Local Black History Chronology
compiled by Alan Anderson

early 1828  Avery Wheeler, Jacob W. Cobb, Thomas Key, Isom West, 
            John Kimmey, Edmund Nunn and two blacks, Richmond and 
            Judy, his wife, came across Flint River at Shelby's 
            Ferry to be pioneers of originally Lee, now Sumter
July  1834  "common burying ground for the citizens of Americus" 
            established on 3 acres, Lot 1, Square P, where "the 
            present Baptist meeting house now stands" (north side 
            Ashby at Eastview Cemetery)
Aug.  1834  Martin Miller and Royal Jenkins advertised Danville, 
            Americus' chief rival for twenty years, north of Hwy. 
            27, 28th District (the town possessed a Masonic hall,               
            church, warehouse, carriage shop, blacksmith, four 
            stores and a bakery, the latter owned by John Hardy 
            Newsome and his wife Clarissa, "both free colored, 
            but of considerable means")
May   1859  Scott's Mater Tabernacle C.M.E., the city's first 
            black church, organized when Thomas C. Sullivan dona-
            ted 1/2 acre (northwest corner Anchrom and Hampton)
            to M.E. Church, South trustees, T.M. Furlow, A.A. Ad-
            ams, A.C. Hornady, W.W. Ford and W.M. Hardwick, on 
            behalf of their slaves, built and named for Rev. W.J.
            Scott of Americus Methodist
Apr.  1864  Bethlehem Baptist Church established in 17th District
            (west side Thomas Mill Rd. at Pessell Creek) 
Oct.  1865  Pvt. Prat Martin, Co. G, 147th Illinois Regt., white, 
            married Emma Poe, former slave of J.H. Black's, by 
            Rev. G.T. Wilburn of Americus Baptist Church (Martin 
            was tarred and feathered and run out of town by his 
            fellow soldiers)
Aug.  1866  Rev. Geo. F. Cooper organized first black Baptist 
            church in Americus, Bethesda (west side Forrest south
            of Church)
June  1868  Old Shady Grove Baptist Church organized near New Era
Aug.  1868  Mrs. Mary B. Brown deeded Bethesda Baptist Church its 
            lot on Forrest to Booker Norman, James Jones, Lyman 
            Butler, Peter Ragland and Hugh Bivins, trustees
May   1871  "Lebanon Colored Baptist Church" organized in Plains 
            of Dura
Oct.  1874  "City Blues," first local black militia organized, 
            Capt. E.W. Ansley, commanding ("Americus Guards," 
            Capt. D.S. Harris, commanding, organized second)
July  1876  C.M.E. trustees J.R. Covington, George Andrews, Cato 
            Key, Austin Jones and Dennis J. Shepard branded Rev. 
            N.B. Sterrett, A.M.E., a liar in the burning of ori-
            ginal Scott's Mater Tabernacle sanctuary
Oct.  1877  dedication of first A.M.E. church (originally organi-
            zed in 1859), with Bishop Campbell, D.D., officiating 
            (northeast corner Jackson and Wild)
Spring1880  Ebenezer Baptist Church organized, Rev. Joseph McGra-
            dy, pastor (south side Sweetwater Creek, 29th Dist.)
May   1880  Mrs. Ella E. Clark donated 1 acre lot to Welcome Bap-
            tist Church (south side Middle River Rd. east of Ga. 
Nov.  1880  "Colored" Odd Fellows Lodge organized in Americus
Jan.  1881  Literary Club organized, G.W.F. Phillips, president, 
            A.R. Cooper, secretary, Miss S.M. Lowry, treasurer
Mar.  1881  Martha M. Gwynes sold 2 acres for Freeman Hill Ceme-
            tery, Peter Lowe, Turner Hall, Asbury Harrison, John 
            Epkins, Sam Peterson, trustees (east side Burma Rd. 
            just south of Andersonville)
May   1881  Mt. Olive Baptist Church began construction (north-
            west corner Jefferson and Poplar)
July  1882  Mt. Olive Baptist Church dedicated, Rev. J.C. Bryan, 
June  1883  Bethel African Missionary Baptist Church organized, 
            Rev. B.B. Hinton, officiating, Rev. Stephen White,
            pastor, bought and moved into Presbyterians' former
            antebellum sanctuary (north side Lamar near north- 
            west corner Lamar and Prince)
Aug.  1883  Elbert Head and James Ellis were first blacks to ever 
            serve on Sumter Superior Court jury
July  1884  McCay (pronounced McCoy) Hill School construction be-
            gan, Americus' first black public school, Samuel Ste-
            vens and Jefferson Jones, local black architects
Aug.  1884  dedication of New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist 
            Church, Rev. Alex H. Hall, pastor (south side Mask 
            Rd. west of Brady Rd.)
