Looking back: In 1976, country’s birthday celebrated everywhere

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The year 1976 was the 200th birthday of our country and it was celebrated all over the place and sometimes in the strangest of places. Now, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t mind the old fashioned dresses and all the men sporting beards and mustaches (although it rendered many of them unrecognizable). But some of the things going on were just plain crazy. In the 1976 Atmore Advance told of one way we had to remember the bicentennial. Now this one was not too bad. We will cover others later in the year.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on East McRae Street for the new Brooks Memorial Baptist Church. The old church was to be sold and the new one was to be built on a site that was about 10 acres in size. The expense of the new church was $350,000 and was, like the old one, named after the original founder of the church, Rev. R. W. Brooks. There was a drawing depicting what the church would look like and it was quite modern. The newspaper said that it would be completed in just a few months.

Do you remember West Brothers? Well, I do. In fact I worked at the one in Brewton. I really miss stores like West Bros. They always had the best fabric sales. Have you noticed that, if you sew your own clothing (yes, some people still do), there are very few places to purchase fabric? I can remember those days at West Bros. when we would run sales like a penny an inch. Now no one ever thought to figure it up but a penny an inch cost more than the regular price of three yards for a $1.

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Steve Dees, a former military man who had served in Vietnam, was appointed to take over the office of police chief, replacing Chief O’Neil Black.

The Atmore Chamber of Commerce held their annual banquet and the speaker was Prime Osborn III.

There was an article in the newspaper telling everyone not to worry if they saw smoke coming out of the ground. It seems that the city was using smoke bombs to detect sewerage leaks.