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Look Back … to a handful of television sets available in 1946

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In the depths of the Great Depression, Anniston's public schools were running out of money. Even as little as people were driving, a city gasoline tax was proposed as a way to keep the schools open for the rest of the year. 

Nov. 24, 1946, in The Star: Americans on Thursday will sit down to one of the most expensive Thanksgiving Day dinners on record. A coast-to-coast survey of nine major cities showed today that it would cost the average family of four about $8.50 for a bountiful spread of turkey and trimmings this year, or about a dollar more than last year’s. The cost of dinner for four — that’s with a 10-pound turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie, coffee and mixed nuts — ranged from $9.51 in New York to $7.61 in Atlanta. Other cities’ survey amounts include Dallas, $9.42; Denver, $8.94; and Omaha, $8.41. Also this date: Speaking of prices, folks willing to pay the price of a new car might be able to get their hands on a television set for Christmas. According to a wire story, one of the cheapest TVs costs $280 and boasts a picture screen only 4 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches. Reception on these small sets is essentially a novelty, the article states. At the other end of the spectrum, a TV set requiring custom installation boasts a 16-by-21-inch screen for $2,750. A model by a different maker for the same price includes a similarly “large” screen with also AM-FM radio, short wave and a phonograph with a record changer. Of course, the usefulness of any of these models depends on whether the buyer lives close enough to a broadcasting station. But if you do, step right up and try to snag one of the 25,000 models expected to be manufactured this year.  

Nov. 24, 1996, in The Star: Crimson Tide quarterback Freddie Kitchens, maligned as a liability in Alabama’s offense, passed his team to a 74-yard drive in the final two minutes of yesterday’s Iron Bowl to achieve a dramatic victory. This was after Auburn scored 23 unanswered points to rally from a 17-0 hole after the first quarter. And as if that weren’t all enough for Bama fans on the verge of a collective heart attack, coach Gene Stallings announced his resignation after the game. Stallings, 61, who once played for Bear Bryant at Texas A&M, has coached at Alabama since 1990, leading the team to an undefeated season and a national championship in 1992-93. With its win in Birmingham over Auburn, Alabama (9-2, 6-2 SEC) wrapped up an SEC West Division title and a berth in the league championship game Dec. 7 in Atlanta.