A Chronology of
Americus and Sumter County, Georgia
1962 - 2006

Alan Anderson, compiler

June  1962  Forsyth's old viaduct made one-way west, Lamar's new
            viaduct one-way east
July  1962  Dr. Josephine Jordan Buchanan, Americus native, named
            "Physician of the Year for 1961" by President Kenne-
            dy's Committee on Employment of the Physically Handi-
Aug.  1962  radio station WISK began broadcasting at noon Aug. 28
Oct.  1962  Auburn University acquired 30,000-volume library of
            the late J.E.D. Shipp, of Americus 
Nov.  1962  AHS Panthers won Class A State Championship, defeat-
            ing Carrollton Trojans 14-6, Jimmy Hightower, coach
Feb.  1963  "T-R" publisher James R. Blair attended White House
            luncheon with President John F. Kennedy
Apr.  1963  Paul Anderson, the "World's Strongest Man," gave a 
            talk to Americus Kiwanis Club; Pres. Eisenhower's 
            H.E.W. secretary, Marion B. Folsom, and wife, visited
            her sisters in Americus, Mrs. Lee Hudson and Mrs. Sam 
June  1963  cornerstone ceremony for new sanctuary of Spring 
            Creek Baptist Church (northeast corner Spring Creek 
            Church Rd. and Lamar, or Lower River, Rd.)
July  1963  eleven blacks (Carol Barner, Annie Lou Ragans, Sandra
            Russell, Willie Mae Smith, Gloria Westbrooks, James A.
            Westbrooks, LuLu Westbrooks, et. al.) made first in-
            tegration attempt of public facilities at Martin The-
            ater, with follow-up boycott, the Sumter Movement
Aug.  1963  about 250 blacks arrested during civil rights demon-
            strations headquartered at Allen Chapel A.M.E.
Sept. 1963  destruction begun of most historic residence in Amer-
            icus, the W.A. Hawkins-Howell Cobb-S.H. Hawkins-W.S. 
            Prather home, Federal headquarters during Reconstruc-
            tion (northeast corner, College and Lee); dedication
            of St. Martin de Porres Catholic Chapel, for blacks,
            Benjamin Ritzert, of Savannah, architect, Paul Bush,
            builder (southeast corner Maxwell and Vista), replac-
            ing St. Jerome's, a victim of urban renewal
Oct.  1963  Lambda Enterprises organized by James Paschal, Albert
            Battle, Lewis Lowe, Otis Carter, Daniel DeLoatch, 
            R.L. Freeman and Beatrice DeLoatch, a black chartered
            industrial development corporation, possibly the 
            first in Georgia
Nov.  1963  federal district court panel meeting in Americus de-
            clared unconstitutional arrest of civil rights demon-
            strators on insurrection and unlawful assembly char-
            ges (Solicitor Gen. Stephen Pace, Jr. dropped remain-
            ing cases Dec. 1964)
Dec.  1963  official opening of Magnolia Manor, Gov. Carl Sanders 
            keynote speaker (west side S. Lee St. Road at city 
            limits); West Central Georgia Area Planning and Dev-
            elopment Commission (now Middle Flint APDC) formally
            organized, Jimmy Carter first chairman
Jan.  1964  fire destroyed Americus High School; dedication of 
            new Assembly of God sanctuary, Rev. Leroy Sanders, 
            pastor (east side Tripp south of Furlow)
Mar.  1964  Board of Regents approved Georgia Southwestern Col-
            lege becoming a four-year, degree-granting institu-
May   1964  Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace, presidential candi-
            date, spoke at Americus Country Club
July  1964  Georgia Court of Appeals overturned convictions of
            civil rights demonstrators since blacks were system-
            atically excluded from the jury pool; fifteen white
            teenagers sentenced in Recorder's Court for terroriz-
            ing Northside public housing project
Aug.  1964  South Georgia Methodist Nursing Center opened at Mag-
            nolia Manor; Americus High School racially integrated
            for the first time ever in its 84-year history, with
            four black students, David Bell, Jr., Robertiena
            Freeman, Dobbs Wiggins and Minnie Wise
Sept. 1964  Cherokee Elementary School opened, Don Hagler, prin-
            cipal (east side Cherokee south of Hanson); Sumter
            Players organized, Dr. T. Schley Gatewood, president,
            Mrs. James H. Hawkins, vice-president, Miss Laurie
            Hargrove, secretary, Arthur Cheokas, treasurer, with
            name chosen by Mrs. Richard A. Snyder in a contest
Oct.  1964  Sam M. Weston, Cotton Ave. tailor, first black to run
            for public office in history of Sumter County, in
            Democratic primary for Americus city council; U.S. 
            Agriculture Secretary Orville Freeman spoke at Demo-
            cratic rally at the ballpark; Bobby Hooks, Americus 
            native, named to Georgia Athletic Hall of Fame 
Nov.  1964  Mrs. Janet S. Merritt elected state representative, 
            the first woman in history from Sumter County 
Dec.  1964  organization of Morningside Methodist Church, Homer 
            Grimes, pastor (formalized Sept. 1965) 
Feb.  1965  dedication of new Cheek Memorial Baptist Church sanc-
            tuary, Rev. James E. Keen, pastor (intersection Ga. 
            49 and Middle River Rd.); Americus Merchants Associ-
            ation organized, Emory Parker, president, Elsom Sum-
            ner, vice-president, Fred Frick, secretary-treasurer
Mar.  1965  "Sumter Players" incorporated, T. Schley Gatewood, 
            Mary Ellen Hawkins, Arthur A. Cheokas, petitioners
June  1965  announcement of $178,000 donation to Andersonville 
            Methodist Church by New Jersey resident, Robert B. 