Mar.  1885  Geo. W.F. Phillips and Lee Jones started Franklin 
            Square Library, at McCay Hill School, Americus' first 
            public library for blacks
Aug.  1886  "The Americus Monitor," first local black newspaper, 
            edited and published by Prof. G.W.F. Phillips, McCay 
            Hill School principal
May   1887  Rev. J.C. Bryan, of Americus, elected President,
            State Baptist Convention
Oct.  1887  Southwest Baptist Association bought 17 acres on N. 
            Lee to erect black center of higher education, ulti-
            mately the Americus Institute
Jan.  1890  Americus-Columbus Institute incorporated (present 
            site of A.S. Staley Middle School) by A.J. Allen, R.
            Munson, A.S. Staley, A.W. Walker, O.C. Green, W.W. 
            McKenzie, S.S. Humbert, B. Carter, with name changed
            to Americus Institute Sept. 1902 
Feb.  1890  local black Republican Party leader, David A. Dudley, 
            was appointed Americus postmaster by President Benj. 
            Harrison, but strenuous opposition from Congressman 
            Chas. F. Crisp and the local Democratic power struc-
            ture killed the nomination; Emily Robinson sold Tri-
            nity A.M.E. Church its 1/4 acre lot, in Isomville, a 
            black suburb at the intersection of Furlow and Tripp, 
            Julius Dixon, James Kendrick, Abram Purdy, trustees 
            (consolidated with Allen Chapel A.M.E. in 1965)
Aug.  1890  John R. McNeill deeded Joe Dowdell, Jackson Carter, 
            J.M. Littleton, trustees Shady Grove Baptist Church, 
            1 1/6 acre (south side New Era Rd. halfway between 
            Hwy. 49 and New Era)
Oct.  1890  Ed Timmerman sold St. Paul's A.M.E. Church its land, 
            Charles E. Little, Prince Sanders, Edmond Little, 
            Godfrey Kleckley, Henry Evans, John King, Jackson 
            Hicks, trustees (northeast corner Della Glass Rd. 
            and Logan Store Rd.)
Nov.  1891  "Americus Tribune," weekly black newspaper, began 
Oct.  1892  death of Elbert Head, prominent local black capital-
            ist and Republican Party leader
Mar.  1893  Mary J. Taylor sold Mt. Creek A.M.E. Church its 1 a-
            cre lot in Andersonville, "where church house now 
            stands," Isaac Watson, Green Watson, John Walker, 
            Jackson King, Louis Gant, Wilburn Johnson, Aaron Wat-
            son, Stephen Gant, Green Waters, trustees (now loca-
            ted north side Sam Bradley Rd. just west of Ga. 195)
Apr.  1893  W.H. "Bill" Styles, black State Representative for
            Liberty County, visited Americus, his former home
Aug.  1895  Friendship Baptist Church organized, Rev. J.C. Bryan, 
            pastor (east side Cotton north of Wheeler)
May   1896  R.L. Kite sold Mt. Carmel A.M.E. Church its 1 acre 
            lot, Simon Merritt, Joe Terry, George Chaney, Frank 
            Hooks, Jerry Walters, trustees (west side Hooks Mill 
            Rd. south of Mask Rd.)
July  1896  cornerstone ceremony for Scott's Mater Tabernacle 
            C.M.E.'s brick sanctuary, Rev. G.A. Thomas, pastor
Oct.  1897  Americus Institute opened with two teachers and nine 
            pupils in a small, two-room cottage, as a high school
Apr.  1898  Masonic Grand Master W.E. Terry led cornerstone cere-
            mony for Masonic Orphans Home, 3-story brick edifice,
            dedicated June 1903 (south side Brinson between 
            Jackson and Lee)
June  1898  Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church bought 1 acre 
            from DeSoto Plantation Co., Lige Hardaway and Pleas 
            Gosha, trustees (now west side DeSoto Seed Farm Rd. 
