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THE ANNIVERSARY PROJECT: SECTION 2 1929-1970, Depression through World War II, Cold War and Civil Rights era

BUILDING UPON

MODEL

THE

◆ Sunday, August 3, 2008


1730 Quintard Ave., Anniston • 256-236-2642 • Hrs.: Mon.-Sat., 9AM-6PM

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THE PROJECT

JULY 27 1870s/1880s-1928, founding to year before Great Depression

TODAY

AUG. 10

1929-1970, Depression through World War II, Cold War and Civil Rights era

1971-present, New South and transition

AUG. 17 The future ◆ AUG. 18 Then and Now — a photo album

INSIDE▶ HISTORY QUIZ PAGE 8 ◆ TIMELINE ACROSS PAGE TOPS CONTRIBUTORS BRETT BUCKNER, FEATURES WRITER

HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Anniston’s founders made room for churches and the citizens flocked to them. PAGE 16 As lifestyles reporter for The Star, Brett Buckner covers faith and religion. PHILLIP TUTOR, COMMENTARY EDITOR

A MILITARY LEGACY

An exploration into Anniston’s relationship with the military. PAGE 4 Phillip Tutor is The Star’s commentary editor and has been a reporter or editor at The Star since 1989. His masters history project examined Anniston’s original downtown.

MULTIMEDIA: www.annistonstar.com/celebrate125

ANNISTON’S ATTIC Residents share memories about the town we call home.

LANDMARK LORE Phillip Tutor and Andy Johns dodge traffic, trek through vacant lots and hang from buildings, all in the name of showing the history, quirks and warts associated with Anniston’s landmarks and inconspicuous-but-important spots. Click on the interactive map to watch video history lessons.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS EDITORS Bob Davis, Anthony Cook, Bill Edwards, Phillip Tutor and Laura Tutor DESIGNER Tosha Jupiter COVER PHOTOGRAPHER Bill Wilson

PROFILE WRITER Nick Cenegy MULTIMEDIA Justin Thurman, Gary Lewis, Brandon Wynn, Andy Johns and Hannah Dame MANY THANKS TO ... Teresa Kiser and the Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County

CORRECTION In the Generational Kudzu article for Barbara Vaden Sproull, it should read that Margaret Crook married Edward Almond, who later became a lieutenant general and was Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s Chief of Staff in Korea and Japan.

A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Fort memories as simple as catfish and as meaningful as race relations Over more than seven decades, until its closing in 1999, Fort McClellan left its mark on thousands of men and women who carry khaki-colored recollections. In its heyday, the U.S. Army post was home to 10,000 soldiers, with hundreds moving in and out in a seemingly endless parade. Bob That’s a lot of Davis memories. Here are Editor three. ■ More than 60 years later, Fort McClellan is fresh on the mind of an attorney and one-time probate judge from West Alabama. (Full disclosure: He’s my great-uncle.) Fresh out of military college, Army 2nd Lt. Robert Hugh Kirksey was called into service to fight World War II’s Axis powers and stationed at McClellan to train before heading to Europe. He remembers in particular a night leading his men on maneuvers. After a tiring hike over rough terrain in the darkness, he felt sheer joy upon seeing the lights of the Army post as he and his troops trudged over the top of Bain’s Gap. Those lights represented a bed, a shower and a few winks of sleep. Even now, the mention of it brings a contented smile to the man who would eventually take part in the defeat of the Germans. ■ Another man, one of the same generation and also a former politician, shares memories of McClellan during World War II. William Winter, former governor of Mississippi, credits time spent as a soldier in Anniston with opening his eyes to the segregation common during his youth in Mississippi. After becoming an officer in the Army, Winter was assigned to what he called a “noble experiment,” an attempt to desegregate the officer corps. Several years ago in a radio interview, Winter recalled, “During the week we would share all the facilities there on the military post and then on weekends we would get on the bus to go into Anniston, Alabama, and my black officer friends would have to go to the back of the bus.”

He continued, “It occurred to me then that there was something radically wrong with this system that saw men and women, just because of their color, discriminated against, particularly those who were getting ready to fight to defend this country.” Winter would lean on those experiences in his time as a progressive leader of his native state. ■ A younger friend recalls his time at McClellan in less meaningful though equally fervent terms. Mark Greene is a Texan, a politically active Democrat and a fine general contractor who once helped remodel our home, before we moved from Texas to Alabama. When he heard we were moving to Anniston, his memory was triggered. He lived and trained at McClellan as an enlisted man, fresh from boot camp in the mid-1970s. Back then it was a rare treat, he said, to go off post and eat as much catfish and pizza as possible at local restaurants. Twinkling lights, racial enlightenment and catfish are but a random trio of McClellan memories. Today, all that’s left are memories and the promise of something better rising up from the Army post. On Page 4 of today’s 125th anniversary edition, Phillip Tutor examines Anniston’s relationship with the Army. He writes, “Anniston’s military legacy dates to President William McKinley’s decision to battle the Spaniards over Cuba and its other holdings. It is a complex legacy that includes two world wars, the controversial storage and destruction of chemical weapons, and the abandonment of a massive Army base. It includes stone and steel, structures and infrastructure, those who’ve worn the uniform, others who’ve only supported it, and the children who lived among it.” We would add that it includes memories, both meaningful and mundane, of a place soldiers once called home. Bob Davis is editor of The Anniston Star. Contact him at 256-235-3540 or bdavis@annistonstar.com.


May 6, 1930

June 8, 1931

March 4, 1933

The Anniston City Board of Education hired Birmingham-Southern graduate E.D. “Chink” Lott to be athletic director at Anniston High School. He would coach until 1944.

A permanent radio station in Anniston went on the air. WFDW had started the previous year in Talladega, but a group of Anniston business leaders moved it to town lock, stock and call letters.

Douglas Leigh, born in Anniston May 24, 1907, started his own advertising sign business in New York City. By 1937 he’d built the career that made Times Square famous for electric signs.

1930

1933

ATENTION PAID From the Spanish-American war onward, Anniston has fostered an enduring relationship with the U.S. Army. In exchange the community received prosperity, cultural diversity and, at times, disappointment. BY PHILLIP TUTOR August in Anniston is a cauldron heated by the Southern sun, and this day was no different. The sky broiled those below. It was a Saturday, the 25th day of the month, well before the coming of 1917’s fall, when the train carrying Gen. Charles G. Morton arrived at The Model City’s downtown station. Waiting for the general and his staff was a committee of Anniston’s leading residents and politicians, men who had spent thousands of dollars and several years convincing the U.S. Army that the military’s brief exposure to the Choccolocco Mountains was proof that soldiers should train near them permanently. Men like Anniston Chamber of Commerce President John B. Carrington and Congressman Fred Blackmon — who had led the campaign to bring the Army to Anniston — knew the tales of the previous two decades. The Spanish-American War soldiers who’d trained at Blue Mountain.

The thousands of volunteer infantrymen who’d paraded at Zinn Park underneath the gaze of Anniston Inn visitors. The National Guardsmen who had used the Choccolocco Mountains for artillery practice. History told them the Army and Anniston would be fine partners in marriage. History told them to act. Five months before Morton’s entourage pulled into Anniston, the city’s Chamber of Commerce had bought nearly 19,000 acres of Calhoun County land, some of which were homesteads for early Alabamians. These families, many which had emigrated west from Georgia, were forced to move, taking their belongings but leaving memories and Please see PAGE 5

ENTRANCE TO CAMP McCLELLAN, 1917 Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County


Nov. 18, 1934

April 17, 1935

July 27, 1935

President Roosevelt’s train makes a five-minute stop to take on water at the Southern Railway station on Fourth Street. Thousands of people turn out to see their leader.