            Brown, who had been impressed by the congregation's 
            welcome during a one-time visit years earlier
July  1965  Mary Kate Fish Bell, Mamie Campbell, Lena Turner and
            Gloria Wise freed from jail by federal judge after
            having been arrested for integrating a voting line; 
            Andy Whatley, white, murdered by Charlie Lee Hopkins 
            the shooter, with Willie James Lamar, both black, in 
            drive-by shooting during counter demonstrations at 
            and near by the courthouse
Aug.  1965  leaders of First Baptist (H.K. Henderson, et.al.)
            and First United Methodist (W.D. White, et.al.)
            prevented entry into their respective churches by
            civil rights demonstrators (including now U.S. Con-
            gressman John Lewis); comedian and civil rights ac-
            tivist Dick Gregory led voter registration drive at
            courthouse; 600 Ku Klux Klanspeople marched through 
            downtown Americus, led by Lester Maddux; more black 
            demonstrators arrested during marches; 500 attended 
            Ku Klux Klan rally at fairgrounds
Sept. 1965  Americus police chief Ross M. Chambliss hired the 
            department's first-ever black officers, J.W. "Sport" 
            Jones and Henry L. "Spann" Williams; prominent attor-
            ney Warren Fortson and family left Americus after 
            harassment for advocating biracial talks
Oct.  1965  local civil rights demonstrators arrested for boy-
            cotting segregated A.S. Staley High School; Dr. Lloyd
            A. Moll, former GSW president, and family left Ameri-
            cus after harassment for advocating racial concilia-
Nov.  1965  Paul Anderson, "The World's Strongest Man," spoke at
            Lee Street Methodist Church; U.S. District Court 
            Judge J. Robert Elliott overruled civil rights dem-
            onstrators' suit against Americus and Sumter County
            law enforcement officials; former Gov. Ernest Vandiver
            spoke at Americus Rotary Club
Dec.  1965  AHS Panthers won state Class A football championship
            defeating Commerce Tigers 14-0, Jimmy Hightower, 
Feb.  1966  Robert Penn Warren, Pulitzer Prize winning poet and
            novelist, spoke at GSW; U.S. District Court Judge
            W.A. Bootle ruled valid J.W. Southwell's J.P. elec-
            tion; Specialist Fourth Class Sheppard Robinson, Jr.,
            black, age 25, first Sumter Countian killed in Viet-
            nam War
Mar.  1966  Charlie Lee Hopkins sentenced to life imprisonment in 
            Andy Whatley murder case; Willie James Lamar pled 
            guilty and sentenced to five years; State Sen. Jimmy 
            Carter announced for Bo Callaway's congressional seat; 
            AHS Pantherettes won State Class A basketball 
            championship, defeating Cochran 62-56, Melvin Kinslow, 
            coach (first girls team in AHS history to do so)
Apr.  1966  Matthew Kennedy, Americus native, directed Fisk Sing-
            ers in ABC's DuPont show, "This Proud Land"; Joanna
            Moore appeared at Miss Americus pageant
May   1966  KKK rally at courthouse attended by 400 
June  1966  Southland Academy chartered by Troy E. Morris, Dr. 
            Harvey L. Simpson, Jr., W. Tinley Anderson, Jr. and 
            Henry L. Crisp, for whites only; Ms. Teresa Mansfield 
            of Americus, became the first black student enrolled  
            at Georgia Southwestern College in its 59-year his-
            tory; State Sen. Jimmy Carter announced for Democra-
            tic gubernatorial nomination, abandoning congression-
            al race; AHS Panthers won third straight State Class
            A baseball championship, defeating N. Cobb 6-0, Mel-
            vin Kinslow, coach; Sumter County's first Headstart 
            Program begun, Willie Pearl Fuse, director
Aug.  1966  Capt. May Jennings O'Hara, of Americus, dietician to
            NASA's astronauts, on CBS' "To Tell the Truth"
Oct.  1966  Americus High School opened in its third building, on 
            the site of its earlier destruction
Nov.  1966  Roy Orbison played at AHS gym in Americus Jaycees 
Dec.  1966  state revenue commissioner Hiram K. Undercofler, of
            Americus, sworn in as associate justice of Georgia
            Supreme Court; Mrs. Betty Anderson, of Vienna Rd.,
            first woman to serve on Sumter Superior Court jury
Jan.  1967  Americus native John H. Gray, Shelton, Wash. post-
            master, presented tree grown from original Washington
            Elm, under which George Washington, in 1775, took
            command of Continental Army in Cambridge, Mass., for
            planting on Sumter County courthouse lawn
Mar.  1967  Union High Yellow Jackets won State Class C basket-
            ball championship, defeating Greenville 58-48, Ben
            Strickland, coach
Apr.  1967  U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out J.W.