            just south of DeSoto)
Nov.  1901  Times-Recorder began first-ever "Column for Colored 
            People," by Dr. E.J. Brinson
Mar.  1903  Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church bought from Patterson fam-
            ily its 1/8 acre lot, John C. Burnette, Gates Porter, 
            Jim Rogers, trustees, Rev. J.S. Myrick, pastor (in-
            tersection Carter and Lee)
Apr.  1906  Clark Rowe, born a slave, grandson of a full-blooded 
            Cherokee woman, celebrated his 106th birthday, with 
            over 50 years residency in Americus
May   1906  Sumter County's one and only double execution, the 
            hanging of convicted murderers George Broughton and 
            John Graham, in the jail stockade (southwest corner 
            Forsyth and Prince)
Nov.  1906  Mrs. Josie B. Jossey sold 1 acre to Jackson Grove 
            Baptist Church deacons Lem Bivins, Meldrin Duncan,
            John Hayes, Gus Jackson, Freeman Kitchens, Anderson
            Ross, Abe Swain, "being a part of what is known as
            the Walker Lot"
      1907  Peace Baptist Church (now Union Tabernacle) constitu-
            ted, Rev. J.L. Latimer, pastor 
Mar.  1907  Americus police officer William R. Morris shot while 
            trying to arrest William Reese at his N. Jackson home 
            (Reese was killed that evening in a wild shootout 
            with police, on Magnolia, and Morris died two days 
May   1908  Booker T. Washington spoke at Americus Institute, Ma-
            jor W. Reddick, president
Oct.  1909  Robert E. Lee deeded church and lot to Anthony Foy, 
            Jack Clark, Clay Darden, Charles Lyons, Simeon Jen-
            kins, D.O. Simpson, W.M. Barner, trustees, Friendship 
            Baptist Church
Dec.  1911  "The Americus Chronicle," W. Robert Mack, editor and 
            publisher, local black newspaper
June  1912  Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church organized (west
            side Ga. 118 south of Holman Rd.)
June  1913  Will Redding lynched at the northeast corner of Cot-
            ton and Lamar, for shooting Police Chief William C. 
June  1915  Professors Major W. Reddick and Alfred S. Staley were 
            instrumental in the unification of the General Missi-
            onary Baptist Convention of Georgia, the former as 
            president, the latter as recording secretary
Jan.  1920  McCay Hill School chosen first school in Georgia to 
            institute an auto mechanics curriculum, under federal 
            aid, Ernest Barnett, instructor
Mar.  1920  Sumter Mercantile & Realty Co. chartered, first local 
            black commercial corporation, Boss W. Warren, presi-
            dent, Major B. Phillips, vice-president, Elbert 
            Stallworth, secretary, Dr. D.F. Pughsley, treasurer
Feb.  1923  Americus police Lt. Homer A. Lee and Dave Cross slew 
            each other in a shootout at Northview Cemetery (now 
            Eastview), while the former was trying to arrest the 
Apr.  1923  opening of Americus Negro Hospital (north side Wild
            between Cotton and Jackson) under the aegis of Dr. W.
            Stuart Prather
Nov.  1924  Americus' public school system only one in the South 
            with all black and white teachers enrolled in the NEA
June  1925  Police Chief John T. Bragg led 200 Ku Klux Klansmen,
            on horseback, in parade to Barlow ball park for rally
Sept. 1929  cornerstone ceremony for Mt. Olive Baptist's brick 
            sanctuary, Rev. C.W. Woodall, pastor
May   1930  formal dedication of Americus Negro Playground, with 
            ballpark and swimming pool, Oscar Maxwell, president 
            (east side N. Lee between Bay and Town Creek)
June  1932  last graduating class as Americus Institute closed 
            its doors
Sept. 1933  Americus' Negro Business and Civic League organized, 
            Elbert Stallworth, president
June  1934  Dr. M.J. Baisden opened "hospital for colored pati-
            ents" at 327 Forrest
Oct.  1935  Senior Dunbar Club organized, Mrs. Leonora Lambert,
Feb.  1936  Ben S. Storey, of LaCrosse, northwest of Americus, 
            became first black person to serve on a jury in Sum-
            ter County in over half a century
June  1936  death of Plains resident, Rev. William Decker John-
            son, A.M.E. Bishop of South Carolina, with burial at 
            Archery community, Webster Co.
Sept. 1936  Earl "Fatha" Hines and his orchestra played at Rylan-
            der Theater scrip dance
Oct.  1936  A.S. Staley High School, for blacks, opened on site 
            of Americus Institute (east side N. Lee between Pat-
            terson and Primitive)
June  1937  formal dedication of A.S. Staley High School, E.J. 