Ending 15 years of litigation, Mayor W.S. Coleman writes a $725,000 check to the Alabama Water Service Co. in return for the facilities that had been supplying Anniston’s water.

The nation’s first paychecks to laborers for the Works Progress Administration went to 35 men quarrying stone in Rocky Hollow.

1934 Continued from page 4

a patchwork of small cemeteries. The cost to the Chamber was $381,187.74. The Army bought the land for $241,475, creating a debt the city wouldn’t pay off until 1934. That was March 17, 1917, the consummation of the Anniston-Army marriage. War, as it often does, changed the Army’s plan. Instead of using its new Alabama acreage as an intended artillery range, it designed a training facility — Camp McClellan — to ready doughboys for America’s entrance into the world war. Though delayed by summer rains, construction began in July. Anniston’s new military camp would have 750 wooden structures and more than 51,000 feet of water pipe installed when Morton and his staff arrived on post that stifling August Saturday. While stationed in Hawaii following the war, the general penned his recollections of that day. “I arrived at the little Southern city of Anniston, Alabama, and after a dusty ride over six miles of almost impassable roads, reached the reservation in the foothills which had been selected as a Southern encampment.” The general, Army historians wrote, “made a very favorable impression on the citizens (of Anniston) with whom he came in contact.” Camp McClellan was born, as was the cementing of the human interaction between the military and Anniston’s residents. “In my mind, that is the historical beginning of a relationship that has continued,” says retired Maj. Gen. Gerald Watson, a former Fort McClel-

1935 lan commander. “That relationship, starting out from the very beginning, was one that was a shared value system between the military and the (Anniston) community.” That shared value system didn’t come without effort. The late 1890s saw Anniston Mayor F.M. Hight travel to Washington to lobby the War Department to train soldiers in the city before sending them to Havana to avenge the sinking of the USS Maine. He was aided by Anniston Attorney John B. Knox, who tried to persuade members of Congress to bring the Army to Calhoun County. Less than two decades later, the Blackmon-led campaign was the defining moment for Anniston’s military hopes — an Army post that would invigorate the town’s economy and give it an intense source of civic pride. From the beginning, Anniston’s elected leaders and influential residents aggressively and proactively sought the Army’s presence. The Army didn’t merely pick Anniston. There was no coincidence. Anniston courted the military, asked for its hand in marriage and enjoyed nearly a century of life with its camouflaged partner. To understand Anniston’s military history, one must understand the reality of how the city repeatedly and insistently sought the military’s presence, and unsuccessfully fought for it to remain. From Camp Shipp, to Camp McClellan, to Fort McClellan, to Anniston Army Depot, the same story, the same result. City leaders’ welcoming of Gen. Morton in August 1917 is but one of countless examples of the handshakes between those civilian and those in uniform.

“Anniston is very, very unique in that it consistently through the years embraced the military, so that leads to a mutual respect that must be maintained,” says Joan McKinney, the fort’s former community outreach coordinator. “I would dare say that this is one of the few military communities that actually went out and lobbied so strongly to bring the military to town and actually gave them the industrial incentives to come here.” Thus, a question: With Fort McClellan gone nearly a decade, what is the military’s legacy in Anniston?

VIEWING THE INHERITANCE To drive Anniston’s streets today is to see a Southern town attempting to reinvent itself in the wake of its 1999 divorce from the U.S. Army. The largest, most noticeable debris from that breakup is McClellan, the vast former military landscape north of downtown that’s being redeveloped as a community for residents, industry and the arts. Grand plans are possible. Few have been implemented. Off the former post’s main areas, a few examples of the military’s hold on Anniston dot the streets. Some remain active, such as the expanding National Guard Training Center at Fort McClellan. The U.S. Army’s incinerator is progressing with the destruction of the city’s stockpile of Cold War-era chemical weapons. Centennial Memorial Park in downtown Anniston — though not a direct offspring of Fort Please see PAGE 6

CAMP McCLELLAN Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County


June 22, 1936

Feb. 1, 1938

May 22, 1938

A railway crossing on the Bankhead Highway is eliminated and public traffic is allowed to cross the viaduct over the Southern Railway tracks on West 10th Street.

Despite a legal challenge from her sister’s children, the late Susie P. Stringfellow is memorialized in the name attached to a hospital opened in her former home. The space holds 10 tuberculosis patients.

Mayor W.S. Coleman dedicates the Anniston Airport. A two-hour traffic jam followed the ceremony.

1936

1938 have wanted it: a city not only welcoming the military but espousing of its myriad civic virtues.

Continued from page 5

McClellan’s existence — also honors the city’s military heritage. But perhaps no other sign of the military’s legacy in Anniston is as illuminant as Anniston Army Depot, the city’s largest employer that continues to perform a critical role in the military’s ongoing assignments in the Middle East. In 1952, more than a decade after the depot’s birth, The Star’s editorial page described the depot as a “war-baby addition to the district’s industrial scene.” Little could those editorial writers have foreseen the depot still kicking at its current pace so many decades later. Those, along with the trademark militarytown remnants of pawn shops and used-car dealerships and dry-cleaners on McClellan Boulevard, are the touchable landmarks, the concrete and steel and stone. They are easy to discuss, as is the undeniable blow that Fort McClellan’s closing had on Anniston’s economy. Thousands of soldiers left. Many civilians who worked on post were jobless. Civilian jobs off post that depended on the military were lost, too. And an unfortunate military remnant is the city’s reputation — damaged by the widespread belief that Anniston is a declining city struggling to keep its head afloat amid a swirl of declining population, lost jobs, decreased military-based income and the lengthy and frustrating redevelopment process and ordnance cleanup at McClellan. Unfortunately, that is part of the military’s heritage in Anniston. But all legacies have a human element, the hearts and souls that helped create them. And in Anniston, nearly a century of military presence created a human element that’s exemplified by the thousands of military retirees who chose to spend their golden years in Calhoun County. Find a military retiree in Anniston and you’ll likely find a former serviceman or servicewoman who laments the fort’s closing and fondly recalls the years spent training near the base of those familiar Choccolocco Mountains. Though the commissary and PX on the former main post — quintessential drawing cards for military retirees — are gone, retirees nonetheless remain a vital part of this area’s backdrop. “I think the Army really screwed this community when it picked up stakes and left,” says retired Command Sgt. Maj. Grady Coats, one of the many former Fort McClellan personnel who flavor Calhoun County with a military spice. Jovial and affable, the Philadelphia, Miss., native spent two assignments at Fort McClellan before retiring in June 1986. His story, though unspectacular, is like so many others of those once in uniform. The Army, he explains, “could have shipped me anywhere I wanted to go.” But Coats and his wife, Karoline, had simple plans. “I was already settled, I owned a house, the cost of living was about as good as I’d ever seen it. We had some roots here.” Not wanting to again uproot their son, the Coatses stayed. They still live in the