            Southwell's election as 789th G.M.D. Justice of the
            Peace in July 1965 and ordered a new one (J.W. South-
            well defeated Mary F. Bell 2,184 to 538 in rematch
            June 1967)
May   1967  Gov. Lester Maddox spoke at dedication ceremonies for
            several new GSW buildings
Sept. 1967  A.S. Staley reopened as high school after ten years
            as a junior high, Daniel L. DeLoatch, principal; 
            Southland Academy opened in former Anthony High 
            School (northwest corner Anthony and Edgewood), Mur-
            phy McManus, headmaster; "T-R" began weekly "NEWS OF 
            LOCAL NEGRO COMMUNITY" column, Mrs. Ann Witcher, edi-
            tor (discontinued May 1971); Americus chapter, Alco-
            holics Anonymous organized at Calvary Episcopal Church
Oct.  1967  Americus Christian Church held its initial service at
            old New Point Church on Plains Rd., Rev. Scott Calla-
            han, pastor
Dec.  1967  dedication of St. John's Masonic Lodge No. 17 (west
            side Bumphead between Gordon and Sunset Park)
Mar.  1968  Americus City Council's proposed removal of graves at
            pioneer cemetery (northeast corner Forsyth and 
            Prince) to Oak Grove and replacement with new city
            hall, provoked firestorm of criticism and culminated
            in Federated Garden Club's establishment of Founders'
            Memorial Park
Apr.  1968  Thomas Blount and Eddie J. McGrady became first 
            blacks appointed to Americus City School Board in its
            95-year history
Sept  1968  Trinity Baptist Church organized, Rev. Woodrow C. Da-
            vis, pastor (north side Felder between Furlow and 
Dec.  1968  Georgia Southwestern accredited as four-year college, 
            Dr. William B. King, president; Kappa Sigma first 
            national fraternity at GSW; Leslie's Union High
            School first in Georgia to give driver education to
            special education students
Jan.  1969  radio commentator Paul Harvey gave speech at Chamber 
            of Commerce dinner; O.A. Williams, Jr., chairman, 
            Ross Parker, James T. West, Jr., Dr. T. Schley Gate-
            wood, Doug Carreker, Mrs. William Harper became first 
            elected Sumter County School Board
Feb.  1969  fire destroyed antebellum Dr. R.C. Black home in 
            Brooklyn Heights (southwest corner McGarrah and Park
Apr.  1969  formal dedication of Seventh Day Adventist Church
            sanctuary, Rev. Bill Guth, pastor (northeast corner
            S. Lee St. Rd. and Murphy's Mill Rd.); Four Seasons 
            gave concert at GSW
May   1969  Pi Kappa Phi fraternity chartered at GSW
June  1969  AHS Panthers won Class A state baseball championship,
            Loveard McMichael, coach, Melvin Kinslow, head coach,
            defeating Toccoa Purple Hurricanes 4-0; RA5C Vigilante
            reconnaissance plane from Albany's Naval Air Station 
            crashed 2 1/2 miles west of Leslie at Hwy. 118 (both
            pilots safely ejected)
Aug.  1969  dedication ceremony of Americus Holiness Deliverance 
            Gospel Tent, Rev. Aaron Snipes, Sr., pastor; inter-
            racial Koinonia group refused entry at First United 
            Methodist Church, with Rev. W.R. Key publicly expres-
            sing regret; Americus City School Board named new 
            elementary school for Miss Sarah Pope Cobb, longtime
            principal at Furlow Grammar School
Oct.  1969  Federal Building formally dedicated (northwest corner 
            Forsyth and Prince), having opened June 16th
Dec.  1969  fire and explosions destroyed 1938 Community Center
Jan.  1970  CBS newsman Roger Mudd spoke at GSW lyceum
Apr.  1970  registration and construction begun for Brooklyn 
            Heights Christian Elementary School, Miss Earline 
            Buchanan, principal (southeast corner Armory and 
June  1970  AHS Panthers won Class A state baseball championship,
            with a 22-0 season record, Loveard McMichael, coach, 
            defeating Monroe Area High School Purple Hurricanes 
Aug.  1970  fire destroyed auditorium of A.S. Staley Junior High 
            School (now A.S. Staley Middle School)
Nov.  1970  Plains' native son, Jimmy Carter, first Sumter Coun-
            tian elected Governor of Georgia
Dec.  1970  groundbreaking ceremony for Eastview Apartments, John
            W. Sandeford, of Augusta, architect, Warren Scott, 
            contractor; tornado struck just north of Sumter City,
            destroying six tenement houses but no fatalities; GSW
            chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity formally installed;
            Lee Street United Methodist Church first-ever to join
            the Chamber of Commerce
Jan.  1971  Jimmy Carter sworn in as Georgia's 76th governor; 
            Gov. Jimmy Carter formally dedicated Lt. Col. T.C.
            Tillman, Jr. National Guard Armory (northwest corner
            Adderton and Armory)
Feb.  1971  Marshall Frady's "Look Magazine" article, "Discover-
            ing One Another In a Georgia Town," depicted rela-
            tively successful school integration, but unflatter-
            ing description of Americus upset many
Mar.  1971  first-ever local telecast on cable television channel; 
            Gov. Jimmy Carter formally dedicated new auditorium 
            for Southwest Georgia Experiment Station near Plains
Apr.  1971  tornado destroyed Carl Veatch home, eight miles east
            of Americus, but entire family spared
May   1971  Americus' last scheduled passenger train, the "City 
            of Miami," pulled out, ending an era begun in 1854; 
            half of Sumter County's students boycotted attendance
            protesting private school advocates on school board;
            Calvary Baptist Church of Leslie formally constituted
July  1971  Andersonville National Cemetery, under U.S. Army, be-
            came Andersonville National Historic Site, under U.S.
            Interior Department; Paul Anderson, "World's Strong-
            est Man," spoke at Leslie United Methodist Church 
            youth revival; Americus Mayor J. Frank Myers appoint-
            ed Human Relations Committee with John Davis, B.R.B. 
            Davis, Mrs. Russell Thomas, Jr., Homer T. Warren, 
            Tommy Hooks III*, Mrs. Langdon Sheffield, white, and 
            Mrs. Lucile Tyson, Mrs. Thelma Barnum, James Bryant, 
            Rev. E.D. Sims, John Harris, Arthur Pless, black 
            (*immediately resigned due to unforseen business de-
Aug.  1971  Mr. and Mrs. Dave Farris bought first home in new
            Brookdale subdivision, J.W.C. Horne, Jr., developer;
            first junior high special education class started at
            A.S. Staley
Jan.  1972  fire destroyed remaining portion of 1937 A.S. Staley 
            High School building
Mar.  1972  major controversy erupted over firing of county 
            school superintendent Joe Wilson, with student walk-
            outs and demonstrations; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
            chapter organized at GSW, Mrs. Willie Pearl Fuse, 
Apr.  1972  Gov. Jimmy Carter joined 40 Sumter County litigants
            in federal court to recall school board members
May   1972  groundbreaking ceremony for Africana Village subdivi-
            sion in Plains; Sumter County Historical Society org-
            anized, Dr. Gatewood Dudley, chmn., Mrs. Robert Hod-
            ges, vice chmn., Lanier Oxford, secretary, Charles
            Crisp, treasurer; grandopening of Barnum Heights sub-
            division, L.C. Hicks, developer
June  1972  dedication of Americus Institute historic marker at
            A.S. Staley; Federal Judge J. Robert Elliott dismis-
            sed suit re county school board (appeal followed in
            July but ultimately dismissed by Judge Wilbur D. 