            Granberry, principal
Mar.  1940  A.S. Staley High School selected by John D. Rockefel-
            ler's General Education Board as one of 13 black 
            schools in the South, the only one in Georgia, for an 
            experimental program in vocational education
Oct.  1940  Charley Green, a 25-year-old, black farmhand on the 
            T.J. Suggs place, was the first Sumter Countian draf-
            ted for World War II
June  1941  Eastview Cemetery, formerly Northview, for blacks, 
            opened by developer Roland S. Broadhurst, more than 
            doubling in size
Oct.  1941  Negro Business and Civic League began construction of 
            recreation center, J.D. Anderson, W.R. Burleigh, S.M. 
            Weston, E. Stallworth, W.M. Carter, J.T. Phillips,  
            E.J. Hill, J.H. Henderson, J.L. Barnum, J.B. Dorsey, 
            executive committee (northeast corner Lee and Pat-
May   1942  Americus' first-ever black Boy Scout Troop, #200, or-
            ganized, sponsored by Bethesda Baptist Church, King 
            Bryson, scoutmaster
Nov.  1942  Clarence Jordan and Martin England founded Koinonia
            Farms, in the 17th District, as a non-profit, religi-
            ous corporation that was fully integrated racially
June  1943  Lt. Lucius Gibson, of Americus, one of first fourteen 
            blacks graduated from officers' candidate school in 
            Great Britain, for World War II
May   1944  organized by Negro Central Planning Committee of Am-
            ericus and Sumter County, community recreational cen-
            ter for black soldiers and youths formally opened
Apr.  1945  Americus branch, N.A.A.C.P., chartered, John B. Dorsey,
Aug.  1945  Frank M. Staley, Jr., of Americus, became first-ever 
            black Boy Scout to achieve Eagle rank in Chehaw Coun-
Oct.  1945  dedicatory service for new sanctuary of Daniel Grove 
            Baptist Church, Rev. David A. Greene, pastor (inter-
            section Hwy. 49 and District Line Rd.)
Apr.  1946  dedication of St. Jerome's Roman Catholic Church, for 
            blacks, by Bishop Gerald P. O'Hara of the Savannah- 
            Atlanta Diocese, Father Joseph B. Wider, priest 
            (northeast corner Bel-Air Plaza, then northwest cor-
            ner Forsyth and Lamar)
Mar.  1947  Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church relocated across Carter
            from its original site and dedicated its new sanctu-
            ary, Rev. L.J. Jones, pastor
Nov.  1947  Rosa Lee Ingram and her four sons' murder of John E.
            Stradford, at Lacrosse, became a cause celebre co-
            ordinated by W.R. Burleigh, of Americus, with
            N.A.A.C.P. chief counsel, Thurgood Marshall; Tenth
            Annual Conference of Principals of Georgia Negro
            Elementary and Secondary Schools at A.S. Staley High
Sept. 1948  grand opening of Harlem Theater, 210 Cotton, Elias 
            Attyah and Theo Baldwin, owners
Aug.  1950  Capt. Richard Walter Williams, Jr., grandson of prom-
            inent black contractor Bright Hill, was first Sumter 
            Countian wounded in Korean Conflict
Oct.  1951  announcement of closure of "Colored Hospital" on 
            Wild, and construction of annex to new Americus-
            Sumter County Hospital on Forsyth, W.R. Burleigh, 
            chairman, J.L. Bozeman, first co-chairman, Emma J. 
            Anderson, secretary, John L. Barnum, Jr., treasurer
May   1952  publication of McCay Hill Grammar School's first-
            ever yearbook, "Maybook," Walter T. Pace, principal
Aug.  1952  Northside Homes, 150-unit public housing project for 
            blacks, ready for occupancy (between Jackson and Lee
            south of Northside)
Nov.  1952  A.S. Staley High School Tigers won Negro Class A 
            North Ga. championship, Leroy Williams, coach
Jan.  1953  Mount Mary and Old Corinth Schools discontinued, the 
            former consolidated with Shady Grove, the latter with
Nov.  1953  formal opening of Negro annex at Americus and Sumter
            County Hospital
Apr.  1955  opening of "Negro branch of the Carnegie library,"
            Frankie Harvey, librarian, removed from A.S. Staley 
            High School (photo Apr. 25th)
Jan.  1956  former A.S. Staley High School principal Daniel T. 