ANNISTON’S MILITARY LOVE AFFAIR

MAJ. GEN. C. MORTON Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County

same Saks home they bought when their first Fort McClellan assignment began in 1975. As deputy vice-chairman of the state Board of Veterans Affairs, Ken Rollins of Oxford is an outspoken proponent of all things military in Calhoun County. And he is adamant that the human element of Anniston’s military legacy — and the county as a whole, too — is sometimes forgotten amid the constant bureaucratic, yet nonetheless important, issues that revolve around the physical remnants of Anniston’s former military post. It’s impossible to talk about Anniston and the military and not discuss the impact of the retirees who call this area home. “There are a lot of people who were introduced to this part of the country through Fort McClellan, and when they retired, they wanted to retire here,” said Rollins, a Vietnam War veteran. “Something happened to them in this town, people being nice to them, the so-called Southern hospitality. Something brought them back … The important thing (about Fort McClellan) isn’t just what the (Joint Powers Authority) is doing. It’s the people who stayed after the base left. They could have already left and gone to other locations.” Or, as McKinney explained, “Many people think the commissary and the PX and the medical facilities are what keeps us someplace; not so. We look for a good quality of life.” And McKinney, the fort’s former community outreach coordinator, is an unabashed fan of Anniston. “This is the finest place I’ve ever lived.” She says she believes a portion of Anniston’s military legacy is cast from the ease with which former military melded into the community. They bought homes. They found jobs. They were welcomed into the area’s psyche. “I have been in other military towns where being in the military was negative,” she said. “Here, it was embraced.” Which is how Anniston’s early leaders would

The military’s relationship with Anniston, though consistent until Fort McClellan’s 1999 closure, often resembled fashions of the day: What was in vogue one generation didn’t apply to the next. The silver hair and decades of cherished memories of resident Betty Carr, Anniston High class of 1943, belie the time when Fort McClellan soldiers, young recruits training for war, were as prevalent on Noble Street as springtime blooms in Quintard Avenue’s median. That’s not as it was in the final two decades of the fort’s existence. A half-hour spent in conversation with Carr is a snapshot of a bygone era, a priceless gift. To live in Anniston during Carr’s teenage years was to live in a time when the city was in full embrace with its Army friends. Soldiers filled Noble Street, packed its four movie theaters and often attended one of the city’s many church services on Sunday mornings. Carr, then just 17, worked as a soda jerk at the USO club on the corner of 12th Street and Wilmer Avenue, where she made Coke floats and milk shakes for the soldiers who’d come to play pingpong and pool. She wondered about what these young men, some mere boys, would face when they left the safety of Anniston. “ It was World War II, things were different with the attitudes toward the soldiers,” Carr says. “Hitler was evil; he was about to take over. Nazism was about to take over, communism was about to take over. We were glad (the soldiers) were here.” That is the golden age of Anniston’s military legacy, an age when people such as Carr’s parents would bring soldiers — strangers — to their homes after Sunday services, when segregated USO events for black and white soldiers often held sold-out affairs. City leaders even allowed Noble Street’s movie theaters to open on the Sabbath so soldiers would have something constructive — and relatively tame — to do with their weekend passes. “We were appreciative of what they were doing,” Carr says. “We were grateful.” That part of Anniston’s military legacy is a romantic slice of the city’s history. But as Fort McClellan’s mission changed — the arrival of the Women’s Army Corp and the military police school, for example — so, too, did the relationship between residents and the military. Fewer raw recruits spent time at Fort McClellan. More military families lived on post. And nowhere was that change more evident than in the area’s high schools, a few of which enjoyed strong relationships with the thousands of military children who passed through not only Anniston’s schools but those throughout Calhoun County. Weaver High Principal Frances Shipp estimates that military students, whose families Please see PAGE 7


Nov. 3, 1938

Oct. 13, 1939

July 25, 1940

WHMA (1420 on the dial, 1450 after March 29, 1941) signs on the air, with many local and state dignitaries broadcasting from the Little Theater stage at 14th and Noble, later known as the Radio Building.

Twenty-seven hundred people attend the first football game at Anniston High School’s new stadium, Anniston Memorial Stadium. Anniston defeated Oxford 26-7.

Dr. Jesse Lane Wikle, 85, dies at Garner Hospital. Wikle had arrived in Anniston in 1880 to operate the commissary for the old Woodstock Furnace, which made him the first private businessman here.

1938

1939

1940 CAMP McCLELLAN Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County

Continued from page 6

could choose which high schools their children attended, once made up as much as one-quarter of that school’s student population. “ I always called us a transient school because there was always so much in-andout because of Fort McClellan,” she says. Nonetheless, Shipp, a teacher at Weaver during the fort’s final decade, is quick to explain how the presence of military students at Weaver enhanced the learning experience at a small Alabama school that would not have had that opportunity without its proximity to the fort. “We had students who had more or less been world travelers,” Shipp says. “They could speak to some of the things we were talking about through first-hand experience. Those kids had been in other countries, in other states. Some of them brought a lot of knowledge to the classroom.” Mitchell McKay, the principal at Jacksonville High from 1974 to 2000, recalls when the Army ran four or five buses each day between the school and the fort. When the Army stopped providing transportation in the 1970s, the school sent its buses to the fort, he said. There’s another notch in the military’s legacy here — how local communities embraced not only the soldiers, but also the influence of the soldiers’ children. “For Jacksonville, a relatively small high school, to have that diversity was absolutely wonderful,” McKay said. And there are those who feel those same traits — diversity, variety, a mixture of cultures and viewpoints — were just as good for

the area, as well. “This community had this influx of people in and out of the installation who were from all over the world and had lived from all over the world,” said Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce President Sherri Sumners. “It was a very warm and very accepting community that was more sophisticated than other towns of similar size. And that has continued.”

A COMPLEX REALITY If anything, McKinney believes the mutual respect that existed between the Army and Anniston is at the heart of the city’s military legacy. She’s also keen on the phrase “social civility” — that the Southern hospitality that Northern troops absorbed in northeast Alabama brought out the best in the soldiers and fomented positive memories about the city, the county and the post itself. “I feel that strongly,” she says. The result — if you agree — is a civilian populace whose residents may think highly of the Army’s time in Anniston, and an impressive roster of military retirees who cherish the area enough to remain. It’s an argument that may carry weight. Whether Anniston remains a military town is a topic of debate. Some say no; Fort McClellan’s gone. Others say yes, thanks to the depot and the National Guard. Soldiers still drive Humvees on our streets. The depot, with an estimated $1 billion annual economic impact, is still repairing worn-out and damaged equipment and arms. And the retirees? Their community influence is widespread. But perhaps debate over Anniston’s military-town status is more subtle than training

centers and camouflaged troops. It’s Anniston’s mindset. Does Anniston still think like a military town? Does it still have the same admiration for the military, for what the Army did for this town and county? “I think it does still continue to feel that way,” says Watson, the retired major general. Nevertheless, has some of the despair and anger over the post’s closure withered away? Anniston’s military legacy dates to President William McKinley’s decision to battle the Spaniards over Cuba and its other holdings. It is a complex legacy that includes two world wars, the controversial storage and destruction of chemical weapons, and the abandonment of a massive Army base. It includes stone and steel, structures and infrastructure, those who’ve worn the uniform, others who’ve only supported it, and the children who lived among it. That complexity may not have been on the mind of Mayor Hight when he went to Washington in 1898 or Gen. Morton when he arrived that hot Saturday in August 1917. If anything, the general had more pressing issues: setting up Camp McClellan, readying troops for war. But Anniston’s military legacy is nonetheless wrapped in those intricate features that are impossible to separate. It’s a testament to how intertwined the military has been with Anniston, from the beginning of its marriage to the Fort McClellan-less reality of today. Perhaps Annistonians would have it no other way. “I think,” says McKinney, the longtime McClellan employee, “the citizens are proud to have had the military here. I think that’s probably the deepest emotion. I think Anniston is extremely proud of doing its part.” ◆


Oct. 9, 1940

Nov. 6, 1940

Nov. 14, 1940

W.S. Coleman signs papers transferring the estate of the late E.L. Tyler to Anniston. The price for the land where Regional Medical Center now stands: $40,000.