            Owens May 1974)
July  1972  Kingstowne Apts. under construction; Janis Beverly,
            of Americus, won women's barebow National Field Ar-
            chery championship (also 1973 and 1974)
Aug.  1972  Willie L. Paschal became first black principal of a 
            formerly all-white school in Americus, Furlow Gram-
Oct.  1972  W.T. Anderson Gym at South Georgia Tech totally de-
            stroyed by fire
Nov.  1972  groundbreaking ceremony for Souther Field Rd. indus-
            trial tract; school consolidation constitutional 
            amendment defeated by city and county voters
Dec.  1972  Henry Jackson first black ever elected to Plains city
            council in its 86-year history
Feb.  1973  demolition of Mitchell Hotel and Central of Georgia
            passenger depot
Mar.  1973  Air South, Inc. began regularly scheduled Americus-
            Atlanta flights (discontinued June 1974)
Apr.  1973  Americus Utility Comm. installed Victorian-style gas
            lamps on S. Lee St. bridge; Paul Anderson, "World's
            Strongest Man," spoke at Americus Rotary Club; Ladies
            Auxiliary, Southwestern Circuit Bar Assn., installed
            Victorian courthouse bell on present courthouse lawn;
            voters approved popular election of county school 
            board, first time ever in its 101-year history
May   1973  Fellowship Baptist Church constituted, Dr. Joe Holli-
            day, pastor (north side Tommy Hooks Rd. east of S. 
            Lee St. Road); United Holiness Church chartered, Rev.
            Aaron Snipes, Sr., pastor
Oct.  1973  Terrell Hall, last original GSW structure, razed for
            parking lot; Dr. Lewis Larson, West Georgia College
            anthropologist, excavated original stockade line at
            Andersonville, John Jensen, superintendent; actor 
            Jimmy Stewart and wife ate at Carter's Fried Chicken
            on Tripp enroute to Sea Island golf course
Feb.  1974  Dr. Norman Vincent Peale featured speaker at Chamber
            of Commerce dinner
Mar.  1974  rash of nude streakers at GSW, including one on motor-
Apr.  1974  Tatum O'Neal, daughter of Americus native Joanna Cook
            Moore, won best supporting actress Oscar for "Paper
May   1974  State Rep. Julian Bond spoke at GSW
June  1974  Americus' first condominiums sold, Country Club Es-
            tates, Paul Bush, developer
July  1974  train depot moved from Mauk, Ga. to Andersonville
Aug.  1974  Windsor Hotel closed after 82 years of operation;
            Americus Housing Authority named "Leila Barlow Apart-
            ments" across from Staley
Sept  1974  Thomas O. Marshall, Jr., of Americus, elected to 
            Georgia State Court of Appeals
Oct.  1974  Jaqueline "Jackie" Miller first woman to ever run for 
            Americus city council in its 118-year history
Dec.  1974  Gov. Jimmy Carter formally entered presidential race;
            AHS Panthers won Class AA state championship, defeat-
            ing West Rome 6-3, Alton Shell, coach
Jan.  1975  Inspirational Church by Faith founded, Elder John T. 
            Taylor, pastor (south side Adderton between Lafay-
            ette and Magnolia); Wesley and Angie Kaylor, of near
            Leslie, named outstanding young farm family in the
            nation by American Farm Bureau Federation; 1 1/2 ton
            bell from Victorian courthouse placed at Founder's
            Memorial Cemetery
Feb.  1975  Atlanta's Mattiwilda Dobbs, internationally renowned 
            soprano, sang at GSW Black History Week ceremonies
Mar.  1975  Johnny Cash and wife, June Carter, visited Plains
May   1975  St. James Pennington Episcopal Church relocated to
            former site of Andersonville Primitive Baptist Church
June  1975  Americus Lodge No. 2535, Benevolent and Protective
            Order of Elks, chartered, Ray Schell, Exalted Ruler,
            replacing defunct Lodge No. 752
Sept  1975  formal dedication of Finklea-Robinson Stadium, (north-
            east corner, Glessner and Oak)
Nov.  1975  Fred D. Harrold, Americus native, inducted into Mor-
            ris Brown College Athletic Hall of Fame
Dec.  1975  Lewis Melvin Lowe became first black to be elected to 
            Americus City Council; National Sports News Service 
            ranked AHS Panthers second in the nation after two 
            successive state AA championships, Alton Shell, coach
Jan.  1976  formal dedication of Victorian courthouse bell at
            Founders Memorial
Feb.  1976  Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. featured speaker at GSW
            for Black History Week; Americus Historic District
            placed on National Register of Historic Places; act-
            ress Lynda Carter appeared at Martin Theater to pro- 
            mote a movie
Mar.  1976  dedication ceremony for Lake Blackshear Regional Lib-
            rary, Gov. Jimmy Carter, keynote speaker (south side 
            Lamar between Hinkle and Oliver)
May   1976  formal unveiling of Georgia Prisoner of War Memorial
            at Andersonville National Cemetery, William Thompson,
July  1976  actor Gary Merrill visited the Leonard Waitsmans
Sept. 1976  Habitat for Humanity International started by Millard 
            Fuller at Koinonia Farms, after returning from Africa
Oct.  1976  formal dedication of restored St. James Pennington
            Episcopal Church in Andersonville
Nov.  1976  television personalities Mike Douglas and Barbara 
            Walters interviewed Jimmy Carter in Plains
Dec.  1976  Americus native, Griffin Boyette Bell, appointed U.S.