            Grant published When the Melon is Ripe, a book about
            his time in Americus
Mar.  1956  Rev. Clarence Jordan, of Koinonia Farms, Sumter Co.,
            was one of two white sponsors of unsuccessful try at
            racially integrating Georgia State University
July  1956  anonymous bombing of Koinonia Store at Sumter City
Jan.  1957  McCay Hill School students moved into their new faci-
            lity, Eastview Elementary, John Harris, principal; 
            Koinonia Farm Store, 2 1/2 miles south of Americus on
            Hwy. 19, dynamited; drive-by shooting at Koinonia
Feb.  1957  drive-by shooting at Koinonia; 70+ car caravan of 
            Klansmen from all over south Georgia visited Koinonia
            for peaceful talks; GBI began investigating Koinonia
            for possible "subversive activities"
Mar.  1957  three drive-by shootings at Koinonia, the last firing
            on Rev. Clarence Jordan's residence
Apr.  1957  Sumter County grand jury investigation accused Koino-
            nia of being a Communist front, a charge categorical-
            ly denied by Rev. Clarence Jordan; Ga. Atty-Gen. Eu-
            gene Cook announced investigation of Koinonia's con-
            tributors; two drive-by shootings at Koinonia; anti-
            Koinonia Ku Klux Klan rally in front of Sumter County
May   1957  Birdsey Feed Store, Byne Block (northwest corner For-
            syth and Lee), dynamited for defying local boycott
            against Koinonia 
Aug.  1957  completion of "Sumter County Colored High School," 
            James L. Bozeman, principal (south side Rucker west
            of Jackson)
Nov.  1957  students moved into new Northeast Elementary School,
            Theodore R. London, principal, replacing 10 schools 
            as first phase in consolidation of 24 county black 
            schools (south side Upper River Rd. southeast of 
            New Era); 20 local Ku Klux Klansmen burned cross at
Dec.  1957  opening of Southeast Elementary School, consolidating
            Nunn Industrial, Mt. Carmel, Pleasant Grove, Leslie,
            Flintside, Davis Grove and DeSoto, Kelsie W. Daniels,
Mar.  1958  Gov. Marvin Griffin killed proposed legislative in-
            vestigation of Koinonia with pocket veto, then rever-
            sed himself, appointing Rep. George Busbee to head 
            investigative panel; County Board of Education sold
            these "colored school buildings":  DeSoto, Leslie,
            Paradox, Seay, Shipp Industrial, Tabernacle, Antioch,
            Corinth, Shady Grove, Eastpoint, Union Grove and Wel-
            come; Matthew Kennedy, Americus native and violin 
            virtuoso, debuted at New York's Carnegie Hall
Mar.  1959  Mrs. Oscar Mann, then Mrs. Eric Foster, each gave
            birth to triplets at Americus and Sumter County Hos-
Sept  1960  Lora Ruth Browne, Jan Jordan and William Wittkamper,
            white Koinonia residents, barred from AHS while other
            county whites admitted, filed suit in federal court
Oct.  1960  U.S. District Judge W.A. Bootle ruled in favor of 
            Koinonia students, who entered AHS without incident
Jan.  1961  District Judge W.A. Bootle hung in effigy at county
            courthouse while holding court at federal building
            (now municipal bldg.)
Dec.  1961  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent the weekend in the 
            Sumter County jail, after Albany Movement arrest, a
            guest of Sheriff Fred D. Chappell
Feb.  1962  "Big Bethel" Baptist Church relocated to their new 
            sanctuary (west side N. Jackson between Masonic and 
Oct.  1962  groundbreaking for St. Martin de Porres Catholic 
            Chapel, for blacks, replacing St. Jerome's, a victim
            of urban renewal
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  Carol Barner, Annie Lou Ragans, Sandra Russell, Wil-
            lie Mae Smith, Gloria Westbrooks, James A. Westbrooks
            and LuLu Westbrooks, et. al., made first integration 
            attempt of public facilities at Martin Theater, with 
            follow-up boycott led by the Sumter Movement
Aug.  1963  about 250 blacks arrested during civil rights demon-
            strations headquartered at Allen Chapel A.M.E.