On the presidential election ballot, local voters decide to switch to machines, as opposed to actual boxes. The vote machines (or “robots” as a headline writer called them), would be first used in 1942.

The War Department notifies Fort McClellan’s commander, Maj. Gen. Haskell, that it would buy 25,000 acres west of Gadsden Highway. Later in the month, the people of Peaceburg agreed to sell their land.

1940 QUIZ

Test your knowledge of Anniston’s history.

1. Anniston lawyer John Knox was instrumental in creating this document: (a.) Bylaws of Anniston YMCA (b.) 1901 state Constitution (c.) City employee handbook

2. First Anniston resident to win governor’s election: (a.) Bibb Graves (b.) William Jelks (c.) Thomas Kilby

3. Anniston church whose minister consistently voted for Socialist presidential candidates from 1920s to 1940s: (a.) Church of St. Michael and All Angels (b.) All Saints Church (c.) Parker Memorial

4. In 1964, this Anniston Republican congressman broke the Democrats’ dominance in his northeast Alabama’s congressional district:

(a.) Arthur Glenn Andrews (b.) Bob Riley (c.) Taul Bradford 5. Parker Memorial Baptist Church was named in honor of Duncan T. Parker, who was known for: (a.) Established Anniston’s First National Bank (a.) Writing a book of hymns (c.) Founding R.J. Riddle and Co. 6. Anniston’s Temple Beth El first opened its doors in: (a.) 1900 (b.) 1875 (c.) 1893 7. Quintard Avenue is named for C.T. Quintard, whose claim to fame is: (a.) Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee (b.) Stone mason who worked on many

acclaimed Anniston structures (c.) First mayor of Oxford 8. In 1940, the city purchased 18 acres formerly belonging to the Tyler family. The sale price for property that would eventually become Regional Medical Center was: (a.) $100,000 (b.) $475,000 (c.) $40,000 9. On May 10, 1951, ground was broken on: (a.) YMCA building (b.) Zinn Park gazebo (c.) Big chair on Noble Street 10. In 1935, Works Progress Administration employees began work on this project: (a.) Tree-plantings along Quintard (b.) Stone-walled channel for Snow Creek (c.) Railroad bridge between Anniston and Oxford

ANSWERS ON PAGE 10

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QUIZ ANSWERS

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1. (b.) 1901 state Constitution.

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2. (c.) Thomas Kilby. 3. (c.) Parker Memorial. The Rev. Charles R. Bell voted for Norman Thomas, the Socialist candidate for president every term from the 1920s to the ’40s. 4. (a.) Arthur Glenn Andrews. The Anniston native’s electoral fortunes was helped by Barry Goldwater, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 1964. 5. (a.) Established Anniston’s First National Bank. Duncan T. Parker lent financial support to the construction of the church.

BISHOP C.T. QUINTARD

6. (c.) 1893. Temple Beth El first opened its doors for Rosh Hashanah.

8. (c.) $40,000.

7. (a.) Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee. Bishop C.T. Quintard was also a close friend of the Noble family.

9. (a.) YMCA building. 10. (b.) Stone-walled channel for Snow Creek.

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Jan. 30, 1941

March 2, 1941

Nov. 24, 1942

Cora Hayes sells the first 480 acres — of 10,000 acres needed — to establish Anniston Ammunition Depot. On Nov. 6, cement was poured for the final igloo, No. 700. Total land cost: $200,000.

Wilmer and Anna Satcher welcome son David on a farm west of Anniston. On Feb. 10, 1998, Dr. David Satcher became the U.S. Surgeon General (despite neither of Alabama’s senators voting in his favor).

The city commission passes two resolutions that pave the way for the “Quintard Avenue military highway project,” which made the street a thoroughfare north.

1941

1942 YOU OUGHT’VE KNOWN ...

BALTZELL’S FINALE Fort McClellan last duty assignment for decorated Army colonel BY NICK CENEGY It takes a sterling career to have a road named after you. Col. George F. Baltzell — of Baltzell Gate fame — was a decorated officer of the Army who helped to develop the military school system. Baltzell was born in 1875 in Marianna, Fla., and died there at age 62. He was a career military man, who after many other posts spent his final assignment in command of the 22nd Infantry at Fort McClellan. After his 1897 graduation from the U.S. Military Academy, Baltzell served in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. He then sailed for a tour in the Philippines before attending the InfantryCavalry school where he was a distin-

guished graduate. Baltzell graduated the Army Staff College at Fort Leavenworth,Kan., then stayed for several years teaching military art in the Army Service Schools. In 1911 he was ordered to the Panama Canal as Inspector-Instructor of the Virginia National Guard for six years. During WWI he was named Inspector of a National Guard division from Washington D.C. and was shipped to France. Less than a month after he arrived, he was moved to the training staff, where he served for the next year. He returned to the United States in February 1919 and served as the executive officer of the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga., for about a year before

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returning to Washington, working in the office of the Chief of Infantry. Baltzell received the Distinguished Service Cross for contributing to the training of officers and troops of the A. E. F. and to the development of military school system. After graduating the Army War College in 1922, he was assigned to work in the office of the chief of militia bureau for three years. He then left and took a short course at the infantry school before being put in charge of the 22nd Infantry. Baltzell was then moved in that capacity, to Fort McClellan where he served out his final assignment.

Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County


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Dec. 18, 1942

July 12, 1943

Sept. 15, 1944

City Hall burns. Built in 1887-88, the building catches fire around 6:30 a.m. because of a faulty furnace.

Construction starts on a new hospital at the old Tyler property. The 100-bed investment, representing a half-million dollars, would be only one story to save wartime cost in steel.

Fire destroys the crowded Alabama Hotel, below. Other businesses in the building are lost: the Gem Beauty Shop, the Alabama Drug Company and the Southern Railway ticket office.

1942

1944

Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County

Farmer’s n w o Downt Market

“Young Artists for a Better World” (CAST’s youth ensemble will sing excerpts from ‘Broadway, Our Way’ at 10AM)

This Saturday - Aug. 9 14th St. & Gurnee (Zinn Park) 8am to NOON Lots of locally grown produce like silver Queen corn, okra, melons, blueberries, heirloom tomatoes, and much more! Local crafts too! Beautiful gourds, wooden bowls, clay masks & pottery, needlecraft, and ceramics.

• Door prizes • Sausage & Biscuits from J’s Wings Market photos at www.spiritofanniston.org” (Information: 236.0996)

ROBINSON MAYOR ‘08 www.electGeneRobinson.com A VOTE FOR ROBINSON MEANS:

A return to the basics that founded Anniston. HARD WORK. Paid political adv. by Gene Robinson 1000 Noble Street • Anniston, Alabama 36201


Oct. 23, 1944

Oct. 23, 1945

Built and equipped for $530,000 by the Federal Works Agency, the city’s new Memorial Hospital opens. Patients were transferred from Garner Hospital, which was soon closed. (Earl Hooper, 13, appears to have had the honor of being the last patient taken to Garner and the first patient taken to AMH).

