Looking back: Newspapers 50 years ago were the different back then

Published 12:18 pm Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Looking back to 1966, I noticed some distinct differences in news reporting 50 years ago and how it is done today. There were a lot less photographs. I guess it is the ease of taking photos today with digital cameras as opposed to the way it was done back then.

When I first began working with the newspaper, photos were still being done the old-fashioned way. We had huge rolls of film that were cut the length we needed and rolled onto the spindle. Then after the photos were taken we had to go into the dark room and develop the film. I remember being asked if I wanted to learn to do it and I volunteered to learn because I wanted to learn all I could about my work. About the time I got to where I could get at least one picture on the roll, we went to digital. That was the end of my dark room work (and believe you me, it was dark in there).

Another difference was the way we reported the obituaries. I have told you before that readers can look at our old bound volumes to find obits and other things from out of the past. These days, the obits have a designated page and are all grouped together. Fifty years ago, obits were all over the place, from the front page to the classified section.

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If you go back from 50 years, it gets even worse. News was more often than not picked up from a national news source and were not local news. I remember seeing an issue dated 1886 one time and it contained stories about the new Statue of Liberty arriving in New York City.

Anyway, times are always changing.

In 1966 in Atmore, the front page had a couple of stories about the cattle show which was apparently a big success. Twenty-three cattle sold for $55,725.28.

Sounds like a success to me.

The Alabama State Troopers were set to have a “saturation day” with a crackdown on hazardous violators.

I guess this was the forerunner of the “Click it or Ticket” we have today.

Prices were good at the local A&P grocery store. One could buy steak for 45 cents a pound, ground beef for 49 cents a pound and strawberries, three pints for $1.

The City of Atmore announced that the city licenses were due and payable.

The town was expecting 1,000 delegates from the Jehovah’s Witness religion to meet in Atmore for a convention.

Florida Representative George G. Stone from Walnut Hill, Fla., was killed in a car crash in Pensacola. A large crowd gathered for the funeral at the Atmore Presbyterian Church.

An Atmore man, Sgt. Bobby Davis, was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery in Vietnam for delivering ammunition to his platoon in heavy fire.