer Report on Public Television. In 1992, she wrote a memoir, In My Place.

In 1997, her husband was transferred to South Africa, and Hunter-Gault left PBS to become the Africa correspondent for National Public Radio. From 1999 to 2005, she was CNN's Africa correspondent, and still occasionally files reports for NPR. In 2006, she published New News Out of Africa: Uncovering Africa's Renaissance. She currently contributes to

Over her career, Charlayne Hunter-Gault has received more than two dozen honorary degrees and earned many journalism awards. She's won the New York Times' Publisher Award, the National Urban Coalition Award for Distinguished Urban Reporting, two National News and Documentary Emmy awards, and two Peabody awards.

Despite her experiences as a student at the University of Georgia, Hunter-Gault has stayed involved with her alma mater. In 1985, as part of UGA's Bicentennial Celebration, the Holmes-Hunter Lecture was created, and has been held annually ever since, focusing "on race relations, black history, and education with implications for inclusion and diversity." In 1988, Charlayne Hunter-Gault became the first African-American invited to speak at UGA commencement, 25 years after her own graduation.

In 2001, as part of the celebration of 40 years since desegregation, the Academic Building on North Campus was renamed the Holmes-Hunter Academic Building. In 2007, the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence chair was created in the Grady College of Journalism, and in 2011, Hunter-Gault donated her papers to the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Heritage Room Newsletters Keep Your Research Moving Forward!

On this day we'd like to remind you to subscribe to our two fantastic Heritage Room newsletters. They will be delivered to your email Inbox, and are a great way to keep up with all that is going on in genealogy and history throughout the year.

Our Genealogy and History Events newsletter covers everything from classes about using the 1940 Census when it is release in April and tours of Civil War battle sites to museum exhibitions of local woodworkers and Brown Bag lunch programs at the Georgia Archives. Many organizations are noting the Civil War Sesquicentennial with events, and this newsletter is an excellent way to avoid missing any of the great learning opportunities available.

Our Genealogy News and Tips newsletter makes sure you will not miss out on new resources and discoveries, even as everyone's schedule speeds up with spring. With news about the latest collections available through Family Search and new archival collections now online to news about summer genealogy programs and opportunities to contribute to new collections.

Click here (or either newsletter link above) to subscribe. It couldn't be easier, so sign up today!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

21 February 1913: "Electric Hatched" Chicks

On this day in 1913, this vision of the future of poultry production was published in the Athens Banner:

Now, of course, the use of electricity-powered heat and air conditioning as part of poultry production is standard. According to the University of Georgia Extension Service, when brooding new chicks in a backyard  coop or on an industrial scale, newly hatched chicks require a 90-degree Fahrenheit ambient temperature, which can be lowered by five degrees per week until reaching 70 degrees, the ideal temperature for chickens.

The State College of Agriculture became part of the University of Georgia in 1932, and has continued to assist Georgia farmers state-wide improve their yields in everything from crops to livestock, but poultry farming has been Georgia's greatest agricultural success. 

In 2009, 54% of Georgia agriculture production came from poultry, with 26 million pounds of chicken being produced daily by the state. The industry brings $18.4 billion into the Georgia economy each year, employs over 100,000 people, and 105 of the state's 159 counties, including Clarke and Oconee counties, produce over $1 million in poultry-related revenue each year.

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

18 February 1890: Not Every "Romantic Marriage" Has a Storybook Ending

On this day in 1890, the Weekly Banner told this story of a local wedding ceremony held in town the previous week:

Mr. Albert Henley Weds Miss Lula Crawford.
       Wednesday witnessed one of the happiest, as well as one of the most romantic weddings that Athens has seen for some time.
       Sudden in its ceremony and romantic in its nature, it caused no little interest to be aroused all over the city.
       Mr. Albert P. Henley, a prominent attorney of this city wedded Miss Lula Crawford, one of the pretiest [sic] and most estimable young ladies in Classic Athens.
       The wedding took place at 12 o'clock at the house of Mr. C. D. McKie, on Hancock avenue, Rev. W. D. Anderson performing the ceremonies. It was conducted in haste, as it is said that the Wedding had not met with general favor from relatives of the happy couple. Immediately after the marriage the couople were driven to the C. & M. train and left on a trip to Florida and the tropic lands, by orange trees shaded.
       Both parties are too well known to enter into narrations of their lives. They were popular and much beloved by those who knew them intimately. The congratulations and good wishes of hosts of friends attend through life.  
--Weekly Banner, 18 February 1890, p. 7, col. 3.

The day the announcement appeared in the newspaper, the couple's marriage license was recorded in the Clarke County Ordinary Court:

(click to enlarge image)

Sadly, when looking in the 1900 U.S. Census to see how the couple was faring a decade after they wed, Mrs. Henley was listed as a widow, living with her two daughters, 9-year-old Frances and 4-year-old Hiram (who was named for her uncle).  