The city buys the former Alabama Military Institute for $34,000 at a foreclosure auction.

1944

1945

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The Anniston Star

16 August 3, 2008

The Anniston Star

From its beginnings, Anniston has been blessed with numerous houses of worship, from mainline Protestant to Roman Catholic to a synagogue and, of late, a mosque. Over the decades, the faithful have leaned on them during times of trouble. BY BRETT BUCKNER

Celebrating Anniston's 125th year

17 August 3, 2008

Celebrating Anniston's 125th year

FAITHFUL INTERSECTIONS

PARKER MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH, 1888 Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County


Dec. 25, 1945

Jan. 1, 1946

A furnace fire that began shortly after midnight destroys the Commercial National Bank building, 12 offices and a dress shop, all located at the southwest corner of 12th and Noble streets. Anniston firefighter Bert Cole, 51, was the first Anniston firefighter ever to die in the line of duty.

Alabama defeats USC 34-14 in the Rose Bowl, aided by the fullback skills of Norwood Hodges. Hodges made his way here in the mid-’50s, opened a Volkswagen dealership in 1959 and was mayor from 1972-79. Hodges died in November 1999 and is memorialized in the form of a community center.

1945

1946

“We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads and along these sympathetic fibers our actions run as causes and return to us as results.” — Herman Melville

E

very Sunday morning, an Anniston legacy is reborn. Inside the more than 150 churches representing any and all denominations that align like constellations along the city’s landscape, congregations gather in faith and social obligation to pray, sing and worship. Their unified voices echo through time to Anniston’s founding fathers, Samuel Noble and Daniel Tyler, who turned a “Model City” vision into a brick-and-mortar reality. The provincial influence of Anniston’s faith community is as diverse as the people who sit in its pews. These houses of worship provide a safe haven for those in need — no matter if they pray to God or simply pray for help. Whether sprawled over an entire block or tucked in a strip mall, Anniston’s religious community is defined by more than its architecture. Faith and worship are

woven into the very moral fabric of the town. And yet, Anniston is not a utopia. Poverty, drug abuse, homicide and all the evils confronting modern American society are present, if only in smaller doses. Community outreach and religious conviction doesn’t make this “City of Churches” unique. In the South, faith-in-practice comes with the territory. However, faith and worship are the cornerstones upon which the town was built, a legacy that is carried out in the daily lives and actions of its residents. R.A. Thompson understood this responsibility for he was witness to its birth.

Born in Jacksonville, Thompson was given the charge of starting a new Methodist church in the domesticated wilderness that would become Anniston. In the winter of 1881, Thompson rode into town in a buggy and started gathering up a loose congregation. In less than two weeks, Thompson was preaching to the 25 members of what would become the First United Methodist Church of Anniston. Upon looking back on those earlier days, when he had no church and often preached under an oak tree or standing on a pile of wood, Thompson found little pride in how far they had come, but rather in the promise that lay ahead. “In reviewing the past with the small beginnings and trials, we ask, was it worthwhile? When we look at the great church … when we see this great host of God’s people, we can but exclaim — ‘What has God wrought?’ ” Please see PAGE 19

FIRST METHODIST CHURCH, NOBLE STREET

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County


Jan. 17, 1946

April 7, 1946

June 5, 1946

A fund-raising campaign to solicit contributions for a YMCA building kicks off at the YMCA headquarters at 112 E. 12th St. The goal: $375,000.

A severe storm parks itself over Anniston and pounds the city with wind and hail for an horrific 30 minutes. Communications to the outside world are cut for hours, and there is severe damage.

Anniston’s parks get new names: Ezell, in Oxanna, named for the Boy Scout leader; Huger, at 22nd and Noble, named for an Anniston mayor; and Carver, on west 14th, named for George Washington Carver.

1946 Continued from page 18

NOBLE ASPIRATIONS With its endless parade of stoplights and traffic, Quintard Avenue is the bane of most commuters’ existence. But few slow down long enough to appreciate that Quintard serves as more than the asphalt artery carrying drivers through the heart of Anniston. To drive along its tree-lined street is to cut a path through Anniston’s religious genesis. Faith and worship took shape along this street. Tucked just off Quintard stands Grace Episcopal Church, which claims to be the first organized congregation in Anniston — a rightful declaration considering both Samuel Noble and Daniel Tyler were devout Episcopalians. At the corner of Quintard and 12th Street is Parker Memorial Baptist Church. Named in memory of Dr. D.T. Parker, who established Anniston’s First National Bank, Parker’s cornerstone was laid in 1888. One block up stands the modest Temple Beth El (“House of God”), Anniston’s lone Jewish synagogue, which opened its doors for Rosh Hashanah in 1893. As it stands today, Temple Beth El is the oldest Alabama synagogue still in use. Within relative walking distance of these houses of worship are other Anniston religious landmarks. The First United Methodist Church at 1400 Noble St. was formed in 1881 back when Anniston was still a privately owned factory town. First Christian Church is another of Anniston’s oldest congregations that continues to worship just off Quintard Avenue at the corner of 14th and Leighton. Organized in 1885, First Christian worships on the property that once belonged to St. Paul’s Methodist Church, which built the existing sanctuary in 1889. The First Presbyterian Church was organized in March of 1884, back when Anniston was becoming a boom town, having grown from a frontier village with a population of 942 in 1880 to more than 6,000 by 1884. Before building its existing sanctuary on Henry Road, Anniston’s First Presbyterian Church stood at 10th and Quintard. But that lot was sold to Alabama Power, which took possession on New Year’s Day 1963. Through the towering 100-year-old oak trees that line Quintard Avenue, it’s easy to see the quaintly beautiful sanctuary belonging to Trinity Lutheran Church. But this was once home to Anniston’s first Catholic congregation. Organized in 1885, Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church is one of many local houses of worship whose history is scarred by fire as their original building at the corner of Quintard and 11th was destroyed by fire on Palm Sunday 1922. Sacred Heart rebuilt the church as it stands today but sold it to Trinity in 1997 after breaking ground on a new building in Golden Springs. And just down from Trinity is another former house of worship that once belonged to one of

TEMPLE BETH-EL

Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County

Anniston’s oldest congregations. The First Baptist Church, which owned the now abandoned property on 14th and Pine, was among the first five congregations to call Anniston home. Organized in 1882 as a missions church, First Baptist’s sanctuary was also devastated by fire in 1885 and the congregation would eventually move onto the former Fort McClellan. These city blocks, where over the generations homes, business and even churches have moved or vanished like so many chess pieces, retain little of the early splendor that once defined this street named in honor of long-time friends and confidants of Sam Noble — among them was C.T. Quintard, who served as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee. But these are only buildings — concrete facades from which a town’s soul reaches out to support those in need. And beneath the banner of religion, each is doing what they can — Protestant and Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and even growing Hispanic ministries are reaching out in fellowship and hope. That was the founding fathers’ goal for the establishment of some of these and other area churches. The structures alone were but empty vessels. It was the people who provided the real sanctuary. “The hearts of the people are to be trained by the churches,” exclaimed then-Mayor F.M. Hight in 1885.