            Attorney-General; Ga. Sheriff's Training Academy's
            first graduating class included Sheriff-elect Randy
            Howard of Sumter County
Jan.  1977  James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr., of Plains, became 
            President of the United States, the first native 
            Georgian so honored
Mar.  1977  Habitat for Humanity International formally incorpor-
            ated under Georgia state laws
May   1977  Larry Comer of Americus, Metalux founder, named Na-
            tional Small Business Person of the Year, with cere-
            mony in White House Rose Garden hosted by President
            Jimmy Carter
July  1977  Maranatha Baptist Church constituted at Plains after
            racial integration split at Plains Baptist, Rev. Dan
            Ariail, pastor; Thomas O. Marshall, Jr., of Americus,
            sworn in as associate justice, Georgia Supreme Court
Aug.  1977  formal dedication of United Holiness Church sanctuary
            (southeast corner Hale and Johansen), Evangelist 
            Aaron Snipes, pastor
Sept. 1977  Americus' first mini-park dedicated (southeast corner
            Lamar and Lee); Willie Mae Davis and Cathy Parks be-
            came first female police officers in Americus history
Nov.  1977  groundbreaking ceremony for public safety building;
            actor Victor French, of ABC TV's "Carter Country," 
            visited Plains
Mar.  1978  Howard Dayton donated Windsor Hotel to city of Ameri-
            cus; dedication of Rotary Park at AHS tennis courts; 
            groundbreaking ceremony for Church of Jesus Christ of
            Latter Day Saints sanctuary (southeast corner Fairway
            and Lee)
May   1978  formal dedication of Fellowship Baptist Church sanc-
July  1978  Early Birds Civitan Club of Americus chartered, C. 
            Ang Schramm, president; George Barlow, vice-president;
            Willie Miles, secretary; Tim Lawson, treasurer; Rev.
            A.L. Lastinger, chaplain; Lewis M. Lowe, sergeant-at-
            arms; Peter J. Novak, Chip Boling, Rev. Elijah Smith,
Sept  1978  Americus Lioness Club chartered, Lucille Sharp, pre-
            sident; Evelyn Mathews, first vice-president; Marjor-
            ie Erwin, second vice-president; Emile Smith, third
            vice-president; Anne Speer, secretary-treasurer; Bet-
            ty Gurr, Berta Royal, Cecile Niles, directors
Nov.  1978  Rev. Moses William Howard, Jr., Americus native, 
            elected president, National Council of Churches, lar-
            gest ecumenical organization in the country; Phi Del-
            ta Kappa chapter at GSW chartered, Dr. Bruce Middle-
            brooks, president
Dec.  1978  Southern Railway donated 80-foot railway passenger 
            coach to Andersonville Guild; Lindbergh Memorial ded-
            icated at Souther Field by U.S. Attorney-General 
            Griffin B. Bell
Mar.  1979  GSW's Dr. Barry Beck and students trapped in cave at
            Lafayette, Ga., but rescued after 29-hour ordeal
May   1979  formal dedication of Americus Public Safety Bldg.,
            Mayor John W. Sheffield, Jr., officiating
June  1979  formal dedication of Andersonville City Park, Mayor
            Lewis F. Easterlin, officiating
July  1979  announcement of Americus Evangel Assembly of God
            Church, Dr. Max McKinney, lay minister (Rev. Jerry
            H. Fleming, first pastor)
Sept  1979  Larry Sutton appointed first judge of Sumter County
            Small Claims Court
Oct.  1979  Hiram K. Undercofler, formerly of Americus, appointed
            chief justice, Georgia Supreme Court
Feb.  1980  Nu Zeta Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority chartered
            at GSW, Mrs. Ann O. Davis, advisor 
Apr.  1980  U.S. District Judge Wilbur D. Owens ruled Americus 
            and Sumter County at-large elections racially discri-
May   1980  "Many Pauses" bowling team, Zine Bendimire, Mary 
            Crawford, Joan Melton, Evelyn Wages filmed by NBC's
            "Real People"; former Secretary of State Dean Rusk
            gave keynote speech at inauguration of Dr. William
            Capitan at GSW
Nov.  1980  Arthur C. Pless became first black elected to Sumter 
            County Commission in its history
Aug.  1981  Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt, visited former Pre-
            sident Jimmy Carter at his Plains home, just two 
            months before Sadat's assassination
Sept. 1981  Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel, visited at 
            former President Jimmy Carter's Plains home
Sept. 1982  Sumter County Comprehensive High School opened, Wil-
            lie J. Robinson, principal (east side Bumphead Rd. 
            north of city limits)
Apr.  1985  Cherokee Elementary School awarded Third Congression-
            al District School of Excellence, the city's first, 
            Mrs. Robin P. Lowrey, principal
Apr.  1986  A.S. Staley Middle School awarded Third Congressional 
            District School of Excellence, R. Lamar Sawyer, prin-
Mar.  1988  presidential candidates Michael Dukakis, Democrat, and
            Rev. Pat Robertson, Republican, campaigned in Americus,
            the former at Clarence Jordan Center and latter at 
            Perlis Plaza
June  1989  Capt. Moses Lee Bridges became the first black Ameri-
            cus police chief in the city's history (albeit an in-
            terim one)
Jan.  1990  memorial on courthouse lawn honoring Sumter County 
            fatalities in twentieth century wars, highlighting 
            Pfc. Luther H. Story's Medal of Honor, was dedicated
Mar.  1990  Sumter County only one in Georgia with both municipal
            and county governments with women as chief administra-
            tive officers, Barbara Smith McCarty for the county
            and Sybil Baxter Smith for Americus
Apr.  1990  A.S. Staley Middle School awarded Third Congressional 
            District School of Excellence, its second, Clyde A. 