Sept. 1963  formal dedication of St. Martin de Porres Catholic
            Chapel, for blacks, Benjamin Ritzert, of Savannah,
            architect, Paul Bush, builder (southeast corner Max-
            well and Vista)
Oct.  1963  Lambda Enterprises organized by James Paschal, Albert
            Battle, Lewis Lowe, Otis Carter, Daniel DeLoatch, 
            R.L. Freeman and Beatrice DeLoatch, for development 
            of industrial tract (Souther Field and N. Mayo)
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-General Stephen Pace, Jr. dropped re-
            maining cases Dec. 1964)
Apr.  1964  Triedstone Baptist Church burned (southwest corner
            Crawley and Quincy)
July  1964  Georgia Court of Appeals overturned convictions of
            Americus civil rights demonstrators since blacks were
            systematically excluded from the jury pool; fifteen
            white teenagers, 12 boys and 3 girls, sentenced in
            Recorder's Court for "...tossing of cherry bombs,
            bricks and rocks at cars, houses and individuals..."
            in Northside housing project July 6th
Aug.  1964  Americus High School racially integrated for the 
            first time ever in its 84-year history by David Bell,
            Jr., Robertiena Freeman, Dobbs Wiggins and Minnie Wise
Oct.  1964  Sam M. Weston, Cotton Ave. tailor, first black to run
            for public office in the history of Sumter County, in
            Democratic primary for Americus city council, but 
            came in fifth out of five candidates
July  1965  Mary Kate Fishe Bell became first black woman to run
            for public office in the history of Sumter County;
            candidate Bell arrested, with Mamie Campbell, Lena 
            Turner and Gloria Wise, for trying to integrate a vo-
            ting line in Justice of the Peace election in which
            she came in second to winner J.W. Southwell; Sumter
            County Movement, led by Rev. J.R. Campbell, began 
            daily marches on the courthouse from Allen Chapel 
            A.M.E. and Friendship Baptist, protesting imprison-
            ment of four women; Americus Merchants Association's
            offer to pay women's bail bonds refused; eight blacks
            tried to integrate First Baptist but were turned away
            without incident; city and county governments appoin-
            ted Community Relations Committee, i.e. Mrs. Audrey
            Bass, Rev. Dr. Harold A. Collins, Warren Fortson, 
            Mrs. R.D. McNeill, Sr., John Pope, Spencer Pryor, 
            Lang Sheffield, W.E. "Billy" Smith, to negotiate with
            local black leaders; U.S. Justice Dept. filed suit in
            federal court, as did four imprisoned women, to en-
            join local officials from further prosecution and an
            end to segregated elections; Andy Whatley, white,
            murdered by Charlie Lee Hopkins the shooter, and
            Willie James Lamar, both black, in drive-by shooting
            during counter demonstrations at and near the 
            courthouse; Gov. Carl Sanders sent 100 state troopers
            to Americus; Sumter County Movement began economic
            boycott of Americus' white businesses; 500 whites 
            attended Lester Maddox speech at Recreation Center; 
            federal Judge W.A. Bootle ordered release of four 
            women and end to segregated elections
Aug.  1965  leaders of First Baptist and First United Methodist
            prevented entry into their respective churches by ci-
            vil rights demonstrators; Warren Fortson met with un-
            official biracial committee, six blacks, six whites;
            black comedian and activist Dick Gregory led voter
            registration march on courthouse; 16 blacks and 
            whites arrested during third attempt to integrate 
            First Baptist, but were released three days later
            (included in that group, now U.S. Congressman John
            Lewis); 600 Ku Klux Klanspeople and sympathizers, led 
            by Lester Maddox, marched silently through downtown 
            Americus; Mayor T. Griffin Walker and Rev. J.R. Camp-
            bell announced agreement to end demonstrations, but 
            no biracial committee; picketing resumed at Colonial, 
            Kwik Chek and Piggly-Wiggly supermarkets after little
            progress perceived by black leaders; Americus city
            school board's desegregation plan approved by U.S. 
            Justice Dept., while Sumter County schools warned of
            loss of federal funding due to lack of a plan
Sept. 1965  Americus police chief Ross M. Chambliss hired the de-
            partment's first-ever black officers, J.W. "Sport"  
            Jones and Henry L. "Spann" Williams; prominent attor-
            ney Warren Fortson and family had to leave Americus
            for advocating biracial talks
Oct.  1965  local civil rights demonstrators arrested for boy-
            cotting segregated A.S. Staley Junior High School; 
            Dr. Lloyd A. Moll, former GSC president, and family
            had to move from Americus for advocating racial con-
Nov.  1965  U.S. District Court Judge J. Robert Elliott overruled
            civil rights demonstrators' suit against Americus and
            Sumter County law enforcement officials
Feb.  1966  U.S. District Court Judge W.A. Bootle ruled valid J.