In those early days of prohibition, that meant luring the locals away from the evils of alcohol, a poison that Noble, known as a “friend of the hardy sons of toil,” publicly scorned by vowing to keep “whiskey and beer from the mouth of the working man,” which he did by serving as elected president of the Prohibition Club. On Feb. 28, 1883, the county voted by overwhelming majority to outlaw spirits. The ban was considered the “life and salvation of Anniston.” The “Model City,” as Anniston was called, was meant to be a haven from the wickedness that plagued larger cities. And what better place to find sanctuary, to explore more meaningful activities than within the churches whose influence reached beyond property lines and into every aspect of life in the small Southern town. Anniston’s battle over prohibition found an early ally in the town’s vocal congregations and preachers, who were the city’s conscience. Quietly the “Model City” had become the “Moral City.” Even years later, the churches were still weighing in. An 1899 resolution by P.M. Jones, a member of the Calhoun Baptist Association, condemned alcohol sales. “For as much as we believe that dancing, card-playing, frequenting barrooms, theater-going, drunkenness, swearing, gambling, baseball games are each hurtful to Christian influence and demoralizing in their Please see PAGE 20


July 1, 1947

July 12, 1947

New swimming pools open at Huger and Carver parks. By Aug. 17, Anniston had five public swimming pools. One was for black residents, which was unique for an Alabama city at the time, according to the city pool supervisor.

Construction of a full-duty highway between Anniston and Jacksonville ends; the project of straightening and widening the time-worn old route had begun May 20, 1946.

1947 Continued from page 19

tendency,” he said. “Be it resolved, that we request each church in said association to withdraw the right hand of church fellowship from any member engaging in any of the above offenses.” The motion was carried by a unanimous vote. While prohibition served as one rallying cry for Anniston’s religious community, there was no lack of diverse ecclesiastical influence. The first edition of The Hot Blast, published Aug. 18, 1883, listed five organized churches, including two black congregations — the Colored Congregational Church, for which Noble donated land and building materials, and Mount Zion Baptist Church. The first white congregations were Grace Episcopal, First Methodist and First Baptist. All of which came into being while Anniston was still a private factory town. The population surge that occurred when Anniston opened to the public in 1883 led to immediate spiritual growth and enthusiastic building projects across town. The trade journal, Alabama Hot Blast, referred to Anniston as the “pride of the South — the City of Churches,” a nickname that was well-deserved considering that by the mid-1890s Anniston was now home to 25 congregations — and one Jewish synagogue. Among those was Anniston’s second Episcopal church, St. Michael and All Angels. Built as a gift to the working class by John Ward Noble, St. Michael’s was expected to have a priest working with the poor and an infirmary where a sisterhood could attend to the sick. That medical mission is still being carried out. First built in the early 1920s to help Anniston’s poor survive a raging flu epidemic, St. Michael’s medical clinic has a storied history of community outreach. Today a team of doctors and nurses of all faiths and denominations has volunteered to care for uninsured patients. Being a Model City means exhibiting model behavior. This, in the South, is defined by one thing — worship. Church is how residents, lured by the promise of work and a booming economy, socialized. And within those fertile fields is where the kind-hearted have maneuvered to affect real change. While it is impossible to list and quantify 125 years of outreach, it’s easy to recognize those founded on faith and inspired by the needs of an ever-growing, ever-desperate population. Perhaps the most shining example of the power that Anniston’s religious community wields can be seen through the works of Interfaith Ministries. Founded 33 years ago to streamline the efforts of area churches, Interfaith enlists more than 125 churches — roughly 40 percent of Calhoun County houses of worship — each of which donate money, supplies or volunteers to help those in need.

FAITH AND TENACITY While some congregations offer social impact through actions and outreach, others bring about change by their sheer existence. Such is the case for Temple Beth El, whose significance within Anniston’s faith community is its diversity. Though limited by its size — starting with 24 members in 1888 and now hovering around 40 — its presence in an area dominated by Christianity cannot be diminished. The temple’s importance was measured less by its collective efforts than by the individuals who worshiped within its modest synagogue. Their actions represented Jews everywhere. And yet they walked the same streets and saw the same problems facing all people — not just Christians and Jews — and did what they could to help. They hosted food drives and joined Interfaith Ministries. Joseph Saks donated the land that gave rise to the Saks community and its school system. Alfred Caro was among those who founded the Anniston Soup Bowl, and Rudy Kemp, as local legend has it, held the door open when black pastors Bob McClain and George Smitherman successfully integrated the library. “Our members were involved in making Anniston better,” says Sherry Blanton, temple president. “Our congregation is tenacious. Whereas there are many small congregations in small towns across the South teetering on the brink of closure, our congregation remains tenacious in its desire to keep its identity alive in Anniston.” But Anniston’s religious diversity doesn’t end at the temple doorstep. Anniston is also home to a growing population of Muslims, who, since 1997, have worshiped at the Anniston Islamic Center. Tucked

amongst the homes along Christine Avenue, the center has a membership of more than 100. And each has arrived with a story to tell, says Islamic Center organizer, Safaa al-Hamdani. “We come from every spot on earth, every continent, different nationalities and backgrounds — all coming together to pray to one God,” he says. “When we meet, it’s like the United Nations all under one roof.” Much like the Temple, the Islamic Center’s impact is difficult to measure because of its relatively small size and desire to remain more on the outskirts of large social issues. Local Muslims understand that as a religious minority, it’s their responsibility to try and educate others about their faith, an opportunity they relish. But as far as community outreach, the Islamic Center has one thing in large supply. “We have a lot of doctors,” al-Hamdani says with a grin. “And they like to help any way they can.” Many of the center’s physicians have volunteered at the St. Michael’s medical clinic, while some of its opthmologists have opened their offices and given free eye exams to those in need and without insurance. In Anniston, religion permeates every facet of life — from ads in the Yellow Pages to fighting poverty — but such is the nature of the South, where faith is not only influential, it’s defining. Nicknamed the “Model City” and the “City of Churches” back in a time when such terms were rather naive, Anniston has solidified a legacy of faith-in-practice that reaches beyond what its founding fathers, devout men in their own right, could have imagined. And its influence has become as diverse as it is far-reaching. “Whatever we can do … we will,” al-Hamdani says. “Though some of our beliefs are different, we are one community. This is home to us all.” ◆

THE CHURCH OF ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS

Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County


June 3, 1949

Nov. 15, 1949

Killebrew Furniture Co. announces the arrival of television. The Rochester model of the Stromberg-Carlson line was displayed. Nine days later the local General Electric dealer touts the virtues of the Capehart brand. The switch was ipped for Alabama’s ďŹ rst TV station, WAFM in Birmingham, on June 13, 1949.

The Anniston City Board of Education awards the job of building a junior high school at Eighth and Leighton. With 28 classrooms and an auditorium for 700, the facility is designed for 1,200 students.

1949

TIES THAT BIND Three men, black and white, aim to change their corner of the world BY BRETT BUCKNER

They knelt together with hands joined in prayer. In the office of Phil Noble, then pastor of Anniston’s First Presbyterian Church, were two black preachers — one Methodist, the other Baptist — along with Noble, who was white. With tears in their eyes, they prayed for compassion. They prayed for strength and unity. They prayed for an end to segregation. Together, these three men aimed to change the world, or at least their tiny corner of it. On that fateful day in 1962, Nimrod Reynolds, pastor of 17th Street Baptist Church, which was one of the oldest historically black congregations in Anniston, met with fellow preacher Bob McClain, then pastor of Haven Chapel Methodist Church. Together they made the journey across town to Noble’s office. In a segregated South and a segregated Anniston, such an act was like taking on the world.