            McGrady, principal; Miss America Debbye Turner made 
            an appearance at Belk's Department Store 
May   1990  A.S. Staley Middle School principal Clyde A. McGrady 
            received $25,000 Milken Fund award as one of ten out-
            standing educators in Georgia
Sept. 1990  A.S. Staley Middle School honored in White House cer-
            emony by President Bush as National School of Excel-
            lence, Clyde A. McGrady, principal
July  1991  Dr. Ronnie A. Williams, of the Americus city schools, 
            named Georgia Superintendent of the Year, by the 
            Georgia School Superintendent Association
Sept. 1991  grand reopening of the Windsor Hotel after five mil-
            lion dollar restoration 
Jan.  1992  Waymon Jerome Smith became the first black City Mar-
            shal in Americus history 
Mar.  1992  dedication of Americus Mennonite Fellowship Church, 
            Rev. Lewis Overholt, pastor (formerly Evangelistic 
            Group's 1945 sanctuary)
Apr.  1992  Americus High School awarded Third Congressional Dis-
            trict School of Excellence, Dr. Howard H. Hendley, 
            principal; Mayor Thomas C. Gailey, Sr., awarded Na-
            tional Register Certificate by Georgia National Reg-
            ister Review Board, for city's contribution to the 
            Windsor restoration project 
July  1992  Angel Myers Martino, of Americus, won Gold and Bronze 
            Medals at Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain 
Aug.  1992  Dr. Howard H. Hendley, of Americus High School, chos- 
            en Principal of the Year, by National Association of 
            Secondary School Principals
Sept. 1992  Americus native Rev. Dr. M. William Howard, Jr. in-
            stalled as ninth president of New York Theological
            Seminary, the institution's first black president
Oct.  1992  formal dedication of Lindbergh Statue, at Souther 
            Field, a production of Dr. Henry King Stanford, 
            William Thompson, sculptor 
Nov.  1992  Mrs. Irene King Edge and Mrs. Carolyn Thomas White-
            head became first black women elected to political 
            office in Sumter County, both on the county school 
Dec.  1992  Americus city council renamed Hwy. 19 to Martin Luther
            King, Jr. Blvd. after year-long campaign by MLK 
            Ministerial Association, led by Rev. Fer-Rell Malone,
            of Bethesda Baptist 
Jan.  1993  New York Giants headcoach Dan Reeves, AHS graduate,
            named Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year
Aug.  1993  Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy and Esther Rolle filmed 
            Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, "To Dance With the White 
            Dog," at Sumter City, guests of the Windsor Hotel
Jan.  1994  Frederick L. McLaughlin became the first-ever black 
            to be chairman of Americus City School Board
Apr.  1994  Americus High School awarded Second Congressional 
            District School of Excellence, its second, Dr. Howard 
            H. Hendley, principal
June  1994  Miss America Kimberly Aiken worked with Habitat for 
            Humanity during construction of their 30,000th house 
            (southeast side Railroad between Mayo and Rabbit 
            Neck); Georgia Association of Education Leaders 
            honored Clyde A. McGrady as Middle School Principal 
            of the Year, and Ms. Betty Jean Harris as Elementary 
            Principal of the Year, for A.S. Staley and Cherokee, 
July  1994  the 500 Year Flood, Georgia's worst-ever natural dis-
            aster, killed 15 in Americus and Sumter County, half 
            the state's total death toll, after 21 inches of rain 
            fell in 24 hours 
Nov.  1994  Americus City School Board, Russ Childers, Michael 
            Coley, Edith Green, Kay Guttenberg, Julie Higgins, 
            Clark Lamb, Fred McLaughlin, Lorena Sabbs and Thomas 
            Sims, elected by popular vote for the one and only 
            time in its history; marble, brick and bronze memori-
            al, with names of the 15 local victims of the 500 
            Year Flood, dedicated, north side Russell Thomas, Jr. 
            Public Safety Building, Mayor Russell Thomas, Jr. 
Dec.  1994  A.S. Staley Middle School awarded Second Congression-
            al District School of Excellence, its third, Clyde A. 
            McGrady, principal; Americus City School System 
            ceased to exist as its charter lapsed, becoming one 
            with the Sumter County School System, Dr. Katie Bro-
            chu, superintendent; Charlie Clifford Whitehead, Jr. 
            became the first black police chief in history of 
Jan.  1995  Mrs. Edith Ann Hollis Green became chairperson of  
            newly consolidated Sumter County School Board, first 
            black and woman to do so in its 123-year history
Mar.  1995  Tammy Hobbs and Danetta Warren became first women to 
            serve in Americus Fire Department in its 102-year 
            history, Stephen R. M. Moreno, III, chief 
June  1995  Mrs. Juanita Freeman Wilson became first woman and 
            black to be principal of Americus High School in its 
            115-year history; Americus resident Dan. L. Torbert 
            awarded Kiwanis International Foundation's Robert P. 