            W. Southwell's J.P. election; Specialist Fourth Class
            Sheppard Robinson, Jr., first Sumter Countian killed
            in Vietnam War 
Mar.  1966  Charlie Lee Hopkins sentenced to life imprisonment in 
            Andy Whatley murder; Willie James Lamar pled guilty 
            and sentenced to five years
Apr.  1966  Matthew Kennedy, Americus native, directed Fisk Sing-
            ers in ABC's DuPont show, "This Proud Land"
June  1966  Ms. Teresa Mansfield, of Americus, became the first 
            black student enrolled at Georgia Southwestern Col-
            lege in its 59-year history; Sumter County's first
            Headstart Program begun, Willie Pearl Fuse, director
Apr.  1967  photo in T-R of 115-year-old Bob Hill, of Palatka,
            Fla., born a slave in Americus; U.S. Fifth Circuit
            Court of Appeals threw out J.W. Southwell's J.P.
            election of July 1965 and ordered a new one
June  1967  J.W. Southwell defeated Mary F. Bell 2,184 to 538 in
            replay of J.P. election
Sept. 1967  A.S. Staley reopened as high school after ten years
            as a junior high, Daniel L. DeLoatch, principal; 
            weekly "NEWS OF LOCAL NEGRO COMMUNITY" column debuted
            in T-R, Mrs. Ann Witcher, editor (discontinued May
Dec.  1967  St. John's Masonic Lodge No. 17 dedicated (west side
            Bumphead between Gordon and Sunset Park)
Apr.  1968  Thomas Blount and Eddie J. McGrady first blacks ap-
            pointed to Americus City School Board in its 95-year
Aug.  1969  Americus Holiness Deliverance Gospel Tent formally
            dedicated, Rev. Aaron Snipes, Sr., pastor; interraci-
            al Koinonia group refused entry to First United Meth-
            odist Church, although Rev. W.R. Key publicly expres-
            sed regret; Kelsie W. Daniels replaced Daniel L. 
            DeLoatch after 12 years as principal of A.S. Staley
Nov.  1969  St. Luke Baptist Church destroyed by fire 
Aug.  1970  fire destroyed auditorium of A.S. Staley Junior High 
            (now A.S. Staley Middle)
Dec.  1970  groundbreaking ceremony for Eastview Apartments, John
            W. Sandeford, architect, Warren Scott, contractor
Feb.  1971  Marshall Frady's "Look Magazine" article, "Discover-
            ing One Another In a Georgia Town," depicted rela-
            tively successful school integration in Americus, but
            unflattering description of the city upset many 
Apr.  1971  Henry Taylor, Jr. sold first land in Staley Urban Re-
            development Project of 50 acres surrounding A.S. Sta-
            ley Junior High School
May   1971  half of Sumter County's students boycotted attendance
            protesting private school advocates on school board
July  1971  Americus Mayor J. Frank Myers appointed Human Rela-
            tions 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 
            withdrew due to unforseen business developments)
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 classes started
            at A.S. Staley 
      1972  Ebenezer Baptist Church relocated to Church St.,
            Andersonville, Rev. J.G. Allen, pastor 
Jan.  1972  fire destroyed remaining portion of 1936 A.S. Staley 
            School building (initially ruled arson, later offici-
            ally declared accidental due to faulty wiring)
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 GSC, 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; grandopening of Barnum Heights subdi-
            vision, L.C. Hicks, developer
June  1972  dedication of Americus Institute historic marker at
            A.S. Staley; Federal Judge J. Robert Elliott dismis-
            sed suit against Sumter County school board (appeal
            followed but ultimately dismissed by Judge Wilbur D.
            Owens May 1974)
Aug.  1972  Willie L. Paschal became first black principal of a 
            formerly all-white Americus school, Furlow Grammar
Dec.  1972  Henry Jackson became first black elected to Plains
            city council in its 86-year history
May   1973  United Holiness Church chartered, Rev. Aaron Snipes, 
            Sr., pastor
May   1974  State Rep. Julian Bond spoke at GSW
Aug.  1974  Americus Housing Authority named "Leila Barlow Apart-
            ments" across from Staley
Jan.  1975  Inspirational Church by Faith founded, Elder John T. 