When those three men came together, they had no idea the chain of events their friendship would ignite and how history would conspire to turn each into a hero. But the fact that such a revolutionary meeting was needed to show the Model City that all men are created equal was stunning proof that the idea of Christian brotherhood was an illusion. “Looking back across the span of 40 years, I wonder what could have happened if the witness had been stronger in Anniston, Ala.,� McClain writes in the preface to Noble’s book, Beyond the Burning Bus. “If all those who professed Christianity and who led Christian churches had marched out shoulder to shoulder against our Southern apartheid.� It would be more than a year before that meeting in Phil Noble’s office would give rise to what has become known simply as “The Library Incident.� It was Sept. 15, 1963. With the aim of desegregat-

ing a public institution, McClain and Reynolds, as members of the newly formed Human Relations Council, decided Anniston’s Carnegie Public Library would be a logical place to start. No one expected their plans would be leaked to the Ku Klux Klan. At 2 p.m. on Mother’s Day — the same Sunday that four little black girls were killed in an explosion at Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church — Reynolds and McClain parked on 10th Street to walk the half block to the library entrance. They were met by a mob of angry whites waiting in parked cars. Attacked before they reached the door, the two preachers were beaten with sticks, clubs and lengths of chain. After reaching Reynolds’s car, a bullet shattered the driver’s side window. Fearing they were going to be killed, both men ran and were picked up by another car and taken to the emergency room. Later that night, McClain preached at 17th Street Please see PAGE 22

CELEBRATING 125 YEARS: THE ANNIVERSARY PROJECT JULY 27 1870s/1880s-1928, founding to year before Great Depression

AUG. 3

AUG. 10

1929-1970, Depression through World War II, Cold War and Civil Rights era

1971-present, New South and transition

AUG. 17 The future ◆ AUG. 18 Then and Now — a photo album

Give yourself, or someone you love, an anniversary present. Special Offer

  



   $+,$--'*) -%*/)#')&/).'(,$". -))'-.*)

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The 125th Anniversary Package

 

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To request copies of any of the anniversary sections, please contact The Star’s Circulation Department.

235-9253 or 1-866-814-9253 0

2008 Sunday, July 27, 3, 2008 . Sunday, August


Sept. 26, 1950

Jan. 2, 1951

George “Buddy” Rutledge, Anniston High School Class of ’49, is stricken with polio, cutting short his football days at the University of Georgia. Rutledge went on to a career in sports broadcasting, first at Anniston’s WSPC and WHMA, then at WAPI in Birmingham. The voice of the Auburn Tigers, Rutledge died in 1968.

The Army announces that Fort McClellan, used only for National Guard training since 1947, would be reactivated to become the home of the Army’s Chemical School.

1950

1951

Continued from page 21

to a crowd that was angry and ready to avenge their leaders. But he told them “not to hate,” but “to clap your hands around (your pastor) because he is right.” They returned the next afternoon — this time with a police escort — determined to integrate the library. Because Reynolds was badly beaten, fellow black pastor George Smitherman, from Mount Calvary Baptist Church, joined McClain. Both men successfully checked out books — McClain, How Far to the Promised Land, and Smitherman, Blood, Sweat and Tears. Amidst all the turmoil and suffering of the civil rights movement, white pastors in Anniston remained largely silent. While many were undoubtedly sickened by the treatment of their black Christian brothers and sisters, they stayed loyal to the will of their congregation — many of whom opposed integration — for fear of being fired if they spoke out.

The church is the lifeblood through which everything flows, especially in the black community. If change is to occur, if good is to be done, it often originates from the pulpit. “We like to think that ministers are so committed to the Gospel and the Bible’s call for justice that they would be unaffected by the lack of (job) security,” writes Phil Noble in Beyond the Burning Bus. “There were, of course, many exceptions where ministers spoke out. And we must acknowledge that some white ministers were segregationists themselves.” After the library’s integration, Martin Luther King Jr., on May 1, 1964, spoke at 17th Street Baptist Church, solidifying its status as a “battleground for the civil rights struggle,” Reynolds says. But even that tumultuous time is but one of many footnotes in the his-

Come Worship With Us! W. Mack Amis, Jr., D.Min. Pastor

Sundays Morning Worship 8:30 AM Sunday School 9:30 AM Morning Worship 10:45 AM Discipleship Groups 5:00 PM Evening Worship 6:00 PM

tory of the church, and Rev. Reynolds was but one pastor to fight for change. Among them was J.H. Eason, who, in the final years of the 19th century, became one of the most important leaders in Anniston. Eason helped create a black credit union, a black newspaper called The Union Leader. He established a nursery and other businesses that provided stability and financial structure within the community. The church is the lifeblood through which everything flows, especially in the black community. If change is to occur, if good is to be done, it often originates from the pulpit. In 1939, All Saints Catholic Church

Donoho The

D I F F E R E N C E

Academics The class of 2008 received more than $2.6 million in college scholarship offers and were offered acceptance to more than thirty-five colleges and universities.

Arts The fine arts play an important role in the life of The Donoho School. Self expression and experiences in both the visual and performing arts are placed among the top priorities at the school.

Wednesdays Children’s Awana Adult Bible Study Youth “Buzz”

opened on West 15th Street, giving Anniston a distinctly black presence, something that was rare in the South. But All Saints wasn’t established to support an already-existing Catholic population but rather to help the poor. John Casey, who served All Saints from 1941-1950, raised money and organized youth groups to combat juvenile delinquency. In 1945, he raised money to build playgrounds and organized the Negro Professional & Business Men’s Club. In a speech before the old 17th Street Baptist Church was torn down and replaced by a new sanctuary, Ralph David Abernathy, past president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addressed the heritage of that building. But he just as easily could have been speaking about Anniston’s entire community of black churches. “If these walls could talk, they would tell a beautiful story,” he said. “But we must not look back, but continue to look ahead.” ◆

5:30 PM 6:00 PM 6:00 PM

Athletics Students enjoy participating in a variety of sports offered at The Donoho School: football, basketball, volleyball, golf, soccer, tennis, track, cross-country, baseball, and cheerleading. The Donoho School was selected by The Birmingham News to receive the 2007 AHSAA IA All Sports Championship Award.

Seeking to provide a place where... the Love of God is shared. the Word of God is taught. the Power of God is revealed. the Plan of God is fulfilled.

Touching Our Community with the

Love of Jesus and a

Message of Hope

The Donoho School is located in Anniston, AL at 2501 Henry Road.

Intercessory Prayer Ministry 24-hour Prayer Line 256-236-1515

For more information, please contact Director of Admissions Sue Canter at (256) 236-4459, or visit our website at www.donohoschool.com.

Sunday Telecasts Cable 2: Sunday School Cable 2: Live Broadcast Cable 9: Week Delay

10:15 AM 10:50 AM 11:00 AM

the difference is...

The Donoho School is dually accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS). It is an active member of the National Association of Independent Schools and the Alabama Association of Independent Schools.


May 10, 1951

June 9, 1954

Jan. 24, 1963

Groundbreaking ceremonies come for the new Anniston YMCA building.

The Anniston City Commission approves a resolution allowing the state to condemn 30 parcels of land for right-of-way on the Quintard extension project, starting at Fifth Street south to U.S. 78.

Unknown to the public, six rail cars containing VX nerve-agent rockets arrive at Anniston Army Depot to be stored in World War II-era igloos.