            Connelly Medal for Heroism, in Las Vegas, first 
            Georgian so honored, for his rescue of residents of 
            Methodist Children's Home during 500 Year Flood of 
            July 6,1994; Rev. Wendy T. Joyner, one of only two 
            female Baptist preachers in Georgia, became pastor 
            of Fellowship Baptist Church
Oct.  1995  Georgia Rural Telephone Museum opened in Leslie, 
            Tommy C. Smith, founder
Nov.  1995  Mrs. Eloise Richardson Paschal and Mrs. Eddie Rhea 
            Ross Walker were first women ever elected to Americus
            City Council in its 139-year history
Mar.  1996  Dismuke Storehouse, southeast corner Ashby and Lee,
            added to National Register of Historic Places, Karl
            Wilson, owner  
Apr.  1996  Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, Plains Histori-
            cal Preservation Trust and City of Plains shared
            National Park Partnership Leadership Award from 
            National Park Foundation and National Park Service,
            for preservation of Plains High School
May   1996  Americus resident Dan Torbert was presented the 
            cellular telecommunications industry's VITA award 
            by movie and television actor William Shatner, at 
            the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., for his 
            rescue of eight people during the 500 Year Flood; 
            NASA administrator Dan Goldin and astronaut Kenneth 
            Bowersox, along with Congressman Sanford Bishop, held 
            a forum at South Georgia Technical Institute's Griffin 
            Bell Aerospace Center
June  1996  death of Americus native Lonne Elder III, actor and
            playwright, who wrote "Ceremonies in Dark Old Men" 
            and was nominated for Academy Award for his screen-
            play of "Sounder" in 1972
July  1996  Board of Regents changed name of Georgia Southwestern
            College to Georgia Southwestern State University; '96
            Centennial Olympic Torch passed through Sumter County
            with local runners Katie Brochu, Sarah Dew, Greg 
            Garth, Susan Henry, Alvin Jackson, Ethel Marshall, 
            Francis Pate, John Rivers, David Smith, Dan Torbert,
            Charlie Whitehead, Jr., Christie Williams, Jason 
            Williams, Broadus Willoughby, Frank Wilson, III; 
            Plains High School Visitor's Center and Museum opened; 
            Koinonia Museum opened at Koinonia Farms
Sept. 1996  Millard Fuller, of Americus, founder of Habitat for
            Humanity International, awarded nation's highest civ-
            ilian honor, Presidential Medal of Freedom, by Presi-
            dent Clinton at White House ceremony; Angelle Sampey
            Seeling, of Americus, first woman in National Hot Rod
            Association history to win Pro Stock Motorcycle title
            in Pioneer Electronics Keystone Nationals
Oct.  1996  Wrought iron arch at Founders' Memorial dedicated by
            Azalea Garden Club, Mrs. William Forehand, president
Dec.  1996  Sumter County Schools Superintendent Dr. Katie Brochu
            chosen Georgia School Superintendent of the Year by 
            the Georgia Association of School Administrators
Jan.  1997  AHS graduate Dan Reeves named head coach for Atlan-
            ta Falcons football team
Feb.  1997  "AmericUSumter Observer," monthly newspaper, began,
            Dr. John D. Marshall, publisher
Mar.  1997  Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat visited
            former President Jimmy Carter at home in Plains; Mike
            Bowers, of Americus, became field announcer for the 
            Atlanta Braves in the new Turner Field Stadium; ecu-
            menical interracial services, sponsored by Sumter 
            Area Ministerial Association, with A.M.E.'s Norris 
            Harris at First Baptist, First United Methodist's 
            Rev. Jerrell Lillard at Bethesda Baptist, Calvary 
            Episcopal's lay minister Kathy Monahan at United Hol-
            iness, Bethesda Baptist's Rev. Fer-Rell Malone at 
            Mennonite Fellowship and First Baptist's Rev. Dr. 
            Reed Crumbliss at Big Bethel Baptist, first time ever
            on this scale in Sumter County's history
Apr.  1997  Gov. Zell Miller signed into law Plains High School's
            designation as Official State School of Georgia
May   1997  U.S. Army Secretary Togo D. West, Jr. spoke at Memor-
            ial Day services at Andersonville National Cemetery
Sept  1997  Milton "Amp" Myers, A.S. Staley Middle School coach,
            won first place with his team at U.S. Tennis Associ-
            ation League 5.0 Team Tournament at Flushing Meadows,
            New York
Feb.  1998  Americus Sumter County Parks and Recreation Dept. 
            opened 10-field sports complex (east side Hwy. 19 S.) 
Mar.  1998  "The Sumter Free Press" began publication as a weekly,
            J. Frank Myers, publisher, Don Fletcher, managing ed-
Apr.  1998  National Prisoner of War Museum officially dedicated,
            U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz), a Vietnam P.O.W., as
            featured speaker (Andersonville National Historic 
            Site); formal dedication of John H. "Bud" Robinson III
            sports clinic at University of Georgia in Athens
Aug.  1998  New Corinth Baptist Church placed on National Register
            of Historic Places (south side Hooks Mill Rd., south
            of Lake Philema), sponsored by State Sen. George B.
            Hooks, whose ancestor built the original sanctuary
Oct.  1998  formal dedication of Willie Lee Walton Boone Park 
            (south side Rucker, east of MLK, Jr.), in honor of 
            long-time coach of black baseball team, Americus Clowns
Nov.  1998  CBS newscaster Dan Rather interviewed locals about 
            the Daniel Colwell trial for "60 Minutes II" segment
            (telecast 1-27-99)
Jan.  1999  Dan Reeves named Associated Press NFL Coach of the 
            Year for 1998
May   1999  AHS girls won Class AA state track championship, Eve-
            lyn Wright, coach
June  1999  Sen. George B. Hooks, of Americus, cited as Legislator 
            of the Year, American School Counselors Association; 
            Millard Fuller, of Americus, cited for Greatest Public
            Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, Jefferson Award,
            American Institute of Public Service, at Supreme Court 
            Bldg. ceremony, Washington, D.C.
Aug.  1999  Jimmy Carter awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom by
            President Bill Clinton at White House ceremony; fire
            destroyed old Americus Grocery Co. Bldg. (northwest 
            corner Cotton and Jefferson)
Oct.  1999  grand reopening of Rylander Theater after $4 million
            renovation, with Jimmy Carter's 75th birthday celebra-
            tion including Lynn Anderson, Pat Boone, Sam Donaldson,
            Indigo Girls, McGuire Sisters, Helen Thomas; Americus
            resident Jack Bridges, AmeriCorps program manager for
            Habitat for Humanity International, honored by Presi-
            dent Bill Clinton at White House ceremony
Jan.  2000  Americus one of 10 Best Managed and Livable Cities se-
            lected by Georgia Municipalities Association, Russell
            Thomas, Jr., mayor 
Mar.  2000  dedication of Maxine Newberry Reese Park in Plains,
            Boze Godwin, mayor
June  2000  Americus resident Stuart Perry received Clifford W. 
