This Week in History: 1974

Published 7:00 am Sunday, May 12, 2024

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In 1974, the pages of the Greenville Advocate were filled with stories that captured the spirit and essence of the time. From honoring the late country music legend Hank Williams to local community achievements, the headlines represent a diverse tapestry of events blending remembrance of the past with celebration of the present.


  • Butler County Historical Society Honors Hank Williams: The Butler County Historical Society paid tribute to the legendary Hank Williams by erecting a memorial marker at his homesite. The ceremony, held at the Mt. Olive West Baptist Church, included performances by musicians who had played with Williams. city and county officials, as well as members of the Grand Ole Opry and the Williams’s family, attended the event. A marker was unveiled and later moved to its permanent location, west of the church. The day’s activities included musical entertainment and the sale of a souvenir program, with refreshments provided by the Mt. Olive Church members.


  • Miss GHS Crowned: In a celebration of beauty and talent, Kay Killough was crowned as the new Miss Greenville High School (GHS), succeeding Melondie Reeves. The crowning ceremony, a tradition of the school, highlighted the achievements and grace of these young women, with Miss Reeves passing on the title to her successor. Miss Killough’s crowning marked a new chapter in her life, representing her school with pride and honor.


  • Alabama High School Youth Conference: The Alabama High School Youth Conference, sponsored by the Lions Clubs of Alabama, brought together over 100 girls from across the state. Janie Wall and Cecelia Harden, juniors at Fort Dale Academy, were selected to represent the Greenville Lions Club at the conference. 


  • Vintage Biplane Aerobatics: Floyd McGowin Jr.’s vintage Stearman biplane, once a familiar sight in the skies over Chapman and Greenville, captivated onlookers with its vibrant yellow paint and aerobatic displays. McGowin, who learned to fly at the Greenville Airport in 1947 at the age of 16, dedicated himself to preserving this iconic aircraft, which bore the serial number 1359, placing it among the early models built between 1936 and 1943. After acquiring and restoring the biplane in 1967, McGowin’s efforts ensured that the plane retained its authenticity and charm, becoming a symbol of aviation history and a reminder of the daring feats of early pilots.