            Taylor, pastor (south side Adderton between Lafay-
            ette and Magnolia)
Feb.  1975  Atlanta's Mattiwilda Dobbs, internationally renowned 
            soprano, sang at GSC Black History Week ceremonies
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 in its almost 120-year history
Feb.  1976  A.S. Staley Junior High basketball team won South
            Georgia Junior High Conference, defeating Cairo 76-
            55, Johnny Young, coach; Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr.
            featured speaker at GSC for Black History Week
Sept. 1976  Habitat for Humanity started by Millard Fuller at 
            Koinonia Farms, after returning from Africa
July  1977  Maranatha Baptist Church constituted at Plains after
            racial integration split at Plains Baptist, Rev. Dan
            Ariail, pastor
Nov.  1978  Rev. Moses William Howard, Jr., Americus native, elec-
            ted president, National Council of Churches, largest 
            ecumenical organization in the country
Feb.  1980  Nu Zeta chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority chartered
            at GSC, Mrs. Ann O. Davis, advisor
Apr.  1980  U.S. District Judge Wilbur D. Owens ruled Americus 
            and Sumter County at-large elections racially discri-
June  1980  William Hoston, Sr. became first black to ever run 
            for sheriff of Sumter County, though unsuccessfully
Sept  1980  Shady Acres subdivision on Souther Field Rd., begun
            L.C. Hicks Construction Co., contractor
Nov.  1980  Arthur C. Pless became first black elected to Sumter 
            County Commission in almost 150 years
Jan.  1989  Rho Sigma Omega chapter, AKA sorority, chartered, Jo 
            Maxye McKenzie, president, Eddie Rhea Walker, vice-
            president, Annette Bettis, secretary, Mamie Gibson, 
June  1989  Capt. Moses Lee Bridges became the first black Ameri-
            cus police chief in the city's history (albeit an in-
            terim one)
Apr.  1990  Miss America Debbye Turner made an appearance at 
            Belk's Dept. Store in Americus
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
Jan.  1992  Waymon Jerome Smith became the first black City Mar-
            shal in Americus' history
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
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 Mini-
            sterial Association, led by Rev. Fer-Rell Malone, of
            Bethesda Baptist
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 black chair-
            man of the Americus City School Board in its 121-year 
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 hon-
            ored Clyde A. McGrady as Middle School Principal of 
            the Year, and Ms. Betty Harris as Elementary Princi-
            pal of the Year, for A.S. Staley and Cherokee, re-
Nov.  1994  Americus City School Board, Russ Childers, Michael 
            Coley, Edith Green, Kay Guttenberg, Julie Higgins, 
            Clark Lamb, Fred McLaughlin, Lorena Barnum Sabbs, and
            Thomas Sims, elected by popular vote for the one and
            only time in its 121-year history
Dec.  1994  Charlie Clifford Whitehead, Jr. became the first per-
            manent black police chief in the history of Americus
Jan.  1995  Mrs. Edith Ann Hollis Green became chairperson of the 
            newly consolidated Sumter County School Board, the 
            first black and woman to do so in its 123-year histo-
June  1995  Mrs. Juanita Freeman Wilson became the first woman 
            and the first black principal of Americus High School 
            in its 115-year history 
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
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
Feb.  1997  "AmericUSumter Observer," monthly newspaper, began, 
            Dr. John D. Marshall, publisher
Mar.  1997  ecumenical 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 160+-year history
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
Oct.  1998  formal dedication of "Boone" Walton 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 
            Daniel Colwell trial for "60 Minutes II" segment 
            (telecast 1-27-99)
May   1999  AHS girls won Class AA state track championship, Evelyn 
            Wright, coach
Sept. 2000  Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, with Millard and Linda Fuller,
            completed Sumter County Initiative's elimination of all
            sub-standard housing with construction of "Victory House"
            for Vera Thomas family
Feb.  2001  Henry Louis "Hammerin' Hank" Aaron spoke at Boys and Girls
            Club at SGTC; Kent Hill and Angel Myers-Martino 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
June  2001  Kiwanis Club of Sumter County chartered, Samantha Jackson,
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 Westbrooks-Griffin's "Lulu and the Girls of Americus, 
            Georgia 1963" documentary debuted at Rylander Theater
Jan.  2005  Andrea P.F. Brooks became first black woman to serve on 
            County Commission since its establishment in 1872.       
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
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