Oct. 23, 1944, in The Star: By noon today about half the patient population of Garner Hospital had been transferred the five blocks or so to Anniston Memorial Hospital, marking the first day of service for the new institution. The need for a better hospital in Anniston had long been acknowledged, consequently, there were no sentimental tears being shed for old Garner Hospital, which had opened as a municipal hospital in 1930. One of the first new patients at Memorial Hospital was an Oxford schoolboy, 13-year-old Earl Hooper, who had fallen out of a tree. He broke his leg and needed traction to heal.

Also this date: The terrific blasting of some of the Army’s deadliest weapons — ranging from the giant 105 mm howitzer to the famed bazooka — will be heard throughout Anniston on Oct. 25 as the Army Firepower Caravan is presented as a free show for the public at Anniston Memorial Stadium. Highly trained soldiers will actually fire the aforementioned weapons, as well as flame throwers, Garand rifles and white phosphorous grenades, turning Memorial Stadium into a mock battlefield.

Oct. 23, 1994, in The Star: Persistent thunderstorms and rain yesterday washed out a hot air balloon competition that had been scheduled to take place at Anniston Metropolitan Airport. It wasn’t the only event affected by the weather. A country music concert connected to the balloon race was delayed 90 minutes by the weather, while over in Tuscaloosa, torrential rain and lightning midway through the first half sent Alabama and Ole Miss teams off the field and many of their fans out of the stands. Game officials delayed play for 26 minutes. 

Also this date: The Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate Golf Tournament will be held tomorrow and the next day at Shoal Creek Country Club in Birmingham. Organized by Pate’s own Alabama Golf Charities, the tournament brings together top college golfers to play for charitable causes. (Pate, a golfer with Anniston childhood roots who won the U.S. Open and the Masters in 1975, founded Alabama Golf Charities three years ago.) Among the field this year is expected to be a Stanford freshman named Tiger Woods, who made history this past summer as the youngest player to win the U.S. Amateur title.

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