            Beers Award from National Mental Health Association;
            Jimmy Carter awarded Eisenhower Medallion by People
            to People International, founded by President Dwight
            D. Eisenhower
Aug.  2000  Southland Academy dedicated its stadium in honor of
            one of its founders, Dr. Harvey L. Simpson, Jr.
Sept. 2000  President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, with Millard and
            Linda Fuller, completed Sumter County Initiative's
            elimination of all sub-standard housing with construc-
            tion of "Victory House" for Vera Thomas family
Nov.  2000  South Georgia Technical Institute changed its name to
            South Georgia Technical College; Cecilia M. Cooper,
            of Americus, became the first woman ever elected as
            District Attorney for the Southwestern Circuit; U.S.
            Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman dedicated Jimmy
            Carter Boyhood Home in Archery as National Historic
            Site; Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris
            visited relatives in Americus during Thanksgiving
Jan.  2001  Robert Charles "Bob" Ingle, Sr. became first Republican 
            sheriff of Sumter County
Feb.  2001  Henry Louis "Hammerin' Hank" Aaron spoke at Boys and
            Girls Club dinner at South Georgia Technical College;
            Kent Hill and Angel Myers-Martino, of Americus, were
            inducted into Georgia's Sports Hall of Fame in Macon;
            John Amos, television, film and stage actor, appeared
            in "Halley's Comet" at Rylander Theater and stayed at
            Americus Garden Inn on Rees Park
Apr.  2001  Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke at Bethesda Baptist Church
            and stayed at the Windsor; Plaque unveiled by Navy
            Commander Lloyd Bucher, ret., honoring U.S.S. Pueblo
            crew, at National Prisoner of War Museum near Ander-
June  2001  Judy Wanner, Americus resident, won $16 million jack-
            pot in state lottery; Kiwanis Club of Sumter County
            chartered, Samantha Jackson, president
July  2001  Mickey Rooney, movie and stage actor, appeared in
            "The One Man, One Wife Show" at Rylander Theater and
            stayed at Americus Garden Inn on Rees Park; Jimmy
            Carter dedicated John M. Pope Industrial Technology
            Center at South Georgia Technical College
Nov.  2001  "Sumter News" began publication as a weekly, Thomas
            Holloway, owner, Don Fletcher, publisher and editor
Jan.  2002  Groundbreaking ceremony for Habitat For Humanity 
            International's Global Village
May   2003  Faith Fuller's "Briars in the Cotton Patch" documentary
            debuted at Rylander Theater; Habitat for Humanity Inter-
            national's Global Village had its grand opening, U.S.
            Rep. Sanford Bishop as keynote speaker, including former
            President Jimmy Carter and former Zambia President Kenneth
            D. Kuanda as guests
July  2003  Lulu Westbrook-Griffin's "Lulu and the Girls of Americus, 
            Georgia 1963" documentary debuted at Rylander Theater
Sept  2004  Willie Nelson filmed a concert in Plains for CMT cable 
            channel, with Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter
Jan.  2005  Andrea P.F. Brooks became first black woman to serve on 
            Sumter County Commission since its establishment in 1872;
            Millard Fuller was fired by Habitat for Humanity Inter-
            national board of directors for publicly criticizing them
Feb.  2005  "Briars in the Cotton Patch" televised on 222 PBS stations
            in 41 states
Mar.  2005  Millard Fuller incorporated Building Habitat in Americus
            (renamed Fuller Center for Housing, Inc. after lawsuit by
            Habitat for Humanity International board of directors)
May   2005  "Briars in the Cotton Patch" nominated for two southeast
            regional EMMYS; Fuller Center for Housing, Inc. grand 
            opening in Americus led by Millard and Linda Fuller
June  2005  Michael Booth, writer and co-producer of "Briars in the
            Cotton Patch," awarded EMMY for writing; retired GSW math
            professor, Dr. James T. Turner, won $9 million lottery
Oct.  2005  Millard and Linda Fuller honored at "Extra Mile Points of
            Light Volunteer Pathway" in Washington,D.C. ceremony led
            by President George H.W. Bush, ABC-TV commentator Cokie
            Roberts, and D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, for their role 
            in founding Habitat for Humanity International
Nov.  2005  Georgia Historic Society Marker unveiled at Koinonia;
            U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in drug case of Scott
            F. Randolph, Americus attorney
Dec.  2005  Central Baptist Church moved from its 1897 location to its
            new sanctuary on Upper River Rd., Rev. Harris Malcom, senior
Jan.  2006  Paula Deen, of Food Network's "Paula's Country Cooking," 
            filmed segment in Plains with Jimmy Carter
Feb.  2006  Atlanta Braves rightfielder Jeff Francoeur signed auto-
            graphs to raise money for Plains Better Hometown program,
            then had lunch with former president Jimmy Carter 
Mar.  2006  Martin Sheen, movie and television actor, visited Anderson-
            ville and stayed at Windsor Hotel
Apr.  2006  Rev. Joseph Lowery, co-founder of the Southern Christian 
            Leadership Conference, was featured speaker at NAACP's annual
May   2006  Elbert Head Memorial Park dedicated to former slave,
            capitalist and Republican Party leader, just north of Leonora
            Lambert Senior Center on N. Jackson
June  2006  "Remembering Americus, Georgia - Essays on Southern Life," 
            book published, Alan Anderson, author
Aug.  2006  Restoration Church of Americus held its inaugural service at
            GSW's Jackson Hall, Rev. George F. Edge, pastor
Sept. 2006  First Baptist Church of Americus held its 175th anniversary, 
            Dr. Robert L. Whitmire, pastor, in union service with 
            Bethesda Baptist Church, first time since 1865 with both
            congregations; "A Journey of Grace - A History of the First
            Baptist Church of Americus, Georgia" book published, Alan
            Anderson, author