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Look Back ... to ideas for Johnston Elementary, 1996

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12July--vault1927

Taking aim against the Ku Klux Klan in the wake of yet another subhuman attack the group had carried out against another citizen, an Alabama Senate bill in 1927 would ban the wearing of masks in public for nefarious purposes of concealment.

July 12, 1946, in The Star: Featuring vocals by Anniston’s talented songstress Kitty Gulley, the rural tunes of 11-year-old guitarist Bobby Champion and the music of the 268th Army Ground Forces Band, the “Fort McClellan Melody Hour” will be presented Sunday, July 14, at the Monteith Amphitheater. Young Bobby has often played and sung for radio audiences over WHMA, while Miss Gulley is well known for singing to military audiences here. The general public is invited to attend Melody Hour. Also this date: Recently assured of another term in the U.S. Senate via the Democratic Party nomination process, Mississippi Sen. Theodore Bilbo congratulated himself in a stem-winder of a speech from a Jackson, Miss., city park. Speaking from a bunting-sheathed platform, Bilbo thumped the rostrum frequently as he unleashed a tirade of contempt for “the outsiders from up nawth” who wanted him ousted from his senatorial seat for his aggressive racism. A large audience from all sections of Mississippi, reaching the capital in cars, trucks, wagons and buggies, cheered lustily as Bilbo re-emphasized the white supremacy theme upon which he had based his campaign. He demanded that the Mississippi Legislature change state laws to prevent Black residents from voting and he praised the 1890 state constitution that already supports that goal: “If it was good in 1890, it is good today. And will be good for the next 100 years to come,” Bilbo thundered.

July 12, 1996, in The Star: A joint meeting yesterday between the Anniston City Council and the school board produced incremental progress toward considering what to do with the aging Johnston Elementary School — $1.7 million is the working estimate required for renovating it. However, if the campus were to serve multiple purposes, such as for the existing student body, an alternative school, a magnet school and administrative offices, it might be worth saving, as opposed to closing it. In fact, said school board member James Daniel, if any school is closed, it should be Tenth Street School, even though that’s the system’s most integrated and one of its highest-achieving elementary schools. Daniel said it would make sense to close it because of its smaller student population. Mayor David Dethrage objected strenuously to that idea, however.