50 years ago this week

• Dr. Hugh Stegal, director of instruction for Tuscaloosa City Schools, reported an enrollment of 317 fewer students than were enrolled in the city schools at this time the previous year. He also explained that there are 389 fewer students enrolled in the black schools than the previous year.

• City commissioners passed a measure favoring an ordinance which would prohibit parachuting within the city limits.

• Dr. John F. Burnum was named acting director of medical education at Druid City Hospital.

• Earlie Rich was the new principal at Boteler High School.

• A groundbreaking was held to launch construction of a recreational camp for Partlow State School and Hospital patients. The Jaycees of Alabama spearheaded the project.

• Dr. Allan Watson, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, was invited to conduct the President’s worship service at the White House on Sept. 21.

• Maj. James A. Madison, a native of Fayette County, was decorated with the Silver Star for gallantry in Vietnam and was then training pilots who were headed for Vietnam duty.

• A new park facility was completed at The Tuscaloosa Jaycee Park to house restrooms and provide space for a fair manager’s office and a storage room.

25 years ago this week

• A private contractor would take over air traffic control duties at the Tuscaloosa Municipal Airport. Five federal Aviation Administration employees who staffed the tower would be reassigned or have the option of working with the new contractor.

• The Tuscaloosa Public Library unveiled six plaques in recognition of more than $500,000 in contributions to the library’s Book Fund Campaign.

• A near-capacity crowd at Bryant-Denny Stadium watched as Alabama struggled with Vanderbilt. The Crimson Tide avoided a major upset, scoring 10 points in the final seven minutes to win 17-7. Quarterback Jay Barker was sacked seven times.

• New Tuscaloosa City School Superintendent Robert Winter was working with veteran city educator Oscar Tucker who was acting as a consultant.

• Longtime Woodland Forrest Elementary School principal Shelley Jones received a fond and often emotional farewell as more than 300 students, parents and community leaders attended a reception in her honor at the school.

• DCH Healthcare Authority President Jim Ford announced his retirement.

10 years ago this week

• The city had plans to create a major link between its east and west sides by expanding a two-lane segment of Jack Warner Parkway and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard into a four-lane artery.

• University of Alabama trustees approved contract extension for Coach Nick Saban. Saban would make an extra $12.6 million if he remained the coach of the Crimson Tide football team through the end of 2017.

• The one millionth Mercedes-Benz, an M-Class, produced at the Mercedes-Benz International plant in Vance rolled off the line. The first vehicle rolled off the assembly line in in 1997, four years after the company selected Alabama for its first automotive facility in North America.

• The University of Alabama eclipsed its president’s enrollment goal of 28,000 this fall with 28,807 students taking courses.

• After some early mistakes, and with Julio Jones and Roy Upchurch knocked out of the game with injuries, No. 4 Alabama responded with 516 yards of offense to roll past Florida International 40-14.

• The First Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa voted to purchase the downtown YMCA Building.

Five years ago this week

• City officials revoked the business license of a store in Holt in which the owner was accused of operating an ongoing gambling operation.

• A Fayette man was charged with making terrorist threats against the Gordo High School football team after the Fayette County High School football team was defeated in Gordo 21-19.

• Bart Starr, who played for the University of Alabama from 1952 – 56 before being drafted by the Green Bay Packers, was recovering from a stroke.

• Deaths this week included Tuscaloosa business and civic leader Richard Ellis Sr. at 72.

• Katherine Poore and William Steward, both of Northridge High School, and Carly Bowles of Tuscaloosa County High were three of 16,000 students nationwide selected as semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

• University of Alabama trustees approved a deal to buy 118 acres of Partlow Developmental Center property in Tuscaloosa from the state Department of Mental Health for $32 million.

• The Crimson Tide football team rolled up 547 yards in its rout of the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, 52-12.

• Members celebrated the 125th anniversary of Kettledrum, Alabama’s oldest literary club. The club was started by 30 notable women of Tuscaloosa in 1889, including Ellen Bryce, wife of Dr. Peter Bryce.

One year ago this week

• Behind Tua Tagovailoa’s 228 passing yards and four touchdowns, Jalen Hurts’ 93 passing yards and two touchdowns, and 599 yards of total offense, No.1-ranked Alabama steamrolled past Arkansas State 57-7. Gene Stallings and members of Paul W. “Bear” Bryant’s 1958 team were honored before Alabama’s home opener.

• A snag developed between the Tuscaloosa City Council and developer Stan Pate over the possibility of City Hall purchasing the former McFarland Mall site. There was a wide discrepancy in the appraised values of the nearly 39-acre site at the corner of Skyland and McFarland boulevards.

• The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama would induct seven “civic giants” into the Civic Hall of Fame. Included were Bert Bank, Jordan Plaster, Gene “Poodgie” Poole, Malcolm Portera, Kenneth Ward Swindle, Harrison L. Taylor and Yvonne T. Wells.

• Tuscaloosa SAFE Center that would provide comprehensive care for sexual assault victims in Tuscaloosa and West Alabama was scheduled to open on Oct. 15.

• Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said she had no plans to debate her Democratic challenger, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, in spite of his repeated calls for a debate before the November election.

• The Northport City Council voted to dissolve an agreement with a developer that sought to purchase the Northport Civic Center, City Hall and Fire Station to build a retail center.


Compiled by retired News librarian Betty Slowe.