50 years ago this week

• Lance Cpl. Arthur C. Smith of Fayette was missing when his squad was virtually wiped out at Khe Sanh in Vietnam. Of 12 men, nine were killed, one wounded and the other two, including Smith, were missing.

• The Ritz Theater, Livingston’s only movie theater, was destroyed by fire.

• Deaths this week included Dr. Bernard Cosman, 36, associate professor of political science at the University of Alabama and research associate in the Bureau of Public Administration.

• A portrait of Gov. Lurleen B. Wallace was to be placed in the newly remodeled entrance hall at Tuscaloosa County High School — a gift from Alabama’s first female governor to her alma mater.

• The Tuscaloosa High School class of 1928 met at Fosters to reminisce about their high school years at the farm of class member Tuscaloosa County Circuit Judge Henry H. Mize. Mize owned the old James Luther Foster farm. The old house was built in 1830. The class of 1928 was one of the first to graduate from what was then the new Tuscaloosa High. The building later became Tuscaloosa Junior High School.

• Hayden Riley was named assistant athletic director at the University of Alabama by athletic director Paul W. “Bear” Bryant.

• Dan Pitts became head coach at Tuscaloosa County High School.

• The University of Alabama’s first official women’s dormitory, Tutwiler Hall, was demolished to make room for a new administration building. The dormitory was built in 1914. The building served as the University’s official recognition of the work of Julia Strudwick Tutwiler — social reformer and educator.

25 years ago this week

• University of Alabama senior gymnast Dana Dobransky successfully defended her balance beam title in the NCAA championships by scoring a perfect 10.

• The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department was nominated for top honors in the 1993 Best Dressed Police Department Competition, sponsored annually by the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors.

• University of Alabama football coach Gene Stallings and his wife, Ruth Ann Stallings, were inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa on The Mound. The organization is one of three prestigious honorary societies which induct students who have attained high standards in all phases of campus life and some faculty, staff and alumni.

• Northport city officials appointed a committee to begin negotiations with property owners on the cost of acquiring the land needed to build a flood control levee.

• Former University of Alabama and Green Bay Packer quarterback Bart Starr sidestepped queries about his political aspirations. Starr had been frequently mentioned as a possible candidate in the Republican gubernatorial primary in 1994.

• Scientists said the remains of a prehistoric oceanic lizard were preserved for 60 million years in the Eutaw clay before being discovered by fishermen along the banks of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. University of Alabama paleontologists identified the 20-foot-long animal as a mosasaur, a giant swimming lizard similar in appearance to a Komodo dragon that inhabited the seas of this area 80 million years ago.

• Tuscaloosa Sen. Ryan deGraffenried became the president of the state senate in the wake of the felony conviction and removal from office of Gov. Guy Hunt.

10 years ago this week

• Deaths this week included Joe Mallisham, 70, a pioneering civil rights leader and former Tuscaloosa County commissioner.

• After less than a month of paid suspension, outspoken Stillman College professor Ekow Hayford was dismissed by the college. Hayford had been a professor at Stillman for 27 years.

• One student was hospitalized and several others got sick from drinking too many energy drinks during American Christian Academy’s annual prom trip to The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort in Point Clear.

• Majorettes were being phased out at Tuscaloosa County High SchooI. In 2008 only two majorettes would take the field when the marching band performed at halftime at football games. In 2009, they would no longer be part of the halftime performance at all. Critics said majorettes are simply out of fashion.

• Hillcrest High School senior Whit Wright attended the school’s 2008 prom with country music singer Taylor Swift. Wright and Swift were participating in the television show “Once Upon a Prom.”

• The Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center would open a specialized psychological program for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and mild to moderate traumatic brain injury.

• The 2008 Tuscaloosa County Civic Hall of Fame honorees were Josephine Davis, Myrtle Gray, Sarah Rodgers, E. Roger Sayers, J. Paul Singleton and Terry H. Waters.

• The University of Alabama golf team swept the 2008 Southeastern Conference Championships, winning both the team championship and the individual championship. Michael Thompson shot 65 to finish the tournament 8-under and capture the individual championship.

Five years ago this week

• The Tuscaloosa Planning and Zoning Commission approved the multi-use development at the corner of University Boulevard and 28th Avenue to be called “2700 Capitol Park.” The city council still had to vote on the plan.

• Northport City Council officials approved annexing two parcels of land that would be developed into almost 300 new residences off Mitt Lary Road. One was to be named Bristol Park and the second Lindsay Place.

• University of Alabama football players visited the White House, marking the school’s third visit to the nation’s capitol in four years. President Barack Obama welcomed more than 150 Alabama players, coaches and support staff members just one hour before the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.

• The Tuscaloosa County Board of Education chose Elizabeth Swinford as its new superintendent.

• Mercedes-Benz U.S. International in Vance was named the Alabama Manufacturer of the Year for the state’s largest manufacturers.

• Lance Tucker had a change of heart after agreeing to coach at Winfield and decided to remain as head football coach at Fayette County High School.

One year ago this week

• Two women, Liz Whipple and Shelly Darling, were found dead in Lake Tuscaloosa. Preliminary autopsy findings indicated that the women were electrocuted.

• The Tuscaloosa City Council stood poised to enact the first citywide impact fees for certain developments. The fees are commonly imposed on new developments to offset the burden they create on existing city resources.

• The city of Northport sought a $9 million loan from the state to pay for upgrades to their water and sewer systems.

• Cynthia Almond was selected to succeed Harrison Taylor as president pro tempore of the Tuscaloosa City Council.

• Dr. Gaylon McCullough and Susan McCullough funded a $5 million gift that would establish the Dr. E. Gaylon McCollough Institute for Pre-Medical Scholars and the Susan N. McCollough Art Biennale at the University of Alabama. Both are UA alumni.

 

Compiled by retired News librarian Betty Slowe.