Looking back: Spring of 1971 brought many problems to residents

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The spring of 1971 brought plenty of news about the problems facing the residents of Atmore. Looking back on them now, those disturbances may seem unreal to the teenagers of today, but in April of 1971, tempers were flaring.

On one very bad day, authorities decided to shut the Escambia County Junior High and the Escambia County High School because of instances of confrontations between blacks and whites. Because the situation was so volatile, the two schools were shut down for a few days.

The Escambia County Commissioners met in special session to discuss the problems and what to do about them. As a result, there were new laws passed by the commissioners. The Escambia County Board of Education found it easier to close the schools and give a time for the relief of tensions while investigating the subject of violence in school.

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Children of today don’t understand what it was like 45 years ago. Although the schools had been integrated for some years, there was still a lot of tension and many found it hard to make the changes necessary.

Changes were also being discussed about the problems going on at the prison. Some of the issues of the prisoners were being addressed.

Not all news was bad of course. There were still other things going on.

It was also a time of rebirth and art shows celebrating spring. There was an art show to be held at the Bank of Atmore featuring the works of local artist, C.C. Stallworth.

An open house and art show was held at the Atmore Public Library, featuring the works of students from local schools.

At this time of the year, it seems as if everyone’s thoughts turn to getting outside to garden and to have art shows. Forty-five years ago, students were showing their art in various places and the same is true today. Students still display their art and some of it is really good. You should check it out and see what talent there is in the newer generation.

Pre-school registration was being held at A.C. Moore School. I guess they have to start early getting ready to welcome the newest students into schools.

Another sign of Spring was the fact that baseball fields were being prepared and Little League was getting ready for a new season.

Another possible good bit of news was that a new gas field in Monroe County was showing promise of being a very good one with a very good core and drill stem.

I don’t know the end results of this one. Maybe it brought some good news to the area.