1951

1961 ▼

1963 May 14, 1961

Two interstate buses, one at the Trailways station at the northeast corner of Ninth and Noble and another six miles west on Alabama 202 at Forsyth’s Store, are attacked by Klanfueled thugs. The highway bus, crippled by slashed tires, was set afire. The assailants were angry that some of the buses’ passengers were Freedom Riders who wanted to find out which bus stations would allow blacks to enter white areas. WDNG radio owner Tom Potts faced down white threats to his family for suggesting in an editorial comment on his air the next day that the bus burners and the Freedom Riders were equally at fault. The picture shown here has become the iconic image representing this event.

Anniston Fireplace & Patio is offering a $100 Discount on in stock natural gas grills. In addition, Alagasco is offering a $100 Rebate on service on a natural gas grill.

ANNISTON FIREPLACE & PATIO 3815 Leatherwood Plaza, Hwy. 431 (256) 236-1114 Mon. - Fri. 8-5; Sat. 9-12 Kurtnelson@cableone.net • abbybass@cableone.net


Sept. 15, 1963

Sept. 16, 1963

Rev. N. Q. Reynolds, 32, and Rev. W. B. McClain, 25, members of Anniston’s bi-racial Human Relations Council, are beaten at Carnegie Library during a prearranged integration attempt on a Sunday afternoon.

Carnegie Library is successfully integrated with the issuance of library cards to the Rev. McClain and to the Rev. G. E. Smitherman. The men’s escorts into the library were Charles Doster and Mrs. Lucian Lentz of the library board; H. Miller Sproull, city finance commissioner; and the Rev. J. Phillips Noble, chairman of the city’s Human Relations Council. A visible police presence ensures a peaceful day.

1963 YOU OUGHT’VE KNOWN ...

ANNISTON’S AVIATRIX From here to Hollywood, Ruth Elder took to the sky in search of adventure. BY NICK CENEGY She was daring, glamorous, and personified the “Roaring 20s” image of celebrity. Anniston native Ruth Elder, “Miss America of Aviation,” was a barnstorming aviatrix who captured the imaginations of Annistonians and the nation at large. Elder was born Sept. 8, 1904, one of seven children. She grew up a tomboy, attended Anniston High School and graduated from Oxford High School. She attempted to be the first woman to fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean on Oct. 11, 1927. She and fellow pilot George Haldeman made it 36 hours into the flight over the ocean, 300 miles from Bourget Field, Paris, when they crash landed her plane “The American Girl.” They brought the plane down on the crest of a wave near an oil tanker. It was an hour before the

tanker could pick them up. The daring feat, though unsuccessful, sent her to Hollywood and thrust her into the national spotlight, bringing her an estimated $250,000 from personal appearances and movies, in just a few years. Elder tried movies, writing, and later worked for an advertising business. The attention also brought turbulence to her personal life. She suffered numerous setbacks and six ill-fated marriages and she soon withdrew from public life. At one point she chose to sever all connection with her glamorous past, dropping her given name and adopting that of a favorite aunt, Susan. She died Oct. 9, 1977, in San Francisco. Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County

CONGRATULATIONS

to the City of Anniston for 125 years of growth from Stringfellow Memorial Hospital Where Everyone Comes 1st or the past 70 years, Stringfellow Memorial Hospital has Fof Anniston. been a vital part of the progress and growth of the city Beginning as a small tuberculosis hospital in 1938, we have grown into a fully accredited general acute care facility, compassionately serving the healthcare needs of our community. We are still building and growing to better serve you. We are proud of the part Stringfellow Memorial Hospital plays in serving the residents of our community and join with the citizens of Anniston in the celebration of 125 years.

301 East 18th Street • Anniston, AL (256) 235-8900 • www.SMHhealth.com


July 15, 1965

Oct. 26, 1969

Willie Brewster, a pipe shop employee and a 38-year-old father of two, was shot while driving home at night. A collection drums up a $20,000 reward, publicly pledged by more than 250 leading residents, for the capture of Brewster’s assailant. The crime becomes murder when Brewster dies July 18.

Anniston’s first TV station, WHMA, signs on at noon with a half-hour test pattern, followed by an AFL double-header — Jets-Patriots, Raiders-Chargers — and the Halloween special, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

1965

1969

CAMP SHIPP SOLDIERS, 1898, IN A PARADE IN FRONT OF THE ANNISTON INN

Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County

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Dawson Anniston Council Ward 4 A Native Annistonian...

David was born and raised in Anniston. He graduated from Wellborn High School and went on to pursue degrees from JSU and UAB. David and his wife, Carol, have two daughters; Taylor and Sarah. David is a member of Anniston Pathology.

Extensive Community Involvement... - Planning Commission, Chairman 24 years - Calhoun County Coronerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office - Founding Member of the Berman Trust Foundation - South Trust/Wachovia Bank Board of Directors - Member of Parker Memorial Church

- Gamecock Athletic Club Board Member - Cerebral Palsy Chairman; VIP Fund Raising - Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce - JSU Alumni Association - UAB Alumni Association - Alpha Tau Omega - Fraternity

Positive Ideas...

- Respect for and use of proper political decorum among council persons, mayor and staff - Capitalize on the positives; work to minimize the negatives - Encourage trust among racial lines - Quarterly Citizen Ward meetings and listening sessions - Strengthen downtown business core while developing McClellan, the Eastern Parkway and South Quintard - Be aggressive with business tax abatements, and in-kind assistance from the City; Provide incentives when possible - Offer the same incentive packages to existing businesses with expansion ideas Include perks for job retention and development of city workforce and staff - Conduct open meeting with respect and proper decorum adhering to Roberts Rules of Order - Explore options for our current school system to ensure the students are receiving the best possible education and citizenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tax dollars are being used in the best possible manner - Explore recycling option with garbage contract - Remember and learn from our past successes and failures - Explore new ways to do things to better our city - Revitalize the Model City mantra as we move forward

Please vote David Dawson Anniston City Council Ward 4 on August 26th. www.mdaviddawson.com Paid for by Committee to Elect Dawson PO Box 1163 Anniston, AL 36202


Aug. 30, 1970 Dedication and open house for the radically new Anniston High School is held. Teachers who had students for a half-day orientation session Aug. 27 said they were not distracted by other people’s voices in the wall-less classroom spaces.

1970 ▼

File/The Anniston Star

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“Proudly serving Calhoun County and its Cities and Towns.”

P.O. Box 1087 • 1330 Quintard Ave. • Anniston, AL 36201 www.calhounchamber.com 256.237.3536 • 1.800.489.1087


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celebrating 125 years: the anniversary project July 27

1870s/1880s-1928, founding to year before Great Depression

Aug. 3

Aug. 10

1929-1970, Depression through World War II, Cold War and Civil Rights era

1971-present, New South and transition

Aug. 17 The future ◆ Aug. 18 Then and Now — a photo album

Give yourself, or someone you love, an anniversary present. Special Offer 1 PROJECT: SECTION Depression THE ANNIVERSARY founding until Great on’s

1870s-1928, Annist

CAN WE BUILD

MODEL CIT Y?

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The 125th Anniversary Package

ION 2 PROJECT: SECT era War and Civil Rights THE ANNIVERSARY h World War II, Cold sion throug

1929-1970, Depres

Don’t miss the opportunity to receive all five sections packaged together in one commemorative bundle. Available August 18 for $7. Mailed copies are $10.

BUILDING UPON

MODEL

THE

To request copies of any of the anniversary sections, please contact The Star’s Circulation Department.

235-9253 or 1-866-814-9253 27, ◆ Sunday, July

2008 3, ◆ Sunday, August

2008

Building upon the model (1929-1970)  

Building upon the model (1929-1970)

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