By checking the Heritage Room's Guide to Microfilmed Records and the Digital Library of Georgia's Athens Historic Newspaper Archive, the fate of Albert Henley was revealed to be suicide by pistol on or about 3 February 1896. The account in the Weekly Banner paints a sad story of a promising life cut short:

       Then came the tempter to the young man in the shape of the wine cup and he yielded to its blandishments. The thirst for strong drink got the advantage of him and he went from bad to worse, despite his own efforts and those of friends to save him. His wife and two little girls were compelled to separate from him on account of his habits.
--Weekly Banner, 7 February 1896, p. 1, col. 7.

In a note he left for his law partner, former Athens Mayor and Clarke County Representative Henry C. Tuck, Albert Henley asked that his clothes be given to his servant, his pocket watch to his brother in Greene County, and that he be buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery. He also "wrote in the tenderest manner of his wife, and ended up by writing, 'God bless my children.'"

Mary Lou, or "Lula" Henley took over her brother's part in the wholesale grocery business Webb & Crawford after his death, and lived on Cobb Street until a fire destroyed her home there in August, 1902. She remarried in December, 1902, to William D. Beecham, and in 1903, after selling her part in the grocery business, joined the Athens Women's Club. 

With her new husband, Mary Lou had two sons, William D. Beecham, Jr. in 1904 and Jack G. Beecham in 1906. Her daughter Frances had a lively time as a student at Lucy Cobb Institute, often appearing on the Athens newspapers' society pages until her marriage to Harry Woodruff of Columbus, Georgia, in 1913. 

To trace the family over time, it was important to look for Mary Lou in the 1900 Census when Albert could not be found. In later years, tracing with the children's names became useful, when William was listed simply as "W.D." and "Beecham" often spelled as "Beacham." 

The 1910 U.S. Census gives the Henley daughters' last name as "Beacham," even though they are listed as step-daughters to William, but a quick scan of the Athens newspapers from that time indicates this was a mistake by the census taker, not that William had adopted the girls. In 1920 and 1930 Censuses, Hiram is properly listed as "Hiram Henley," still living with her mother and step-brothers. Hiram would never marry. 

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

12 February 1878: Farm Proverbs

On this day in 1878, the Southern Banner published these bits of wisdom:

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

7 February 1922: "A Brand New Joy for a Nation!"

On this day 90 years ago, in 1922, the Athens-area was experiencing their first Eskimo Pies after the Joseph Costa Company licensed the patented method of creating the chocolate-coated ice cream bars:

(click to enlarge image)

Ads in anticipation of the new product's availablity on Monday morning, the Costa Company urged Athenians to "jump out of bed and dress as quickly as you can; then beat it to the nearest soda fount" to "get the treat of your life."

Created by an Iowa sweets shop owner, Christian Kent Nelson in 1920, the chocolate-covered ice cream  squares were originally called "I-Scream" bars. Nelson patented his method of adhering chocolate (or any candy coating) to ice cream, then partnered with chocolatier Russell Stover in 1921, the name of the treat was changed to "Eskimo Pies," and licenses were sold to regional manufacturers.

The Costa company paid between $500.00-$1,000.00 for the license rights to make the Eskimo Pies, plus a small royalty fee on each pie sold. According to the Smithsonian, by 1922, Nelson was earning $2,000.00 per day on the royalty fees from the 2,700 manufacturers in the United States making the ice cream bar, who were selling 1 million pies per day.

In Athens, the pies were available at a dozen locations, including many drug store soda fountains, the New York Cafe, Thornton's Cafeteria, Boston Candy Kitchen, John Petropol's, and the Q Room. They were likely available as well as Costa's own shop on College Avenue, in the center of the bottom floor of the Southern Mutual building. As recalled by Dean William Tate, "'Costa's' -- that was a magic word with us students in the 1920s, and with Athens people, too. "

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

2 February 1892: 80-Year-Old Man Never Takes Medicine

On this day in 1892, the Weekly Banner took note of a longtime citizen of Athens:

Sadly, Mr. Culp would die in October of 1892, after having "been sick for some time." In his obituary, he was hailed as "an honest man in the highest acceptation of that term, despising all shams or deceits." He left behind his wife of 57 years, Martha, three daughters, and two sons.

Mr. Culp moved to Athens in 1860, and served in the Lipscomb Volunteers, part of Athens home defense during the Civil War. He was an active member of East Athens Baptist Church for 45 years, and served as Warden for the first ward in 1870. 

His son Benjamin F. Culp served with Troops Artillery and Cobb's Legion during the war, and was first appointed to the police force in 1875,  becoming the city's Chief of Police in 1896. 

The Culp family is buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery.

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