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Look Back ... to plans announced for a war memorial building


Local baseball boosters in 1916 said several hundred dollars had been raised of the $1,500 needed to finance an Anniston team in the Alabama-Georgia League, and they were hopeful a team would indeed be fielded this season, according to this Page 1 report.

Feb. 22, 1946, in The Star: Plans were finally announced today for the structure that will serve as a memorial to those who served and died in World War II. Recall that in the closing months of 1944, the plan was for a band shell in Zinn Park to face the hill as a type of natural amphitheater. Apparently that’s not happening now. Instead a public building will be constructed, with the appropriate names of servicemen and servicewomen to appear on large tablets that will be visible at the entrance at all times, regardless of the building’s opening hours. To be crafted as a modern structure in Zinn Park, the memorial building will be located near 14th Street facing on Gurnee Avenue. The interior space will consist of one large room, with a stage, that will seat about 300; behind the stage will be large doors that open out onto the hill behind the building, accented by a small porch. Two smaller rooms will serve the needs for small meetings and for the office of the city’s parks department. There will be extensive rest room facilities indoors to accommodate not just visitors to the building but the crowds of people who come to town from rural parts of the county on Fridays and Saturdays. Fifty thousand dollars has been raised for the memorial; of that, $15,000 will be allocated to the city’s black citizens for a memorial to black soldiers, which is to be constructed in the park on West 14th Street, likely near the swimming pool being built there. Also this date: Alabama Polytechnic Institute already has the largest enrollment of veterans of any college or university in the Southeast (1,626) and housing facilities of both the school and the town of Auburn have been stretched to the limit. “We are doing all that is humanly possible to provide living quarters for A. P. I. students,” said President L. N. Duncan. Additionally: Miss Elizabeth (Bette) Bryan Wilkinson, daughter of Mrs. Charles Allen Wilkinson of Anniston and Daytona Beach, Fla., and Andrew Joseph Saks, son of Mrs. Joseph Saks of Anniston, were united in marriage yesterday afternoon at the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Keith, former Annistonians, in Birmingham. The Methodist ceremony was attended only by members of the two families. The couple will live in Anniston. 

Feb. 22, 1996, in The Star: A heated disagreement over a ballot proposal on electing Oxford Board of Education members has caused a split among member of the Calhoun County legislative delegation. The bill would set up a referendum on whether the board members should be elected instead of appointed. Rep. Larry Sims, R-Eastaboga, first proposed last year letting Oxford residents vote on whether the city should have an elected school board, but his idea wasn’t supported by the entire Calhoun County delegation.